Indiana State University Newsroom

Occupational therapy program receives accreditation

May 8, 2015

Indiana State University's master's degree program in occupational therapy has earned accreditation from the American Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

In granting accreditation, the council commended program administrators for their commitment and support.

"The program director is admired for her ability to pioneer and develop an occupational therapy program devoted to academic excellence, inter-professional education and community service," the council's final accreditation report said, describing the program as "a model that benefits the broader community as well as the university."

The council said faculty in the department of applied medicine and rehabilitation are valued for their expertise, insight and engagement in inter-professional education.

"Their passion and enthusiasm for teaching, their availability, approachability, and responsiveness to the needs of students and the overall community is both impressive and respected," the accreditation report said. "The excitement and enthusiasm of the clinical educators and advisory board was noted. It was quite evident that they were supportive of the occupational therapy program and were vested in its development and success. Their willingness to serve on the advisory board and to provide clinical education to the occupational therapy students in the program has helped to increase volunteerism and community engagement."

The report also recognized students for their professionalism, enthusiasm for learning, community service, and commitment to inter-professional learning and collaboration with students and faculty in other disciplines.

"This is evidenced by research endeavors with faculty in other disciplines as well as service projects with healthcare practitioners and students from other disciplines," it said.

"Congratulations to the faculty and staff of the occupational therapy program," said Jack Turman, dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services. "This is validation of the hard work they put into ensuring that the program meets the needs of its students and the community. A special thank you to Jeanne Sowers, founding director of the program, for guiding, managing and overseeing the accreditation process."

The three-year program, launched in 2013, educates future health care providers who possess skills as occupational therapists, consultants, educators, managers and researchers. It focuses on quality care for rural and underserved populations. Occupational therapy is among several new programs the college has developed in recent years to address shortages of health care providers.

In its report, the council suggested opportunities for professional enrichment by faculty, several of whom are new, and that written policies and procedures be provided for student probation, suspension and dismissal.

The accreditation is valid for five years but may be extended to seven years upon addressing two areas of noncompliance with council standards requiring written policies and procedures for appropriate use of equipment and supplies and ensuring that fieldwork reflects the sequence and scope of classroom content.

Photo: - Leeann Michl (left) a student in Indiana State University's master's degree program in occupational therapy, placed a splint on fellow student Stephanie Wellman's hand. The occupational therapy program recently earned accreditation from the American Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

Contact: Jeanne Sowers, associate professor of applied medicine and rehabilitation and director, occupational therapy program, College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services, Indiana State University, 812-237-3962 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or