Belmont’s Entry Level Doctorate Program in Occupational Therapy was recently granted a 10-year reaccreditation term from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). ACOTE awards an accreditation period of 5, 7, or 10 years with 7 years as the “standard number of years for reaccreditation” and 10 years granted to programs with “demonstrated exceptional educational quality and no areas of noncompliance.”
ACOTE’s primary purposes are quality assurance and program improvement/enhancement. To fulfill these purposes, ACOTE requires programs to engage in a self-study and submit an evaluative report. Although program evaluation is ongoing, the formal self-study process was initiated more than a year ago under the direction of Lorry Liotta-Kleinfeld, EdD, OTR/L, program chair, Yvette Hachtel, JD, OTR/L, self-study chair, and Debra Gibbs, interim OTD program director in conjunction with the Curriculum Committee and occupational therapy faculty, administration, students, graduates, fieldwork educators, staff and stakeholders. The self-study required faculty to participate in intensive reviews to assure compliance with ACOTE standards.
Prior to the onsite visit, current OTD Program Director Dr. Sabrina Salvant led a series of preparatory discussions in collaboration with faculty, students and stakeholders to further examine adherence to ACOTE standards. The on-site evaluation occurred from Nov. 9-11 and included interviews with senior leadership, administration, faculty, students, employers, fieldwork educators and graduates.
Belmont’s 10 year reaccreditation was granted at the Accreditation Council’s Dec. 4 meeting. The Council cited numerous program strengths, four areas to consider for improvement and no areas of noncompliance.
Dean of Belmont’s College of Health Sciences Dr. Cathy Taylor said, “Such recognition reflects program excellence, exceptional faculty expertise and tireless commitment to student success. This is indeed a proud moment in the history of occupational therapy at Belmont.”