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Occupational Therapy Program Mission & History

The mission of Mount Mary University’s occupational therapy program is to provide a professional education in occupational therapy resulting in skilled hands-on generalist practitioners who are client-centered and occupation-centered in their approach to the profession.

We are committed to educating students who can grow in reflective clinical reasoning, evidence-based practice and lifelong learning. We strive to offer a foundation in ethical and moral principles that will enable students to be advocates for clients within health and social systems. We guide the student in advanced studies concurrent with fieldwork to deepen the use of theoretical and clinical knowledge as the basis for higher levels of inquiry and critical thinking about their practice.

Occupational Therapy Program History at Mount Mary

The occupational therapy program at Mount Mary University (formerly Mount Mary College) began in September 1941. Conceived in wartime, the program was strongly influenced by the combined military and medical interest of Dr. Edward A. Fitzpatrick, the college’s president.

Dr. Fitzpatrick’s correspondence with early pioneers in occupational therapy such as Eleanor Clarke Slagle, Dr. William Rush Dunton and Dr. Westmoreland reveals his commitment to innovative occupational therapy education. Dr. Fitzpatrick’s conviction that occupational therapy education should be firmly rooted in the liberal arts is as timely now as it was then, and provides the program’s foundation.

In 1943, the curriculum received full approval of both the Committee on Allied Health Education and accreditation of the American Medical Association and the American Occupational Therapy Association as an accredited program in occupational therapy. Full accreditation has been maintained ever since.