Occupational Therapy

Change Lives with an Occupational Therapy Degree

Occupational therapy is a profession dedicated to assisting individuals participate in the activities—or occupations—they do every day in a wide variety of settings.

Keuka College’s program will give you the tools you need to use assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities of individuals, groups, or communities.

In many instances, occupational therapists work with specific groups to help them engage in activities of daily life. This can include training individuals to use assistive technologies—such as wheelchairs—or teach them new or different ways to walk, hold objects, or complete tasks at work.

Occupational Therapy

Real-World OT Experience

You'll graduate from Keuka College knowing exactly how you'd like to focus your practice.

Thanks to the Keuka College Field Period®, you'll have the chance to experience in different OT settings every year — starting your freshman year — in addition to your required fieldwork placements. 

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Program Overview

Nestled upon the shores of beautiful Keuka Lake, the Division of Applied Health and Wellness at Keuka College offers a 4-year undergraduate, B.S. degree in Occupational Science followed by a 1-year graduate, M.S. degree in Occupational Therapy.

After completing your undergraduate degree, you are guaranteed a spot in the graduate program as long as you have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and are in good professional standing. This 4+1 model has many benefits for you as a student. Our students are eligible for undergraduate tuition, financial aid, and scholarships for their undergraduate 4-year studies compared to other 3+2 programs.

At Keuka College, you’ll be part of the OT family from day one. For example, as a freshman you will be assigned an OT advisor who will guide you throughout your undergraduate career.

You will be encouraged to take part in occupational therapy student organizations and division events and activities. You’ll also take an OT course during your very first semester on campus which provides you with an early introduction to the profession. 

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Learn More About Occupational Therapy

Fieldwork is a required part of the academic curriculum at every accredited occupational therapy program in the United States. Fieldwork is an out-of-classroom experiential learning opportunity for senior and graduate occupational therapy students. Fieldwork helps students integrate academic coursework into real life situations while they learn from experienced professionals.

Every OT student at Keuka College completes two “level I” and two “level II” Fieldwork placements. For each placement, students work collaboratively with an academic fieldwork coordinator to select a placement that best fits with the student’s preferences, personality and learning style, and learning objectives.

In addition to the required Fieldwork placements, Keuka College students also have the unique opportunity to participate in Field Period® internships in their freshman, sophomore, and junior years. In total, by the time our students graduate from Keuka College with a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, they will have completed approximately 1,380 hours of hands-on learning.

Additional information about Occupational Therapy Fieldwork requirements are available from the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Level I Fieldwork

Level I Fieldwork helps students develop a basic understanding of clients’ needs and the role of occupational therapy, while enriching and supporting didactic coursework.

As a senior in the OT program at Keuka College you will complete two level I Fieldwork placements, totaling 140 hours. For most students, level I experiences will include exposure to both traditional settings and emerging areas of practice.

Level II Fieldwork

After completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Occupational Science and other requirements, graduate students at Keuka College complete two Level II Fieldworks. Each one is a full-time, 12 week placement.

Level II Fieldwork helps students to develop clinical reasoning and professional skills under the supervision of a licensed clinician. Students implement the core values and beliefs of the profession while expanding their knowledge and ability to apply classroom instruction to real-world experiences.

Finding, evaluating, and applying research to practice are important skills for all occupational therapy practitioners. In the OT program at Keuka College, you will be introduced to “evidence-based practice” strategies from the beginning, and your ability to understand and use clinical research will grow as you progress through the program.

Students in the OT graduate program also work closely with a faculty advisor, participating in a range of scholarly activities under the guidance of an experienced mentor. Members of the OT faculty are committed to pursuing research and scholarship that enhances their own teaching and practice while contributing to the occupational therapy profession.
 

The Occupational Therapy program at Keuka College provides many opportunities for students to get involved and build professional skills. In addition to the college, state, and national organizations described here, all students are encouraged to participate in our dynamic Honors Program.

Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA)

SOTA is the occupational therapy student club at Keuka College and is open to all OT majors. It provides professional learning opportunities in addition to promoting a sense of fun and community connection amongst students and faculty.

Members meet regularly and participate in social and educational events, fundraising activities, and community service. SOTA is sponsored by the Student Senate as an officially recognized club at Keuka College. Membership in SOTA prepares students for participation in professional occupational therapy organizations.

Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE)

Keuka College has established the Alpha Sigma chapter of this prestigious national honor society for outstanding occupational therapy students.

Eligible students must have second semester junior standing, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.70, and rank in the top 30% of their occupational therapy class. PTE is sponsored by the Student Senate as an officially recognized organization at Keuka College. Members meets regularly and engage in a wide range of activities that promote scholarship, leadership, and service.

