Gannon University Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK)

Gannon University announces the launch of the Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK).

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy

  • Occupational Therapy Doctorate
  • Online

  • Virtual Information Sessions: 

    Join us for a virtual information session to learn more about Gannon University's online post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate program. Representatives will be available to review academic program information and application procedures. We invite you to join us by video or phone. Registration is required and a link will be sent via email before each session.

    Click on the links below to register.

    Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 7 p.m.

  • Program Overview

    The mission of the post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program is to enable occupational therapists in any practice area to develop roles and skills beyond that of the therapist-clinician. Our program supports their development toward practitioner-scholars who can translate knowledge, including cross-disciplinary theories and research, into practice, and who are capable of serving as change agents in new and expanded arenas within the field of occupational therapy.

     The post-professional OTD curriculum is designed to prepare practicing occupational therapists to become advanced practitioners capable of serving as evidence-based leaders. The capstone component is an integral part of the program. It is designed to develop occupational therapists with advanced knowledge/skills in one of the following eight areas: clinical practice, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development.

     With a keen understanding of the responsibilities of the practicing occupational therapist that holds a master's degree, this mission is accomplished by offering a two-year, part-time online program. It combines web-based instruction with a onetime campus visit to present Capstone to faculty and students. Our program is unique in that post-professional OTD students have an opportunity to interact with both MSOT students at the Erie, PA campus and entry-level OTD students at the Ruskin, FL campus.

    Quick Facts

    DEGREE AWARDED: Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)

    ADMIT TERM: Summer


    TUITION: $725/credit (no additional fees)

    LENGTH OF PROGRAM: 2 years; flexible options may be available upon request

    MODALITY: ONLINE, no residency requirement

    PLAN OF STUDY: Part-time



    • Flexible, online learning environment designed for the practicing clinician in today's field.
    • Opportunity to interact with master's level OT students and entry-level OTD students.
    • Curriculum that allows the opportunity to develop a personalized capstone process that tailors the program to the individual goals and expectations of the clinician.



    The Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate is a doctoral degree which is awarded upon the successful completion of the following 34 credits:

    Summer I
    DOCCT 900 Applied Research in Clinical Practice (3)
    DOCCT 90 Advanced Occupations  (3)
    Total: 6

    Fall I
    DOCCT 902 Capstone 1 (2)
    DOCCT 844 Community Based Interventions  (3)
    Total: 5

    Spring I
    DOCCT 903 Capstone 2  (2)
    DOCCT 873 Emerging Models of Practice in OT
    Total: 5

    Summer II
    DOCCT 910 Advanced Leadership and Ethics  (3)
    DOCCT 912 Reasoning and Evidenced-Based Practice (3)
    Total: 6

    Fall II
    DOCCT 906 Analysis of Policy and Change in OT (3)
    DOCCT 918 Teaching in Practice and Community (3)
    Total: 6

    Spring II
    DOCCT 907 Capstone Project (3) 
    DOCCT 871 Entrepreneurial Management Practice in OT (3)
    Total: 6

    Total Credits: 34

  • Course Descriptions

    DOCCT 871 Entrepreneurial Management Practice in OT

    Supervision and management theory and techniques with research review and application; role delineation; COTA and OTR collaborative intervention; quality assurance; program development; financial management; management methods in current healthcare systems and alternative work settings including funding resources; and developing independent small businesses in alternative settings.

    DOCCT 873 Emerging Models of Practice in OT

    This course will examine emerging models of practice in the field. These will vary, based upon current Occupational Therapy theory, practice and service delivery models. In-depth exploration and understanding of current healthcare policies; social, demographic, and political issues driving the healthcare system; influences in delivery of services in OT. Informatics will be utilized as primary sources. Participants will examine new methods and settings in which to provide OT intervention and may apply these in a local agency or organization. Participants will also evaluate the effectiveness of these services and modify them as needed.

    DOCCT 900 Applied Research in Clinical Practice

    This course provides an overview of research design from the perspective of the hierarchy of levels of evidence. Students will examine common designs of studies from lowest to highest levels of evidence in terms of purpose of study, question formulation, methodological features and significance of findings for application in practice.

