HU’s occupational therapy program to open fall 2014

HUNTINGTON, Ind. Huntington University's first graduate-level occupational therapy programs could open as early as fall of 2014.

With Board of Trustees approval, the university is moving forward with developing the master's and doctorate-level degrees. This will be the institution's first doctorate program.

The graduate programs will be located within the new Life Science Education and Research Consortium of Northeast Indiana at the Parkview Randallia campus in Fort Wayne. The programs will build on Huntington's undergraduate degrees in exercise science, nursing and allied health.

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education has accepted the university's letter of intent to develop the graduate-level programs.

"Occupational therapy is an in-demand field which is expected to continue to grow in coming years," said Dr. Ann McPherren, senior vice president for strategy. "We want to prepare students who have a heart to serve others as well as the knowledge and motivation to make a positive impact in their field."

The program has received a high-level of interest with more than 50 inquiries from prospective students.

"This is an exciting opportunity for the university to build on the already strong health careers in the Fort Wayne area," McPherren said. "We look forward to partnering with the many health care professionals in the region."

Through the consortium, the university is currently offering bachelor's degree programs in human resource management, not-for-profit leadership and RN to BSN degree completion as well as a Master of Counseling program.