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OTD Student Handbook 2017-2018


This handbook has been compiled to address frequently asked questions by occupational therapy doctoral students. It has been designed primarily as a starting point for understanding basic program information. Additional information may be found in the General Catalog of the University or in the Drake University Student Handbook.  To the extent the provisions of this handbook conflict with the General Catalog or the Drake University Student Handbook, this handbook shall prevail with regard to all occupational therapy doctoral students registered in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  Alternative sources of information are encouraged; namely, faculty advisors, the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or other faculty members.  The occupational therapy program of the Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is currently in candidacy status with the American Council on Occupational Therapy Education.


The Vision for the College

A diverse community of learners leading the way to a healthy world.


College Mission Statement: Preparing Today's Learners to be Tomorrow's Health Care Leaders
The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences provides an intellectually stimulating learning environment with collaborative learning among students, faculty, and staff. Graduates are liberally educated professionals who are dedicated to serving their clients, patients, profession, and community. The College emphasizes excellence and leadership in education, service, and scholarship.


Accredited Doctoral-Degree-Level Occupational Therapy Program

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. NOTE: In addition to the above statements, the program must have a documented and published policy to ensure that students complete all graduation, fieldwork, and experiential component requirements in a timely manner. This must include a statement that all Level II fieldwork and the experiential component of the program must be completed within a time frame established by the program. Students must complete Level II fieldwork and experiential requirements within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.

Educational Goals and Objectives of the Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program

The purpose of the Drake University Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program is to prepare students with the flexible, clinical, analytical and practice skills necessary to succeed in occupational therapy through an interdisciplinary blend of professional, science, and liberal arts education. The purpose of the program is to provide graduates with advanced entry-level knowledge, skills, attitudes, ethics and values to succeed in occupational therapy careers. The curriculum is designed to provide the graduate with competence in the following areas:

A.   Research and Evidence-based Practice: Demonstrate the ability to utilize and produce evidence for occupation-based practice for the advancement of the occupational therapy profession.

B.   Service learning at the local, national, and international levels for diverse and underserved populations: Value, participate, and plan service opportunities at the local, national, and international level to advance health and well-being in underserved populations.

C.   Collaborative, compassionate, competent, and innovative practitioners utilizing occupations to advance health and well-being: Demonstrate competence in the ability to grade and adapt occupations to allow clients, groups, and populations to live life to the fullest.  Collaborate with clients, groups, populations, and other professionals to develop innovative and compassionate care in traditional and non-traditional settings.

D.   Entrepreneurial leadership to develop the profession and mentor future occupational therapists: Utilize entrepreneurial leadership and mentorship to advance the occupational therapy profession at the local, state, national, and international level.

E.   Design adaptive and dynamic teaching-learning environments centered around discovery of knowledge in a variety of settings and contexts: Create successful teaching-learning environments within the context of a variety of settings to advance effectiveness of interventions.

 For each of these areas, the following objectives – which can be measured or assessed – have been developed for purposes of evaluation:

A.   Research and Evidence-based Practice:

  1. Graduates will be able to obtain certification in Human Subjects Protections.
  2. Graduates will be able to complete a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methodology designed research project.
  3. Graduates will be able to produce critically appraised papers of evidence-based interventions.
  4. Graduates will be able to critically analyze evidence for application to practice.

B.    Service learning at the local, national, and international levels for diverse and underserved populations:

  1. Graduates will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of service learning opportunities in a variety of traditional and nontraditional practice settings for diverse populations.
  2. Graduates will be able to develop programing for groups and individuals in national and international practice settings.
  3. Graduates will be able to develop programing for a variety of service events and community organizations to enhance health and well-being in diverse and underserved populations.

C.   Collaborative, compassionate, competent, and innovative practitioners utilizing occupations to advance health and well-being:

  1. Graduates will be able to grade occupations in collaboration with the individuals they serve to meet their needs to enhance participation in desired life activities.
  2. Graduates will be able to adapt occupations and equipment in collaboration with the individuals they serve to meet their needs to enhance engagement in desired life activities.
  3. Graduates will demonstrate therapeutic use of self to improve outcomes for their clients.
  4. Graduates will collaborate with clients, caregivers, and a variety of professionals to develop strategies and techniques for increasing participation in desired life activities.  

D.   Entrepreneurial leadership to develop the profession and mentor future occupational therapists:

  1. Graduates will be able to mentor and educate future occupational therapists in a variety of settings.
  2. Graduates will be able to demonstrate leadership skills necessary for volunteer positions in local, state, national, and international levels.
  3. Graduates will be able to develop emerging practice settings to advance the occupational therapy profession.
  4. Graduates will understand the importance of life-long learning and professional development throughout their career.