    DOCCT 903 Advanced Occupations

    This is a course in the study of occupation performance analysis. Through various learning activities, students develop and communicate mechanisms to infuse a lifelong learning model to professional practice. This course will also examine the role of occupation in enhancing the health of populations through health promotion, health education and prevention of illness.

    DOCCT 905 Capstone 1

    Capstone I is intended to be the first step of the capstone process, and is designed as a self-directed and professional exploration and development course of study. It is the course that allows the student to work with a faculty member and a mentor to focus the OTD student on laying the foundation for completion of their doctoral specialty internship and their capstone project. By reading journal articles and other primary literature, learning how to annotate references, and forming research objectives, students will set the stage for preparation for the next course in the capstone series, which will culminate in completion of a Doctoral Specialty Internship (DSI) and capstone project.

    DOCCT 906 Capstone 2

    Capstone II builds of the knowledge learned and materials created in the Capstone I course. In this stage of the capstone series, the student confirms a topic for the Doctoral Specialty Internship (DSI) and capstone project and also choses a mentor, which may be the same or a different individual who mentored the student through the Capstone I course. With a specific project and mentor chosen, the student will be able to revisit and solidify the objectives for the DSI, confirm, and finalize the capstone project objectives.

    DOCCT 910 Advanced Leadership and Ethics

    This course will examine leadership roles, practices and ethical responsibilities as they relate to diverse organizational settings. Evolving leadership theories and styles will be explored as well as ethical dilemmas. Students will identify strategies for improving personal and professional responsive leadership efforts after analyzing their own leadership strengths. Self-reflection, selfdiscovery, integrity, credibility as well as other leadership concepts and themes will influence this course

    DOCCT 912 Reasoning & Evidenced-Based Practice

    This is a course for occupational therapists designed to develop essential skills for conducting evidence-based practice. It will focus in detail on appraising the internal, external, and statistical validity of evidence related to intervention effectiveness and predicting client outcomes. The course proceeds to examine evidence gathered using a variety of quantitative methods including group designs and meta-analytic approaches. Readings are selected from a variety of peer-reviewed journals related to health and disability to introduce students to the interdisciplinary literature that may provide valuable evidence for occupational therapy practice.

    DOCCT 916 Analysis of Policy and Change in OT

    This course provides students with an introduction to health care change and examination of policies related to occupational therapy in the United States. Students will review the history of disability policy, and examine social, medical and political models and their influence on the delivery of health care and occupational therapy practice. An understanding of political process related to health care and major players in policy development will be explored along with the use of advocacy on micro and macro levels. Critical analysis of the use and impact of clinical outcome measures in occupational therapy and their effect on policy making will be covered.

    DOCCT 918 Teaching in Practice and Community

    This course will examine the foundations of adult learning as well as their application in educating the public and addressing health literacy. This course identifies the advanced practitioner’s role in various practice settings and the impact of ethical, political, legal, socio-cultural, and economic factors affecting programmatic goals. This course will explore personal teaching and learning styles and Boyer’s Scholarship of Teaching.

    DOCCT 907 Capstone Project

    During this course students complete a final project (while they are working on the Doctoral Specialty Internship) that demonstrates the synthesis of occupational therapy theory, evidence-based practice principles and advanced knowledge in a practice area. Students demonstrate skills of self-direction, self-sufficiency, independence and professionalism expected of therapists prepared at the doctoral level. The final component of the course requires the student to complete a professional written report and oral presentation.

  • State Authorization

    View Gannon's State Authorization for more information on SARA and state authorization. Have a complaint about a distance ed program or courses? Read the state contact information document to learn more about filing a complaint.

    Student Success

    Gannon's Online Engagement Coordinator facilitates our online new student orientations, implements strategies to ensure that online students are active in their online courses, and provides general online student support through a variety of high-touch methods to engage students and support student retention efforts. Gannon online students can reach out with general questions about online learning or how to remotely access Gannon's comprehensive student services.