New York State Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA)

NYSOTA is a professional membership organization open to occupational therapy students and practitioners. NYSOTA’s mission is to promote the profession of occupational therapy and to represent the interests of occupational therapy practitioners who live and work in New York. Membership dues support legislative advocacy, resources, and an annual conference.

Students are encouraged to become members of NYSOTA  and to participate in district level meetings and events. Keuka College is located within the Rochester District, however students may also participate in the district they reside in.

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

AOTA is the national professional association for the occupational therapy profession. Its mission is to set standards and provide advocacy to advance occupational therapy practice, education, and research. Membership is open to occupational therapy practitioners and students, and students receive a significant discount. 

Members receive access to many professional resources, member discounts, and opportunities for engagement at the local and national level.

For admission to the occupational therapy program, candidates must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 with an 85% average in math and science coursework.

Apply Today

Your future professors are accomplished professionals and scholars who have a passion for exceptional teaching. Your professors will get to know you by name, learn your strengths and goals, and take a personal interest in your success.

Christopher Alterio, Dr.OT, OTR/L

Division Chair of Applied Health and Wellness
Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy
Director of Disability Services

Academic Credentials

Nova Southeastern University
Dr.OT
SUNY at Buffalo
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Alterio graduated cum laude from the SUNY at Buffalo Occupational Therapy program in 1987. He worked as a clinician, educator, and manager before completing his post-professional clinical doctorate at Nova Southeastern University in 2007.

He authored the textbook “Clinically oriented theory for occupational therapy” and co-authored "Caring for someone in your home." He writes extensively on a professional blog that covers occupational therapy topics. His clinical experience ranges across practice areas but his primary interest and focus is in pediatrics. He has presented at state and national conferences on topics ranging from pediatric clinical care and injury prevention programs, certification standards for occupational therapists, occupational therapy history, and appropriate use of social media in a professional context.

He has volunteered for 27 years for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, serving as pediatric subject matter expert on various exam and product development committees, and in all Board of Director leadership positions including Board Chairperson from 2010-12. He owns ABC Therapeutics, a private occupational and physical therapy practice in Western New York. He has served at Keuka College in various roles since 1992 and is currently Associate Professor, Chair, and Program Director of the occupational therapy division.

Professional Interests

Pediatrics, private practice, entrepreneurship, social media, occupational therapy theory, occupational therapy history.

Kristen Bacon, O.T.D., OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Utica College
M.S.
Syracuse University at Utica College
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Kristen Bacon began her career working as an occupational therapy assistant in 2003 while attending the weekend program at Utica College. After graduating in 2006 with a B.S. from Syracuse University at Utica College and M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Utica College in 2007, she then earned a post-professional clinical doctorate from Chatham University in 2011.

Dr. Bacon has presented at several national occupational therapy conferences and currently volunteers for organizations including AOTA and NBCOT. She is working on AOTA’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and a Flipped Learning 3.0 Certification, Level I. Her professional focus includes the adult and geriatric populations with a special interest in TBI and orthopedics.

Dr. Bacon began her academic work as adjunct professor for Keuka College in 2014. Since then, she has continued on as full-time academician and is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Bacon was appointed to faculty development committee, is co-advisor for the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE), a national occupational therapy honor society, and completed a three-year term for Sigma Lambda Sigma (SLS) advisor the college wide honor society.

Michele Bennett ’05 M’06, O.T.D., OTR/L

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Keuka College
M.S.
Keuka College
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Bennett graduated from Keuka College in the first OT master's program. After college she worked in local hospital and rehabilitation sites serving children to older adults. As she transitioned from rehabilitation sites to teaching she completed her post-professional clinical doctorate at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa. in 2013.

Dr. Bennett has presented topics at national conferences that have included international, interprofessional service learning, program evaluation/outcome reporting and fieldwork level I experiences in emerging areas of practice. Dr. Bennett is currently Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and remains active working with adults in their homes as a per-diem therapist for Visiting Nursing Association/Kaleida Health in the Steuben County region. Dr. Bennett joined the Arc of Yates board of directors for a three year term. 

Professional Interests

Adults with developmental disabilities, middle to older adult populations, and professional development of the OT students of Keuka College.

Kelly Christensen ’10 M’11, O.T.D., OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Keuka College
M.S.
Keuka College
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Christensen graduated with her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Keuka College. She went on to complete her post-professional clinical doctorate at Chatham University in 2015. She is an Assistant Professor and also the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at Keuka College. Dr. Christensen remains active working with the adult population in a variety of settings including acute rehabilitation, inpatient hospital, short term rehabilitation, and long term care. Her research interests include neurological diagnoses and sports related concussion care.

Cassie Hey ’04 M’07, D.B.H., M.S., OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Arizona State University
D.B.H.
Keuka College
M.S.
Keuka College
B.S.