E.    Design adaptive and dynamic teaching-learning environments centered around discovery of knowledge in a variety of settings and contexts:

  1. Graduates will be able to use activity analysis and synthesis to design interventions for individuals in a variety of settings and contexts.
  2. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to utilize teaching-learning strategies to assist individuals for increasing engagement in preferred life activities.
  3. Graduates will have basic knowledge and recognize the need to consult with experienced and specialty or board certified practitioners to advance knowledge and skill level in practice.



None of the information provided here or elsewhere by the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences constitutes a contract between the University and the student. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies, procedures, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and other regulations or policies without giving prior notice.  


Admission to the Professional Program

Please see the following Admission Page for more information on Admission into the Professional Program.

Character Check

All students should review the requirements for certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) prior to applying to the OTD program ( Applicants should view the Character Review ( to determine need for a character review prior to admission to the OTD program. Qualified candidates identified as requiring a Character Check by the NBCOT will be required to complete an Early Determination Review prior to admission to the OTD Program. A student may be conditionally accepted into the program with a spot held for the student where admission is granted upon a positive review in which the student would beregist eligible for certification by NBCOT. This will ensure students do not enroll in the OTD Program, and if they are ineligible to take the national board exam to become a registered occupational therapist. Students are also required to review state licensure laws prior to admittance to determine eligibility for licensure upon completion of the OTD program and successful completion of the NBCOT Examination.

Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct faculty, established and respected practitioners, may be utilized in the didactic and/or experiential program.  Adjunct faculty members are evaluated and appointed by the University after approval by the CPHS faculty.  Adjunct faculty is comprised of occupational therapists, pharmacists, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals with whom students interact at various sites.

Course Registration

Registration is completed online through the MyDUSIS system. Students can access MyDUSIS through myDrake. Detailed registration information may be accessed through the CPHS Registration Bulletin as well as the CPHS Student Announcements. Questions regarding registration policies and procedures should be directed to the Director of Student Affairs. Registration for all O3 year coursework will be completed by the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Once registration is complete, the billing and fee assessment process will begin. Any student not returning to Drake and registered for courses must officially withdraw from registered courses and the University to avoid financial ramifications.  To withdraw, a student must complete the Withdrawal Request Form, available via MyDUSIS under the Student Services & Financial Aid tab or contact the College Office for further assistance.

Wait List

Students may elect to be placed on wait lists when enrollment capacity of a course has been reached, provided the course offers that option. When this occurs the student must take some action in order to set their schedule. That action may include one of the following:

  • Add oneself to the course's wait list (if one exists in the myDrake system)
  • Obtain the instructor's signature on a drop/add slip, approving the student's enrollment in the course
  • Drop the course and add an alternative course in its place

Students placed on a wait list will be notified via email if a seat becomes available in the course. It is the student’s responsibility to take action upon receipt of an email notification by the deadline provided or forfeit their seat on the wait list. An overview of the wait list policies and guidelines is available on the Office of the Registrar website. All wait lists will be dissolved prior to the start of each term; therefore, it is important to take immediate action.

Withdrawal from Courses

Students are unable to withdraw from a required course within the OTD program. Progression within the program is dependent upon successful completion of required course work in the previous semester. Students wishing to withdraw for medical, personal, or other reasons should refer to the applicable portion of the handbook specifically addressing that issue to determine appropriate actions. Students must meet with their advisor and/or appropriate administrative personnel to discuss withdrawal and re-enrollment guidelines and policies.

Degree Audits

Students are responsible for reviewing their degree audits on a periodic basis to ensure curricular requirements are being met.  For directions on reviewing degree audits, students are advised to review the Degree Audit Guides available on the CPHS Current Student Resources page.

Class Standing Policy

Students are admitted to the professional occupational therapy doctorate program with a designated class standing. To progress in class standing, students must complete the following specific course and credit hour requirements:

