Occupational Therapy
Erie, Pennsylvania

  • Students in Occupational Therapy Classroom
  • GU Possibilities
    • Recent graduates have achieved a 98-percent pass rate on the national board examination for certification in occupational therapy.
    • The program maintains a very high student placement rate following graduation.
    • Occupational therapy students at Gannon gain additional professional, leadership and volunteer experience through the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA).
    • The Gannon occupational therapy program is a five-year, direct-entry BS/MS program and is one of the few programs to offer fifth-year financial aid for graduate studies.

    You Will Learn

    Occupational therapists work with a wide variety of clients throughout their life spans. For students interested in reaching out to children with autism or cerebral palsy, adults who have work-related injuries or mental health concerns, or older adults with a range of disabilities from Alzheimer’s disease to arthritis, Gannon’s occupational therapy program prepares students to help others experience independence. Occupational therapy majors learn how to develop, teach and evaluate specific interventions and rehabilitation programs for a wide variety of people of all ages with physical and mental challenges. Students will work to become occupational therapists through hands-on training in the technologically advanced Human Performance Laboratory, occupations laboratory and movement laboratory, and on-location through regularly offered Fieldwork Level I rotations to Ecuador as well as at fieldwork sites located throughout the United States.

    You Will Experience

    As part of the curriculum, students will complete two, 12-week fieldwork courses, which provide an opportunity to be placed in clinical settings as diverse as major rehabilitation centers to smaller community health agencies. Additionally, students have an opportunity to participate in service-learning experiences related to preparation in their major, which include:

    • Booker T. Washington Center
    • Erie DAWN
    • Erie LifeWorks
    • Purposeful Movement and Wellness program for people with Parkinson's disease
    • Stairways Behavioral Health
    • Wellsville USA

    You Will Achieve

    Licensed occupational therapists are employed in a number of settings. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • community mental health agencies
    • independent practices
    • military and field medical facilities
    • nursing homes
    • psychiatric facilities
    • rehabilitation hospitals
    • school systems

    Additionally, opportunities for advancement in the field are great, and after working only a short time, occupational therapy graduates may progress to become:

    • case managers
    • clinical educators
    • consultants
    • faculty members
    • rehabilitation directors

    You will Study

    The occupational therapy program allows opportunities for in-depth study and field practicum experiences with individuals of all ages. The program is accredited by the American Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Occupational therapy majors take various core and elective courses including:

    OCCT 201: Introduction to Occupational Therapy Process

    This course explores the development of occupational therapy as a profession. Students learn concepts of role acquisition and role dysfunction, human competence and adaptation, use of human occupation as therapeutic intervention, exploration of domains of practice of OT, scope of practice of health professionals, health and wellness, healthcare delivery systems, disability and professional behaviors.

    OCCT 313: Occupational Science & Analysis

    This course includes an analysis of occupation as a life organizer. Development of observational skills, problem-solving approaches, the teaching-learning process, therapeutic use of self and activity analysis are covered throughout this course. Students’ hands-on experience in the laboratory provides analysis of selected tasks of work, self-care and play and leisure.

    OCCT 486: Occupational Therapy Medical Sciences

    This course covers various topics such as signs, symptoms, medical management and pharmacological management of general medical, neurological, orthopedic and psychiatric conditions relevant to occupational therapy intervention. 

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Occupational therapist $75,400
    • Occupational therapy assistant $48,940

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) and/or PayScale (payscale.com).