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For Second Year, 100% of Occupational Therapy Graduates Pass Certifying Exam

Health sciences graduates celebrated their achievement at a white coat ceremony during last year's commencement.

The first two graduating classes of the Katz School’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate have achieved a 100% pass rate in the national certifying exam, according to the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

“We are so happy for our graduates,” said Dr. Mindy Garfinkel, a clinical associate professor and interim director of the OT Doctorate program. “This is a validation of how we provide a high-quality education that prepares our students for success. It’s a testament to the faculty, administration and students. We did a lot of prep work for the boards.”

The exam tests for, among other things, an understanding of occupational therapy practice in pediatrics, mental health, rehabilitation, geriatrics and community-based services; knowledge of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and neuroscience; and familiarity with evidence-based practice and research methods.

Housed in a modern facility with advanced labs, the OT Doctorate program integrates theory, research and practice, and provides not only field-based clinical work but opportunities for advocacy, which included placements with NYSOTA where Katz School students tracked pending legislation affecting the industry.

Occupational therapists work in many specialty areas, from neonatal intensive care units to skilled nursing facilities. OTs help people of all ages gain greater independence and confidence in performing the tasks of everyday living, with the goal of treatment being the restoration of function or acquisition of new skills.

The Katz School program is the first fully accredited entry-level occupational therapy doctorate program in the New York metropolitan area. Students are educated and trained to become scholar-practitioners who develop and deliver inclusive, equitable and evidence-based services in diverse local and global communities. Occupational therapy is ranked in the top 15 of U.S. News & World Report's Top Health Care Jobs.

“Our students develop professional competencies and an ethical code to engage in research, evidence-based practice, policy development, leadership and advocacy, and occupational justice,” said Dr. Garfinkel.

Last year, the Katz School program was accredited for a full seven years by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (AOTA), becoming the first fully accredited OT doctorate program in the New York metro area.

“Seven years in the first round of application is exceptional. It shows the confidence the accrediting body has in the program, our faculty and outcomes,” said Dr. Garfinkel. “The program aligns perfectly with the Katz School’s commitment to making our world smarter, safer and healthier.”