  1. To achieve OT1 standing, students must be admitted to the professional occupational therapy program.
  2. To progress from OT1 to OT2 standing, students must successfully complete History of OT in Context of the Sociology of Professions (OTD 101), The Human Condition: Pathology and Impairments (OTD 110), Occupation Based Practice 1: Occupational Therapy Process (OTD 121), Occupational Therapy Practice Skills 1: Basics of OT (OTD 131), Psychosocial Development and Application to Occupational Therapy (OTD 102), Applied Neuroscience 1 (OTD 105), Application of Kinesiology to OT (OTD 111), Occupation Based Practice 2: Assessment informing Evaluation (OTD 122), Research in Occupational Therapy 1: Role of Theory in Occupational Therapy (OTD 141), Level IA Fieldwork and Doctoral Experience Forum: Adulthood (OTD 161), Occupation Based Practice 3: Pediatrics (OTD 123), Occupational Therapy Practice Skills 2: Orthotics and Positioning (OTD 132), Research in Occupational Therapy 2: Observational and Descriptive Research (OTD 142), Level IB Fieldwork and Doctoral Experience Forum: Pediatrics (OTD 162), and Health Care Policy and Impact on Delivery (OTD 151).
  3. To progress from OT2 to OT3 standing, students must successfully complete Applied Neuroscience 2: Neuro-occupations (OTD 106), Occupation Based Practice 4: Aging Adults (OTD 124), Occupational Therapy Practice Skills 3: Universal Design, Adaptive Equipment, and Community Mobility (OTD 133), Research in Occupational Therapy 3: Experimental Research (OTD 143), Level IC Fieldwork and Doctoral Experience Forum: Psychosocial Health (OTD 163), Occupational Based Practice 5: Health, Wellness, and Well-being (OTD 125), Occupational Therapy Practice Skills 4: Ergonomics, PAMs, & Advanced Technology (OTD 134), Research in Occupational Therapy 4: Critical Analysis (OTD 144), Level ID Fieldwork and Doctoral Experience Forum: Self-designed (OTD 164), Management & Administration (OTD 152), Independent Study 1 (OTD 153), Occupation Based Practice 6: Population Health (OTD 126), Occupational Therapy Practice Skills 5: Exploration of Specialty Practice Areas (OTD 135), Research in Occupational Therapy 5: Scholarship of Application (OTD 145), Advocacy & Leadership (OTD 154), Professional Practice Seminar (OTD 155), and Independent Study 2 (OTD 156).

Students who do not progress in standing must adhere to the curriculum and academic policies required of students of same classification and may be required to repeat previous course work due to significant content changes. 

Course Prerequisites

Many occupational therapy courses have prerequisite requirements. Enrollment in a course will be denied if prerequisite courses have not been successfully completed. Therefore, a deviation from the structured OTD curriculum requires careful consideration. Course prerequisites may be found in the course descriptions listed in myDrake

College of Pharmacy & Health Science Requirements

Candidates for graduation must achieve a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average.

Grading Policy

The standard grading scale for students enrolled in occupational therapy labeled didactic course work is standard letter grading [ABCDF] with the percentage (or competency/ability) assigned to each grade to be set by the course instructor. Instructors may choose to utilize plus [+] and minus [–] designations. All instructors are required to include information regarding course grading scales within their course syllabus. Students are required to obtain a C or better (CR in 'credit/no credit') in all required courses in the professional program. Occupational therapy students are permitted to repeat a required course one time only. Students who fail to receive a C or higher (CR in 'credit/no credit') in the repeated course will be dropped from the occupational therapy program.

During experiential fieldwork courses, students who do not achieve a passing score as defined by the Fieldwork Performance Evaluation will be required to complete a Remediation Fieldwork. Students who fail to achieve a passing score upon completion of Remediation Fieldwork will be dropped from the occupational therapy program. Students who fail to successfully complete their Doctoral Experience competencies will have the opportunity to complete a Remediation Doctoral Experience. Students who fail to achieve a passing score upon completion of their Remediation Doctoral Experience will be dropped from the occupational therapy program. Students who receive two failing grades in any combination of experiential courses, including all Level I and Level II Fieldwork and Doctoral Experience courses, will be removed from the professional program. Please see the Drake University Fieldwork and Doctoral Experience Manual to obtain further information. 

Upon admission to the professional program, all didactic coursework must be completed in three years. Students who are unable to complete the didactic course work in the established time period will be dropped from the occupational therapy program. Students must successfully complete two Level II Fieldwork experiences and their Doctoral Experience within two years. Students who are unable to complete the experiential course work in the established time period will be dropped from the occupational therapy program. 

 Transfer Credits

Transfer credits within the OTD program will not be accepted. All coursework must be completed within the Drake OTD Program.

Credit/No Credit

All courses within the OTD curriculum are required for credit for graduation from the OTD program. Students may be required to audit courses while in remediation for other courses within a semester. 

Course Repeats

Students may repeat a course without additional credit. The highest grade earned will be used in computing the grade point average. The Drake GPA will only take into account courses taken at Drake.

Residency Requirements

A student is required to be in residence in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for all professional education coursework to be eligible for graduation.

