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Occupational Therapy – Bridge Program, MS

Keiser University

This program is available in the following Florida campuses:

Fort Lauderdale Campus, Fort Myers Campus

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) Bridge Program at Keiser University is designed to educate health care providers with COTA credentials to build upon their existing professional experience. In the course of completing the MSOT graduate degree, students in the program will develop managerial, program assessment, and client evaluation skills while expanding their leadership roles in the field of occupational therapy.

Keiser University’s Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy will include instructional delivery methods that are both campus-based and hybrid.  The program integrates didactic, face-to-face, and clinical experiences to prepare students to achieve success on the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) exam, and to function as a generalist occupational therapist within the profession.

Program Mission

The mission of the Keiser University Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program is to establish excellence in occupational therapy education, research, and scholarly activities. The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program will prepare graduates who will be well versed in cultural diversity and will provide evidence-based occupational therapy services locally and globally to diverse communities. The MSOT program prepares occupational therapy professionals as providers and leaders in the delivery of high quality, accessible, culturally competent care within a highly technological environment. The MSOT program promotes, expands, and validates scientific knowledge and evidence-based practice through interdisciplinary research. The MSOT program strives to meet the educational and support needs of a diverse student population and provide opportunities for minority and non-traditional students. Graduates of the program are eligible candidates for the National Board of Certification of Occupational Therapy examination. Under state guidelines passage of the certification exam enables the ability to become a licensed professional.

Program Objectives

Keiser University’s MSOT program enables students to:

  • Objective 1: Articulate and apply occupational therapy theory, client-centered evaluation, and OT practice-related evidence to formulate, implement and modify occupation-based interventions.
  • Objective 2: Demonstrate effective interdisciplinary collaboration skills in order to maximize OT clients’ and populations functional outcomes.
  • Objective 3: Demonstrate the ability to effectively utilize available community resources and create/generate new resources to meet the needs of OT clients and populations.
  • Objective 4: Demonstrate entry-level clinical competence, professional behaviors and leadership abilities through a combination of academic and fieldwork education culminating in meeting established professional criteria.
  • Objective 5: Engage in scholarly endeavors to interpret and apply evidence-based practice data to OT practice.
  • Objective 6: Demonstrate professional written and verbal communication skills in writing through organizing, thinking critically, and communicating ideas and information in documents and presentations.

Prerequisites for Major Courses

The prerequisites for major courses are as follows (earned credits from an OTA program are acceptable):

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I with lab (4 credit hours) completed within the last five years
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II with lab (4 credit hours) completed within the last five years
  • Statistics (3 credit hours)
  • College Algebra (3 credit hours)
  • English Composition I (3 credit hours)
  • English Composition II (3 credit hours)
  • Introduction to Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • Abnormal Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • Life Span Development (3 credit hours)

Candidates must achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) with no grade less than C for all pre-requisite/co-requisite courses. Any pre-requisite courses taken prior to admission to the MSOT program must have been completed at a regionally accredited college or university. In addition, each candidate must successfully complete the personal interview with one of the MSOT faculty members.

Note: Students who enter the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program must have computer access with internet capabilities.  Basic computer skills (Word, PowerPoint, and e-mail) are required.

Program Outline

To receive a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy, students must earn 75 program-specific semester credit hours, inclusive of: Pre-requisite/Co-requisite courses, Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree courses (83 semester credit hours), upper-division undergraduate courses, and graduate courses.

Graduate Division Courses

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Upper Division Undergraduate Core Courses (24.0 credit hours)
OTH3000 - Foundations of Occupational Therapy 4.0 credit hours
OTH3036 - Occupational Perspective on Health 4.0 credit hours
OTH4517 - Health Care Management 4.0 credit hours
OTH4035 - Occupational Perspective on Health II 4.0 credit hours
OTH3413 - Functional Human Motion 4.0 credit hours
OTH4759 - Evidence-based Approaches in Occupational Therapy 4.0 credit hours

Upon completion of the above requirements, inclusive of pre-requisites and equivalent to 120.0 semester credit hours, a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Health will be awarded.

