When you study kinesiology at Huntington University, a host of learning opportunities are available right at your fingertips. From state-of-the-art equipment to the seasoned experience of field experts (included HU's own certified therapy dog), you will have a well-rounded education that will prepare you for a job in your chosen field. 

And if your chosen field is occupational therapy, Huntington University is a one-stop-shop. From our new occupational therapy assistant program to our doctor of occupational therapy program, you can do it all right here at HU.

State-of-the-art equipment: The Bod Pod

Huntington University's Bod Pod offers students the most advanced means possible for measuring body composition. The system helps students in the exercise science program accurately measure body composition (fat and fat-free mass) in adults and children.

With the equipment, students have the capability to measure a person’s resting metabolic rate and total energy expenditure during each body composition test without the person succumbing to performing any physical activity testings. Assessing someone’s body composition using the Bod Pod lasts five minutes.

The Department of Kinesiology also has created partnerships with community organizations to use the equipment. The Bod Pod is housed in the Merillat Complex in the exercise science labs. 

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Certified Therapy Dog

Huntington University is pleased to offer students the experience of interacting with and learning from Hope, a two-year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Hope has an extensive training background with her handler, Nicole Scheiman, HU’s occupational therapy assistant program director. Scheiman initially became interested in therapy dogs while guest lecturing at Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando, Florida, where she previously served as the program director for the occupational therapy assistant program and as associate professor. She saw students smiling and laughing with a therapy dog, which inspired her to write up a proposal to the university for her to have her own dog. The result was Hope, who started attending classes with Scheiman at 14 weeks old.

“For those students who are very shy, it helps bring them out of their shells,” Scheiman said. “It also helps me meet students I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet otherwise.”

Hope has received the American Kennel Club’s S.T.A.R. Puppy training, as well as special obedience training. After a year, she became certified with Therapy Dogs International.

“The training is very rigorous,” Scheiman said. “The harder part is keeping everyone else consistent with her rules.”

Scheiman chose to work with Hope specifically for her small size, even though most people would perceive therapy dogs to be larger.

“The reason I chose a smaller dog is because she’s a perfect size for hospital beds and nursing homes,” Scheiman said. “Also, sometimes larger dogs can be intimidating to toddlers and kids.”

As far Hope’s role on campus goes, she will assist Scheiman in lectures on animal assisted therapy in the occupational therapy department. Students will learn how to work with Hope in therapy situations. She also will spend time with students, faculty and staff.

“One thing I’ve seen is how much the students enjoy Hope,” Scheiman said. “She’s open to everyone because it’s her job to make students happy.”

Hope has a full résumé of various types of work she provides such as working with children with autism, adults with dementia and in mental health facilities. Additionally, she has been a part of three student-led research projects, which Scheiman hopes to continue at HU. She also intends to involve Hope in the Huntington City-Township Public Library’s Paws-To-Read program, which allows children to practice their reading skills by reading aloud to a registered therapy dog.

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Occupational Therapy

Huntington University’s Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program is unique in the fact that the associate and bachelor degree are earned at the same time leading to a variety of post-graduation opportunities. An OTA graduate may enter the workforce following successful passing of the national exam or apply to a masters or doctoral program to become an occupational therapist. This is why Huntington University's OT program is unique, not only do we have an OTA program, but we also offer an OTD (occupational therapy doctorate) degree. HU's OTD is ranked the #1 OT school by GraduatePrograms.com (out of 450 OT schools). 

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