Credit by Examination/Advanced Placement

Students are not allowed to earn college credit for any Occupational Therapy Doctorate coursework through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP) Tests, special credit examinations, and the Web Computer Adaptive Placement Exam (WebCAPE) administered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures.  Courses will be considered for admission to the OTD program based on Drake University’s policy for CLEP, AP, special credit examinations, and WebCAPE. Students are ineligible to earn credit by examination in a lower-level course in a sequence of courses after they have completed a higher-level course in the sequence. Credits may not be earned through CLEP or other examinations, which duplicate credit previously earned. Students are not eligible to earn credit through an examination if they have withdrawn from an equivalent course after the midpoint of the semester. Credit earned by examination does not apply to the last 30 hours, which must be earned at Drake. More information is available on the Admission's AP, IB, CLEP Credit webpage

Course Waivers

Course waivers are not allowed. Students may request the substitution of course work for requirements through the Exception to Program Policy Form. In addition, students may request the completion of course work from another institution by submitting the Transfer Credit Request Form. Pre-occupational therapy students under the Drake OTD Difference are not able to transfer in required pre-requisite course work once they begin at Drake.

Academic Honors

At the time of graduation, those OTD students who have attained high academic excellence and high scholastic achievements on the basis of their cumulative grade point average within the Drake OTD program shall be recognized by the following academic honors:    
     Honors...........................................GPA from 3.50 - 3.69
     High Honors.................................GPA from 3.70 - 3.89
     Highest Honors................................GPA from 3.90 - 4.00


Attendance is the responsibility of students and is essential for ideal learning to take place. Faculty members appreciate the courtesy of knowing when commitments cannot be met.  Attendance is required for all lecture, lab, and experiential components of the OTD curriculum.  Students who are unable to attend class should contact the course Instructor of Record and OTD Administrative Assistant. Students are responsible for any missed instructional information, coursework, assignments, and testing during the time they are gone. Excused absences include but are not limited to: illness, death, health crisis, and jury duty.  Noncompliance with attendance policies may affect the final grade in a course. Students may be required to provide documentation of excused absence. Instructors may place additional requirements on attendance based on a course. Please see course syllabi for additional information regarding attendance requirements. In the event of extenuating circumstances, students should contact the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management for assistance in notifying faculty of an absence.

Academic Probation/Suspension/Dropped Status


A student may be placed on probation when their performance fails to meet the criteria defined in this handbook, the University catalog, or other applicable policy or procedure. If performance does not improve, the student may be suspended or dropped from the College.


The student is removed from the College for a length of time. The student cannot graduate or progress toward the earning of a degree at the College. Suspensions are in effect for at least one academic year although they may be longer. Suspended students are NOT automatically readmitted to the College. They may reapply for admission as any other eligible student and may or may not be readmitted.


The student is removed from the professional occupational therapy program at the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. This can occur when a student fails to meet the criteria in the standard grading policy or if a student is no longer eligible for certification with the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The student may request to remain at Drake to pursue a degree in another major. This action is permanent, and the student may not be readmitted to the College.

Academic Probation/Suspension

A student may face administrative action from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences or the University* for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, academic integrity violations, failure to progress through the program in a timely manner, and professional conduct violations.  Specific probation and suspension criteria may be found in the Honor Code, the General University Catalog, and the University Student Handbook.  In general, suspension from the program may result from failure to adhere to any of the following policies:

  1. Academic Probation/Suspension Policy
  2. Honor Code Policy
  3. Chemical Dependency Policy
  4. Sexual Harassment Policy
  5. Student Immunization Policy

*Occupational therapy students who have been suspended by the University must seek re-enrollment through the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. These students must adhere to the same re-enrollment application procedure as described below for occupational therapy students suspended by the College.

Suspension Procedure

The University Dean of Student's office will notify an occupational therapy student in writing of their suspension following a violation of a University-wide policy. With the exception of suspension due to Honor Code violations, the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Assessment in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will notify an occupational therapy student of their suspension in writing following a violation of any College policy. In accordance with University policy, a suspended student has the right to appeal their suspension. The student has seven (7) calendar days to appeal the suspension. If the appeal is granted, the student may continue with coursework at Drake University and progress in the program. If the student does not appeal or if the appeal is denied, the student must apply for re-enrollment into the College before being allowed to resume coursework. If a suspended student plans to reenroll in the College at any time, they must contact the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Assessment of the College prior to the beginning of the next academic semester following the suspension to develop an action plan and time frame for completion of the plan. It is the student's responsibility to make contact with the Associate Dean and this step must occur regardless of the source of the suspension (University versus College). The action plan will be developed with the intent of preparing the student to be successful if they are allowed to return to the program. The clarity of the action plan will be approved by the admissions committee prior to final approval. The admissions committee will only serve to clarify points of ambiguity; it will not alter or amend the nature of the criteria. The student will sign the approved document to indicate acceptance of the terms of the plan and copies will be supplied to the student, the student's file and the Dean's Office. Once approved, no extensions, changes and/or waivers to the plan will be allowed.