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Graduate Core Courses (51.0 credit hours)
OTH5202 - Occupation-Based Assessments: Children and Adolescents 4.0 credit hours
OTH5203 - Occupation-Based Assessments: Adults and Older Adults 3.0 credit hours
OTH5245 - Neuroanatomy for Occupational Therapy 4.0 credit hours
OTH5352 - Occupational Therapy Process: Mental Health 4.0 credit hours
OTH5428 - Occupational Therapy Process: Physical Disabilities 4.0 credit hours
OTH5853 - Field Work Level I, part 1 (Adults) 3.0 credit hours
OTH5854 - Field Work Level I, part 2 (Pediatric/Adolescent) 3.0 credit hours
OTH5604 - Occupational Therapy Process: Geriatric 4.0 credit hours
OTH5519 - Occupational Therapy Process: Pediatric 4.0 credit hours
OTH6770 - Applied Research in Occupational Therapy 2.0 credit hours
OTH6937 - Fieldwork Seminar I 2.0 credit hours
OTH6941 - Fieldwork Level II, part I 6.0 credit hours
OTH6938 - Fieldwork Seminar II 2.0 credit hours
OTH6942 - Fieldwork Level II, part II 6.0 credit hours

The MSOT program 16-week semesters are each comprised of two eight-week terms, exclusive of fieldwork semesters. Students are scheduled for two courses concurrently, each 8 weeks, except for the first semester. In the first semester students will take one (1) course per eight-week term.

The on-line component of each course is asynchronous and synchronous in nature; however, students are required to attend scheduled practical laboratories on-campus approximately one (1) weekend per month (Fridays and Saturdays).

Program Outcomes

The following Program Outcomes are only for the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program at Keiser University Fort Lauderdale Campus:

Graduation
Ft. Lauderdale Year
Students
Entering/Graduating
Graduation Rate
within 150% of time
2021 48/45 94%
2020 48/46 96%
2019 48/46 96%
Total 144/137 95%
Graduation
Ft. Myers Year
Students
Entering/Graduating
Graduation Rate
within 150% of time
2021 24/21 88%
Total 24/21 88%

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®)

Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapist administered by the NBCOT.  After successful completion of this exam, the graduate is credentialed to use the title of Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. To be eligible to sit for the NBCOT examination, and become licensed in the state, an individual must graduate with a master’s degree from an accredited program. Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at https://www.nbcot.org/Public/Home.

Ft. Lauderdale
Year
National
New Graduate
Total
Testing
National
New Graduate
Passing(%)
Keiser U.
Ft. Lauderdale
New Graduate
Testing
Keiser U.
Ft. Lauderdale
New Graduate
Passing (%)
2021 7175 97 47 85
2020 6492 97 41 68
2019 7057 98 37 78
Ft. Myers
Year
National
New Graduate
Total
Testing
National
New Graduate
Passing(%)
Keiser U.
Ft. Myers
New Graduate
Testing
Keiser U.
Ft. Myers
New Graduate
Passing (%)
2021 7175 97 21 100

Applicants should be aware that most agencies and credentialing bodies require an updated criminal background check as a prerequisite for fieldwork placements. Having been convicted of a felony and/or some misdemeanors may prevent the student from being licensed or employed or from completing fieldwork in pediatric/health care settings.

Cost of Attendance

Information on cost of attendance is published in the university catalog. Please visit https://www.keiseruniversity.edu/catalog/ for links to the undergraduate and graduate catalogs.

State Licensure Disclosure

Accreditation

Faculty

MSOT Fort Lauderdale Campus

Dr. Husney Amerih, PhD, OTR/L, CKTI (Program Director)
Dr. Amerih practiced as an occupational therapist for 29 years. He is an expert clinician with advanced training in Assistive Technology, Kinesiology, Mental health, Physical agent modalities, and Lymphedema. He worked as OT at various local hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Dr. Amerih has also worked as an OT Professor and Program Director. He brings 14 years of full-time academic experience, including teaching, administration, and faculty and program management. Dr. Amerih developed curricula and syllabi for multiple introductory and advanced courses at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. He has mentored many junior faculty and multiple doctoral students and conducted more than 27 peer-reviewed publications at local, national, and international venues.