Beth Jordan, O.T.D., OTR/L

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Utica College
M.S.
Syracuse University at Utica College
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Jordan began her professional career as an occupational therapy assistant in 1989. She continued her education at Utica College and graduated with a M.S. in Occupational Therapy in 2007 and earned a post-professional clinical doctorate from Chatham University in 2011. Dr. Jordan began teaching adjunct before transitioning from clinician to academician. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Keuka College.

Dr. Jordan has presented at the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) national conference and actively volunteers through AOTA as a peer reviewer and member of Community of Leaders. She is also currently volunteering with the National Board Certification for Occupational Therapy as a pediatric subject matter expert on an exam development committee. Dr. Jordan is in the preliminary stages of engaging in scholarly research with faculty from three other universities with a focus on improving engagement and intentionality of learning in college students. She is an advisor for Keuka College’s Sigma Lambda Sigma Honor Society and is the faculty liaison and chair for the DRIVE Steering Committee. Dr. Jordan continues to work as a senior occupational therapist at Margaret L. Williams Developmental Evaluation Center in Syracuse, NY.

Carrie Roberts ’02, O.T.D., OTR/L

Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning
Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Keuka College
B.S.

Biography

Dr. Carrie Roberts has been an occupational therapist for over 15 years, with experience in various areas of  practice including the hospital and nursing home, with a greater focus in pediatrics birth-21 years old. She graduated from Keuka College with a degree in occupational therapy; she also graduated from Chatham University in 2013 with her clinical occupational therapy doctoral degree in which her research focus was related to children with Autism Spectrum. Dr. Roberts was an adjunct professor for Keuka College before joining the Occupational Therapy program full time in 2013.

Dianne Trickey-Rokenbrod, O.T.D., M.B.A., OTR/L

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Chatham University
O.T.D.
Alfred University
M.B.A.
University at Buffalo
B.S.

Biography

 

Dr. Trickey graduated with honors with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from SUNY at Buffalo in 1980. She completed an M.B.A. at Alfred University and then completed her doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Chatham University.

Her clinical career has been through service in a variety of health care settings specializing in physical dysfunction rehabilitation in hospital-based outpatient clinics, inpatient acute units, home care and geriatric settings, as well as some acute psychiatric experience early in her career. Across these settings, Dr. Trickey has developed management expertise by operating multidisciplinary rehabilitation programs, developing and operating hospital-based nursing homes, and offering management consulting to healthcare agencies in trouble.

After teaching courses in both business and Occupational Therapy as an adjunct at higher education institutions including Alfred University, Alfred State College of Technology, and Keuka College, she joined the faculty at Keuka College full-time in 2009. Dr. Trickey is currently a tenured faculty member with the rank of Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Division.

Dr. Trickey has published a textbook, "Therapy in Action: A library of realistic case studies with Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins" in February, 2016. She continues to conduct research related to driving independently as well as housing insecurity.

Sunny Winstead, Ed.D., OTR/L

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

University of New England
Ed.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University
M.S.
Binghamton University
B.A.

Biography

Dr. Sunny Winstead has been an occupational therapist for over 20 years, with experience in various areas of adult clinical practice, management, and program consultation and development. She received a BA in English Literature and Rhetoric from Binghamton University, a MS in Occupational Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an EdD in Educational Leadership from the University of New England, where her dissertation focused on competency development in community-based occupational therapy. Dr. Winstead serves as a reviewer for an occupational therapy journal, and serves Keuka College on a number of committees, including the Institutional Review Board. Her teaching focus is research and scholarship, along with adult occupational therapy practice. 

Holly Young, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

Academic Credentials

Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D.
Pennsylvania State University
M.S.
University of North Carolina
B.S.

The occupational therapy program is accredited through 2025 by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at:

ACOTE
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
(301) 652-AOTA
www.acoteonline.org

Graduates of the master’s degree program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an 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. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

For further information on these limitations, students may contact NBCOT at:

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
One Bank Street, Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 990-7979

In New York and most other states, a professional license is required for practice and the NBCOT examination serves as the licensing examination in most states. Students are, however, required to apply separately for licensure and certification upon graduation.

Program Outcomes

Year

Students Entering Master's Program

Students Graduating Master's Program

Graduation Rate

2017

34

33

97%

2018

36

36

100%

2019

33

33

100%

TOTAL

103

102

99%

Graduation Rates

The total number of graduates from the Keuka College Master of Occupational Therapy program during the 3-year period of 2017-2019 was 102, with an overall graduation rate of 99 percent.

Program performance data on the NBCOT certification examination is available at the NBCOT website.

NBCOT Exam Results

Contact Information

Christopher Alterio, Dr.OT, OTR/L

Division Chair of Applied Health and Wellness

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

Director of Disability Services

(315) 279-5483
calterio1@keuka.edu