The action plan may include certain remediation/tasks relevant to the reason for suspension.  Tasks may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Academic Probation/Suspension Policy - retaking specific courses to improve knowledge base, retaking written or verbal communication courses, etc.
  • Honor Code - taking additional coursework or training in ethics/professionalism, etc.
  • Chemical Dependency Policy - completing a substance use evaluation program, seeking specific medical or psychological care, participating in relevant help groups, etc.
  • Sexual Harassment Policy - completing a sexual harassment training program, participating in relevant help groups, etc.
  • Student Immunization Policy - receiving required immunizations

Re-enrollment Policy following Suspension

Occupational therapy students who have been suspended for a non-specified period of time may apply to the College for re-enrollment after one academic year. Occupational therapy students who have been suspended for a specified period of time may petition the College for re-enrollment only at the conclusion of the suspension time period. Students suspended for the first time may apply for re-enrollment; students suspended twice, regardless of the reasons, are ineligible for re-enrollment. The College Admissions Committee will review the suspended student's application for re-enrollment, and the student will be held to the same academic and professional standards as all other students in the program. These standards include the student's academic performance, communications skills, emotional maturity, leadership ability, involvement in the community, and professional attitude/behavior.

Application for Re-Enrollment Procedure following Suspension

The procedure for re-enrollment to the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences following any suspension includes:

  1. Completion of a Re-enrollment Form that is available on the Drake University web site.
  2. Submission of a written personal statement to the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Assessment asserting the student's ability to successfully pursue the occupational therapy curriculum after having been suspended. This statement must address, in detail, how the student has successfully met the action plan established at the time of suspension. The student must also submit documentation that the factor(s) or condition(s) responsible for the original suspension have been remedied or significantly improved.
  3. Submission of official transcripts of any course work completed at another institution since the time of suspension from Drake University.

Suspended students will be eligible for re-enrollment only after satisfactorily completing the action plan within the time frame set forth at the time of suspension. Members of the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Admissions Committee will decide, by a majority vote, whether a suspended student can re-enroll in the College. The student will be notified in writing regarding the status of their re-enrollment request. The Admissions Committee decision will be final; no appeals to this decision will be heard.

Deadline and criteria for Re-enrollment following Suspension

Suspended OTD students must submit their re-enrollment application material to the Admissions Committee by April 1st to be eligible for re-enrollment in the Fall semester, by October 1st to be eligible for re-enrollment in the Spring semester, or by February 1stfor re-enrollment in the Summer semester. OTD candidates re-enrolled following a suspension will return on a probationary status. In order to remain at Drake, the student must earn a semester grade point average of 2.0 or above during their first semester of re-enrollment as well as meet all other College criteria and policies or they will be suspended again. Any OTD student, suspended for a second time for the same or different violation, will not be eligible for re-enrollment in the occupational therapy program at Drake University.

Questions and requests for re-enrollment should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. 

Re-enrollment following withdrawal for medical and/or other non-suspension reasons

Students should complete the Re-enrollment Form by July 15 (for Fall semester), December 1 (for Spring semester), or by April 1st for re-enrollment in the Summer semester. If the withdrawal was due to medical reasons, the student’s health care provider(s) must provide the College with a letter indicating that the student is ready to return to the University and abide by the responsibilities and requirements of the program. If the student is under the care of more than one health care provider, such as a psychiatrist and therapist, a letter from each provider is required. Any additional conditions specified when the withdrawal was approved must also be completed prior to re-enrollment approval. 


Honor Code

Students in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences represent the College as well as the profession of occupational therapy. As such they are expected to maintain a professional manner and conduct in practice settings and on campus. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior or communication demonstrated to peers, faculty, students, college staff, preceptors, or patients is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Students shall strive to exemplify the ethical behavior described in the "Pledge of an Occupational Therapy Student" taken upon entrance into the professional program. Faculty have the authority to impose sanctions in cases of disruptive behavior or communication per the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Honor Code. This includes behavior that demonstrates a lack of respect for instructors, students, or others in the classroom or on fieldwork and doctoral experiences. Such sanctions may include, but are not limited to, asking the student to meet to discuss the nonprofessional behavior or communication or removal of the student from the learning situation. Honor Code violations can occur both in didactic course work as well as during fieldwork and doctoral experiences. They will be dealt with in the same manner and through the same processes.