Dr. Tara Casimano PhD, OT/L (Full-time Faculty)
Dr. Casimano brings a wealth of pediatric experience and teaching with her. She has been an occupational therapist for over 30 years, working in all areas of pediatric practice, from the NICU to transitional services. She has worked as an early intervention provider, school-based therapist, and a senior pediatric therapist in an orthopedic hospital in NYC. She had been both a professor and director of an OT program in a private college in NY for over 20 years. Dr. Casimano received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Florida and her PhD from Trident University International in Cypress, California. She holds advanced certification in Neurodevelopmental Therapy as well as received her Board Certification in Pediatrics (BCP) from AOTA. Dr. Casimano calls both Long Island, New York, and Naples, Florida, her home. She enjoys watching college sports, playing beach volleyball, and traveling. She has 4 children and some fur babies too.

Dr. Marek Graczkowski, EdD, MHSA, OT/L (Full-time faculty)
Dr. Graczkowski attained a Doctor in Education (EdD) degree from Walden University in 2010, Masters in Health Services Administration degree from Florida International University in 2005, and a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Florida International University in 2001. Dr. Graczkowski was born in Poland and lived there for the first 26 years of his life. Currently, Dr. Graczkowski and his wife reside in South Florida. Dr. Graczkowski has extensive experience with adults/geriatric populations with a wide variety of orthopedic and neurological problems. Dr. Graczkowski is a very strong supporter of holistic approaches to human beings, disease/disability prevention, and alternative forms of healing. Dr. Graczkowski’s favorite quote is “Veni, vidi, vici” or “I came, I saw, I conquered” (attributed to Gaius Julius Caesar).

Dr. Laura A. Reyes, OTD, MOT, OTR/L (Academic Fieldwork Coordinator)
Dr. Laura A. Reyes is the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for Keiser University Ft. Lauderdale’s MSOT Bridge Program and has been in this role since the program’s first cohort. Dr. Reyes received her Master’s in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University and her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from the University of St. Augustine. For her doctoral capstone, Dr. Reyes was able to create alternative community-based occupational therapy options for Level II Fieldwork experiences in response to how the pandemic impacted student placements. Her passion for working with the medically complex population and assistive technology has resulted in the opportunity to speak nationally. As the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Dr. Reyes works with community affiliates on establishing and enhancing their organization’s fieldwork programs and mentoring students.

Dr. Christina M. Sanford, DrOT, OTR/L (Full-time faculty)
Dr. Sanford attained a Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (DrOT) degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2014, and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2010. Her doctoral research focused on the use of chair yoga as a therapeutic medium in adults post-stroke. Dr. Sanford has experience treating young adult, adult, and geriatric populations with a wide variety of orthopedic and neurological problems in both inpatient rehabilitation and acute care settings. Dr. Sanford has been a board member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Broward Health and is currently on the IRB at KU. She also has experience representing occupational therapy in numerous interdisciplinary disease-specific committees, including CVA, SCI, and TBI. Dr. Sanford has been teaching courses in the KU MSOT Program since 2016. Dr. Sanford is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA).

MSOT Fort Myers Campus

Kevin Bobos, OTD, MA, MS, OTR/L (MSOT Program Chair/PD)
Dr. Bobos serves as Program Director for the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at Keiser University – Fort Myers campus. Dr. Bobos has a BS in Fitness/Exercise Science; MA in Physical Education; MS in Occupational Therapy; and a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Dr. Bobos has over 15 years of experience as an OT, working in various healthcare settings and with all age groups. He has taught At Gannon University and South University in their OTD program, at St. Augustine University in the MSOT program and was the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Assistant Professor at South University in their OTA program. Dr. Bobos clinical and research experience has focused on physical rehabilitation, acute care, and in-patient.

