JWU to Graduate First Class of Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

Story by JWU Media Relations , on Apr 28, 2022 12:30 PM


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — April 28, 2022 — Nearly three years after expanding its presence and influence in the health arena by offering the first entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program in Rhode Island, Johnson & Wales University (JWU) will celebrate its first class of graduates at its upcoming commencement ceremonies.

The university welcomed its first student cohort to campus on June 10, 2019 to begin the full-time, 36-month program. This year, the program will graduate its first class on Friday, May 6, during JWU’s Graduate Studies Commencement at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The graduating class will be one of two new doctoral programs at this year’s commencement, along with the Doctor of Business Administration.

Graduation comes just a few days after the end of Occupation Therapy month in April; the program was awarded full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in December of 2021. The goal of the accreditation process is to provide an assurance of quality, as well as external perspectives to help higher education improve as an institution of higher education.

In addition to applauding program director, Nancy R. Dooley Ph.D., OTR/L, CDP, for “open communication” and “leadership,” ACOTE specified, “unwavering support of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, as evidenced by resources provided to the program in terms of faculty release time, state-of-the art laboratories, lab equipment (e.g., driving simulator, Dynavision), and supports to promote teaching excellence and scholarship. This support has resulted in faculty with strong ownership and dedication to the program and student success.”

Dooley called the accreditation and first graduating class “a significant milestone.”

“We're very excited for them to get out in the world because they've been breaking ground with us for the last three years and they've been able to really perform well out in their own community placements and fieldwork,” she continued. “They've been doing their capstone projects and are getting great feedback. We're really excited that they're going to be out there as ambassadors for us.”

About JWU

Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 8,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its campuses in Providence, Rhode Island and Charlotte, North Carolina. An innovative educational leader, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts and sciences, business, engineering, food innovation, hospitality, nutrition, health and wellness. It also offers undergraduate programs in culinary arts, dietetics and design. JWU’s unique model provides students with the personalized attention, academic expertise and industry connections that inspire professional success and personal growth. The university’s impact is global, with alumni in 125 countries pursuing careers worldwide. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Rachel Nunes, Senior Communications and Media Relations Specialist