Chemical Dependency Policy

The college has implemented a chemical dependency policy for occupational therapy students.  If a student is suspected or known to have a problem, it should be brought to the attention of the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Criminal Background Checks

All occupational therapy students will submit to a background check prior to admission and prior to entering fieldwork experiences. Many experiential sites require background checks, therefore information obtained during a student’s background check for Drake University may inhibit students from progression into the professional program or into their fieldwork experiences. Students may have to complete an additional background check at the request of their experiential site.  he background check will include social security number validation, address history for past 10 years, felony and misdemeanor criminal history search for all counties identified by the address history for the last seven years, national criminal history database, sex offender registries, child/elder abuse registries, motor vehicle driving record, and governmental agencies such as the Office of Inspector General. Results of the backgrounds checks will be securely stored in an electronic file on the College server. Only CPHS personnel designated by the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management will be allowed access to these files. The results of the background check will be shared within and outside the University on a need to know basis only. Within the University such results will be available only to those school officials with a legitimate educational or security purpose for accessing the information. The College will notify students of findings as required by the Fair Credit and Reporting Act. Students will be assessed a fee built in to their tuition to cover the cost of the background check. Furthermore, information obtained from background checks may be included on or with board licensure applications or other regulatory body that requests information from the Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Students have the right to request, from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, copies of all documents and other information shared with any regulatory body pertaining to their licensure.

Chemical Drug Screens

All occupational therapy students will be required to complete a Chemical Drug Screen prior to admission as well as before entering the fieldwork experience. Because many early and advanced experiential sites require drug screens, information obtained may inhibit students from progressing into the professional program or into fieldwork or doctoral experiences. The College will determine the vendor and location of the drug screen. Drug screens completed for employment or independently by the student will not be accepted. Students will be assessed a fee added to their tuition to cover the cost of the drug screen. The drug screen will include a 10-panel drug screen with point of custody through an outside vendor. The results of the drug screen will be shared within and outside the University on a need to know basis only and securely stored in an electronic file on the College server. Only CPHS personnel designated by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management will be allowed access to these files. Within the University such results will be available only to those school officials with a legitimate educational or security purpose for accessing the information. Initial positive screens will undergo medical review by the vendor. Any confirmed positive findings will be handled under the Chemical Dependency Policy of the College.

Electronic Communications Policy

Increasingly, College faculty and administrators are using electronic means to disseminate information to and communicate with students.  This information may be important and/or time-sensitive.  Thus, the expectations of the College are that:

  • All occupational therapy students are connected to email and check it frequently
  • Email from the College is sent to Drake email addresses
  • If this poses a problem for a student, the student should contact the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management to work out a solution for college email.
  • Electronic communication (e.g., email or the World Wide Web) maybe required as part of courses and experiential education. The requirements are to be specified in the course syllabus. If these requirements pose a problem for a student, the student must contact the instructor/coordinator to work out a solution. "System problems," however, are not the responsibility of the student.

In short, the lack of access to electronic communication is not a valid excuse for the failure to respond to a request, perform an assignment, or meet a deadline.

Sexual Harassment Policy

It is the policy of Drake University that any behavior by any administrator, faculty or staff member, or student that constitutes sexual harassment of any employee or student shall not be tolerated. For the purpose of this policy, sexual harassment is defined as: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or a condition for academic rewards and penalties;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual issued as the basis for employment decisions or as a basis for academic decisions; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.

Anyone who feels that they have been sexually harassed should follow the appropriate grievance procedure for their job category. Students should follow the student grievance procedure of the college in which they are enrolled.  Students in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences should report all concerns to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.


Student Immunization Policy

As part of the occupational therapy curriculum, students are required to participate in the College's experiential education program. This experiential education program provides students with various opportunities to apply their emerging knowledge and skills in occupational therapy in real world health care environments. As future healthcare professionals, students will be working with patients in a variety of settings such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, and community centers. While participating in the experiential education program, students are registered as occupational therapy students and participate as vital members of the healthcare team. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the federal government have provided recommendations for the immunization of healthcare workers. These guidelines are designed to protect healthcare workers from diseases that they may be exposed to in the course of their professional work.  Since occupational therapy students are working as healthcare professionals in-training and are exposed to patients through their experiential education activities, the College and its affiliated healthcare facilities have adopted the OSHA immunization guidelines as a requirement for all students entering the occupational therapy program.

Immunization Requirements

All students are required to provide documentation to the College of current immunizations prior to starting classes:

Measles/Mumps/Rubella Measles - Two doses of measles vaccination are required.  The first must be after the first birthday and after December 31,1967.  The second must be after December 31, 1979.

  • Mumps - Immunization must be after 12 months of age.
  • Rubella - Immunization must be given after 15 months of age and after December 31, 1967
  • Other forms of documentation of immunity include:  1) physician -diagnosed illness with certified data including month and year (except for rubella); 2) being born before 1957, and presumed to have had the disease (except for rubella); or 3) reports of an immune titer providing immunity.

Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap) - must show documentation of immunization within the last 10 years

Tuberculosis (PPD) Test - must show documentation of recent (within 3 months) negative skin test using the Mantoux method. Students who have been vaccinated with BCG should also have a PPD test unless a documentation of a prior positive skin test exists. Students with a positive PPD skin test will need to provide documentation of a negative chest x-ray. This test will need to be repeated annually.

