LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announced it is launching its first doctoral program this fall, initiating its Occupational Therapy doctorate program.
Since its founding in 1897, Bay Path has evolved into an on-site and online university offering a four-year residential campus for women, the innovative on-ground and online American Women’s College for women seeking an undergraduate degree, and master’s degrees in a variety of disciplines for women and men. The new doctoral program will be available to women and men.
“This is a historic moment for Bay Path University, an institution with over a century of experience in meeting students where they are,” President Carol Leary said. “The launch of the Occupational Therapy doctorate offers yet another avenue where Bay Path is helping to meet workforce demand within the growing field of occupational therapy, while providing our students a career-focused curriculum and pathway in the field. The addition of this doctorate program, fully online and led by Dr. Julie Watson, one of the nation’s experts in the field of education for those in occupational therapy, helps us meet the needs of today’s students in one of the fastest-growing fields within healthcare.”
According to Watson, coordinator of the new doctorate program, the all-online format is designed to make the program available and accessible to individuals looking to advance in their career in occupational therapy and may be particularly appealing to those in mid-career and raising a family. “Having experienced pursuing an advanced degree as a working parent, I understand just how important the online program design is for those living very busy lives, looking to improve their skills and advance in the field of occupational therapy,” she noted.
The program will offer career tracks that are relevant and applicable in the industry, including a pathway to occupational-therapy instruction at the college level, where there is a shortage of instructors needed to train the next generation of occupational therapists; occupational-therapy administration; and a career pathway to work in the mental-health field, where there is an increasing need for occupational therapists.
The program, which is being introduced on the 100th year since the establishment of the occupational-therapy profession, offers 12 courses, including “Utilization of Research in Evidence-based Practice,” “Application of Occupational Science,” “Community Practice, Program Development, and Entrepreneurship,” “Bioethics,” “Leadership and Advocacy,” capstone projects, and courses specific to a student’s chosen track. Those interested in enrolling should click here.
Bay Path has educated occupational therapists for more than 20 years, and has 850 alumni in the OT field. In 2015 Bay Path established a campus location in East Longmeadow with its Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center, which is home to the Occupational Therapy graduate program. The 58,000-square-foot facility provides state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms, and study areas, creating an innovative campus experience for its students.