Vanessa Carmody, OTD, OTR/L, CAPS (Academic Fieldwork Coordinator/Full time faculty)
Dr. Carmody is a faculty and the academic fieldwork coordinator for the MSOT program. She received a Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree from University of Toledo. She is a Certified Aging in Place/ADA Specialist (CAPS) with over 8 years of experience with Parkinson’s and low vision. She was a low vision occupational therapist and the Director of Clinical Development at Low Vision Works. She continues to work with several different community projects and is currently a volunteer at the humane Society of Manatee County.

Diana Guest, Dr. OT, MSOT, OTR/L, CHT (Full time faculty)
Dr. Guest is a faculty in the MSOT Program. Originally from Michigan, Dr. Guest earned her bachelor’s in occupational therapy from Western Michigan University and her advanced master’s in occupational therapy from University of Western Ontario. She has worked in numerous healthcare settings, rotating through a variety of adult-based and geriatric programs. Dr. Guest also achieved her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She most recently attained her Certified Hand Therapy credential and co-edited the latest practice test exam located within Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation: A Quick Reference Guide (Weiss & Rogers, 2019), widely used amongst those studying for the CHT national board exam.

Dr. Tyler Lacertosa, OTD, OTR/L (Full time faculty)
Dr. Lacertosa has over 8 years’ experience in the OT field, working with children and adolescents with autism ADHD, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and developmental disorders. He has also provided OT services to clients with cerebrovascular accident, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and other conditions. Dr. Lacertosa is a Certified Car Fit Technician and a Certified Lift Expert. He has a BS degree in Biology and a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.

Dr. Megen Myers, OTD, OTR/L (Full time faculty)
Dr. Myers has a BS in Psychology with a minor in Biology; MS in Occupational Therapy; and a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. She has over 12 years’ experience in the field of Occupational Therapy working with children and adults. Her specialty is in Geriatrics/Adult population. She has treated patients with various orthopedic, cardiopulmonary, cardiovascular, and neurological diagnoses. Dr. Myers clinical and research interest is in geriatrics.

Dr. Lisbet Montero, OTD, OTR/L, ASDCS (Adjunct faculty)
Dr. Montero has over 4 years’ experience in the OT field. She is a Certified Autism Spectrum Clinical Specialist. She works with children and adolescents and has worked with geriatric clients in skilled nursing faculties and through home health settings. She has a BA in Psychology and a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.

Dr. Nereida Ritz, OTD, OTR/L, LMT, C/NDT, CIMI (Full time faculty)
Dr. Ritz has been an occupational therapist for over 33 years. She has worked in hospitals (acute care, subacute care, and outpatient), home health, school systems, hand therapy, geriatrics, and orthopedics. In the past 10 years she has focused on pediatrics including early intervention. Dr. Ritz received her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Spalding University. She is SIPT certified and certified in Neuro-Developmental Treatment. Her clinical and research interests are in pediatrics.

Dr. Michael Gawronski, PhD, OTR/L (Adjunct faculty)
Dr. Gawronski has eighteen years of college leadership, administration, and leadership. He earned his Master’s in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) from D’Youngville University in 1997 and his PhD in Higher Education from Colorado State University. Dr. Gawronski has over 25 years of experience in the OT field. He earned national certification as an Assistive Technology Professional specializing in Computer Accessibility, Wheeled Mobility, and Home Modifications. He has presented on assistive technology at various conferences and workshops and is published in the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability.

Dr. Jennifer Honda, OTD, OTR/L (Adjunct faculty)
Dr. Honda attained her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2018. Dr. Honda has experience treating neonatal and pediatric populations with a wide variety of orthopedic and neurological problems in both inpatient rehabilitation and acute care settings. She is certified in CBOT – Advanced Practice Swallowing Assessment, Evaluation, and Intervention and in Neonatal Touch and Massage Certification. She is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Dr. Honda has spent time at the Kenya Medical Training College as a guest lecture on the topic of OT pediatrics. She is published in the Michigan Journal of Service Learning and her research interests are in the area of pediatric cancer.


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