Hepatitis B - must show documentation of all three immunizations in series; subsequent positive titer recommended. A minimum of one immunization must be completed prior to arrival at Drake. The complete series must be completed by the end of the first professional year of the program.

Varicella - Two doses required for students who have not had chickenpox.

Flu Shot - Required annually.

Current documentation of all of the above listed immunizations should be on file. Any immunizations completed since enrolling at Drake should be marked First Year Occupational Therapy Student and be sent to the Drake Health Center, 32nd and Carpenter, before the first day of classes.

Fax number of Student Health 515-271-1855.

Change of Legal Name Policy

In an effort to ensure the accuracy and integrity of all academic, financial aid, and student loan records maintained by Drake University and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Notification of Change of Legal Name form has been implemented.

  • To take advantage of this service, please access the Notification of Change of Legal Name form located in the CPHS Forms Library
  • It is important to note, as stated on the electronic form, students are responsible for notifying the Social Security Administration of the name change. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will notify only Drake University offices of the name change upon receipt of the electronic form.
  • Please direct any questions related to the online Change of Legal Name process to the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

Students wishing to change their preferred name should reference the Drake University Preferred Name website for additional information and frequently asked questions.

Graduation Requirements

Students must meet the following requirements to graduate with a professional degree from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences:

  1. Successfully complete all academic requirements and be in good standing with the University.
  2. To the extent that such information is brought to the attention of the Dean, exhibit the requisite professionalism, character, and professional promise in the judgment of the Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
  3. Satisfactorily resolve all financial obligations owed to the University.

The final responsibility for the completion of graduation requirements is the student's and accordingly, each student should become familiar not only with the curriculum but also with the academic regulations of the College.

Technical Standards for the OTD Program

The holder of an OTD degree must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of practice situations and to render a wide spectrum of care. In order to carry out the activities described below, candidates for the OTD degree must be able to consistently and accurately integrate all information received, and must have the ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.

A candidate for the OTD degree must have the abilities and skills of five varieties: communication, problem solving, sound judgment, sensorimotor, and behavioral and social skills.  Reasonable accommodations may be possible based on an individual’s needs and are made available to candidates in some of these areas, but a candidate must be able to perform required tasks in a reasonably independent manner. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will attempt to develop creative ways of opening the college curriculum to competitive, qualified individuals with disabilities. The College must maintain the integrity of its curriculum and preserve those elements deemed essential to educating an occupational therapist. Candidates or students who have concerns about meeting the technical standards should contact the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

  1. Communication: Candidates and students must be able to communicate with individuals they are working with either verbally, using sign language, augmentative and alternative communication devices, and other adaptive measures. Students and candidates must also be able to demonstrate the skills to listen or obtain information from others and process it appropriately. This is crucial to be able to obtain vital care information from clients they are working with and for providing important medical information to the clients and others on the care team. Students and candidates must be able to communicate effectively using written communication. This is important for completion of documentation and communication among professionals. The candidates and students must also be able to obtain, comprehend, synthesize, and utilize information gained to develop and implement intervention programs for clients.
  2. Problem Solving: Candidates and students must be able to perform observation of clients, contexts, and other contributing factors for application to development of intervention planning and programing.  Candidates and students must demonstrate cognitive skills capable of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data to make practice decisions and perform research as required of a doctoral level student. 
  3. Sound Judgment: Students and candidates must demonstrate the ability to perform self, contextual, and client assessments to be able to demonstrate strong safety awareness and to reduce risk to all involved in the occupational therapy process.  Students and candidates must be able to utilize information gained from a variety of sources to determine appropriate application to practice, research, professional relationships, and all aspects of occupational therapy. All candidates and students must demonstrate the ability to rationalize their reasoning for determining an appropriate course of action in the occupational therapy process.
  4. Sensorimotor Skills: Students and candidates must have sufficient motor function and control to be able to provide occupational therapy services within a defined setting.  Students must demonstrate basic control of fine and gross motor functions and adaptations to task to be able to overcome perceived difficulties. Students need to be able to demonstrate functional control of equilibrium and senses of touch and vision to be able to provide safe and appropriate occupational therapy care.
  5. Behavioral and Social Skills: Candidates and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and others (team members, families, caregivers, etc.). Candidates and students must be able to tolerate taxing workloads, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and educational processes.

The applicant should evaluate themselves for compliance with these technical standards. Submission of the application will serve as testimony of compliance with these standards.

Student Services

A number of special services are available to Drake University students. Some of these services include the following:


Academic Advising

Occupational therapy students are assigned an occupational therapy faculty member as their academic advisor.

