OTD student

Here at Concordia, we believe we have an award-winning Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program. Our program empowers students to grow into their highest potential and become a leader in their community. The program emphasizes the importance of serving all clients with the best care possible. There is a wide range of OT settings that students are placed in, from a classroom or laboratory to clinic-based instruction.

Our program prepares students for the professional world and to make a significant impact in their communities. It enables students to develop leadership skills, solve occupational problems, and become change-makers. There are so many possibilities and opportunities that the OTD program offers. Don’t just take our word for it, here is what some of our students have to say.

Emily Furmanek

Emily Furmanek previously received her bachelor’s in psychology at Carthage College. But she didn’t stop there. She wanted to pursue higher education to eventually teach OT in a university setting. She says, “CUW offered me an opportunity to achieve an OTD degree allowing me to be one step closer to reaching my goal.”

What’s your favorite thing about your current capstone project/experience as an OTD student?

I absolutely love learning. This opportunity allows me to further practice the craft of writing curriculum and delivering it at a high level of education. The support CUW faculty provided me was tremendous, and only furthered my passion for this career.

How do you feel this project/ experience has prepared you for your future as a Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR)?  

It has allowed me to practice the leadership and communication skills that will prepare me greatly for my future as an OTR, no matter where I go.

Would you recommend the OTD program to others? Why?

Depending on your reason for OTD, I would say yes. Specifically, pursuing a career in higher education, was an easy yes for me.

“If you are even slightly considering pursing on OTD just do it! It is hard work, and requires a timely and organized work habit, but the work you do and the changes you can begin to create for the future of OT are endless.”

Emily Furmanek

Baylee Noe

Baylee Noe partnered with Mercy Hospital Janesville as her capstone site. Practicing OTR, Kayla Engelking, acted as Baylee’s capstone mentor at the hospital. Hear what they both had to say about the experience.

Why did you choose to do the OTD program at CUW?

Baylee: I knew pursuing a doctorate was the right choice because it would increase my understanding of research methodologies. As a result, this will help me advocate for the purpose and benefits of OT. I support the growth of the profession as healthcare is constantly changing and increasing in evidenced based-care techniques. I also aspire to teach later in my professional career as I have the desire to share what I have learned and inspire students who wish to take an innovative approach to OT.

What is your favorite thing about your current capstone project/experience as an OTD student?

Baylee: My favorite part was collaborating with my mentors and other staff in the hospital. I learned so much and was able to advocate for OT and its beneficial outcomes.

Kayla: My favorite part of the experience was watching the interdisciplinary collaboration on Baylee’s project. It has made a greater personal connection with our surgical team with therapy staff. I also greatly look forward to the research outcomes that I can immediately implement in my daily routine.

How do you feel this project/experience has prepared you for your future as an OTR?

Baylee: The capstone project better prepares you for your future career in OT. This is because you gain more experience being assertive and direct with other disciplines. I have been able to make professional relationships with other healthcare workers. The greater the teamwork, the better the patient care!

Kayla: We will be getting the most current research that we can immediately implement for our patients. It has also fostered greater communication between therapy and the nursing/ MD/ PA/ cardiothoracic team.

Would you recommend the OTD program to others? Why?

Baylee: If you are highly motivated and are willing to go the extra mile, DO the OTD program! The difference between the master’s program and the doctorate program has nothing to do with having the skills to be a better clinician, but the doctorate curriculum requires a lot more self-direction and independent study.

Any advice for future OTD students?

Baylee: Think about potential capstone topics very early. As early as the first semester. Also, reach out to current practicing OTs and faculty advisors to discuss needs in the community.

Want to learn more?

The OT program at Concordia is an excellent program that leads to a fulfilling career. It’s a career choice that offers numerous benefits the biggest one is feeling valued and knowing you are making a difference. The OTD program is one step further in that valuable journey. Consider the stories of Emily, Baylee, and Kayla and enroll in the OTD program.