Purpose and Objectives of Advising Program

The CPHS occupational therapy advising program seeks to support the mission of Drake University and the occupational therapy program in the provision of a student-centered learning environment. The occupational therapy advising program personnel includes the faculty advisor and the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. Through this team, students have multiple sources of information to address the Drake general education and occupational therapy program curricular objectives. The mechanics of these curricula will be addressed through the individual education plan. The student will develop this plan with input from the faculty advisor and college's student service personnel. The plan will seek to achieve the following:

  1. Confirmation of the student's major within the occupational therapy program,
  2. Discussion of professional life goals including career paths and post-graduate work,
  3. Satisfactory completion of requirements of the program,
  4. Completion of annual requirements for progression within the program,
  5. Development of skills necessary for succeeding in the program that they have chosen, and
  6. Referral of the student to the resources and services on campus if needed.

The educational plan will be used to form the student advising portfolio, resume, marketing portfolio, and other future information pieces that provide evidence of the student's development of skills, knowledge, and abilities.

Students are encouraged to view the CPHS Current Student Resources for tools, resources and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) regarding advising.

Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management’s role in advising

  • Answer questions regarding registration, credit completion, program requirements, Drake Curriculum, course transfer process, and study abroad opportunities
  • Coordinate registration process, verifying appropriate registration of courses
  • Review/approve educational plan waivers and transfer credit requests
  • Update degree audits with regard to substitutions, waivers, and transfer courses
  • Serve as a resource for additional degree opportunities such as minors and concentrations and combined degree programs
  • Coordinate and communicate opportunities for internship, study abroad, research and post-graduate study

Faculty Advisor’s role in advising

  • Help students adapt to the college environment
  • Assist students to develop an education plan by providing input and feedback.
  • Encourage discussions about the appropriateness of their chosen career track and the career options within the profession.
  • Assist students in identifying opportunities for professional skill development
  • Make appropriate referrals to university student service offices when academic or personal difficulties arise

Student’s role in advising

  • Initiate conversations with advisor
  • Access degree audit on MyDUSIS to verify correct records
  • Be familiar with policies/procedures and take responsibility for deadlines
  • Take an active role in the development of the advising process
  • Maintain and update the individual educational plan
  • Research career options and graduate/professional admissions processes
  • Seek out opportunities for involvement, leadership, and professional development

Student Services

Occupational Therapy Tuition/Fees and Scholarships

For information about tuition and fees for occupational therapy students, please visit the Student Financial Planning website. Refund policy information is also available at this site.

Each year occupational therapy students may apply for a number of occupational therapy scholarships. Students should refer to the website regularly for updated information about scholarships and pay special attention to individual deadlines for each scholarship. Occupational therapy students may apply for these scholarships for every year of enrollment in the College. Many scholarships include criteria that specifies student requirements to be a recipient. However, students are eligible to apply during the first year of the professional program.

Career Development

Career Placement

At the OTD Hooding Ceremony each year, graduates complete surveys indicating their plans upon graduation, including employer, salary and location.

Career Connection Opportunites

Only students can chart their own destinies, but the College tries to help in this endeavor by providing opportunities throughout the occupational therapy curriculum. Academic advisors are also a helpful resource, as well as the professional organizations that often hold sessions to assist in career planning and internship seeking.


Research Opportunities

Opportunities for occupational therapy doctoral students to experience research include:

  1. Multi-semester research projects with classmates and professional mentorship.  Students will also complete two Critically Appraised Papers during the OTD curriculum.  The curriculum allows students to complete additional research work if desired during their independent study courses and during their Doctoral Experience.
  2. Fieldwork at research-intensive corporations.
  3. Volunteer work with one of the Drake University occupational therapy faculty.

Additional information on research opportunities is available on the Research Opportunities website.

Student Occupational Therapy Organizations and Committees

A number of student organizations exist within the college for students to join and participate in including the Drake University Student Occupational Therapy Association (DUSOTA) open to pre-occupational therpay and occpuational therapy doctoral stduents. Students have the opportunity to join other University clubs, national organizations, fraternities and honor societies through the Student Life Center. Additionally, students are encouraged to apply and serve as representatives on a number of college committees including the Honor Code Committee. A complete list of CPHS student organizations and other opportunities for involvement can be obtained on the CPHS Student Organizations and College Committees website.        

Meeting Time for Organizations

A standard meeting time has been implemented for both Fall and Spring semesters. A specific time for each academic year will be determined based on course schedules. This standard meeting time will provide a block of time for student professional organizations and college committees to meet with reduced incidence of scheduling conflicts. Experiential education that requires students to be off-campus is exempt from this policy. 


Last Updated: September 13, 2017


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