The Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies has a long history in spite of the fact that the first class wasn't admitted until 1999. Many people were involved in the creation of this program in the State of Utah. The following reverse chronology highlights this history. 

2016-2017 School Year

  • We officially became the Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies
  • The Recreational Therapy faculty, Dr. Steve Bell and Prof. Sandra Negley, joined the department from Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.
  • Dr. Rhonda Nelson was hired to advance the research mission of Recreational Therapy
  • Students are declared in the new Recreational Therapy major.

2015-2016 School Year

  • The College of Health realigned to 5 departments instead of seven. 
  • Dr. Anne Kirby joined the faculty
  • Dr. Pollie Price became a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
  • Dr. Anne Kirby was awarded the Cordelia Myers AJOT Best Article Award for her article titled, “Observational Characterization of Sensory Interests, Repetitions, and Seeking Behaviors,” which appeared in the May/June 2015 issue. The Cordelia Myers award recognizes outstanding professional writing in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and is awarded for one article published in the journal per year.
  • Dr. Price was an invited keynote and panel speaker for the Taiwan Occupational Science Symposium in Taipei. During this speaking tour, Dr. Price conducted a full-day workshop on occupation-based practice at the Taiwan Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference. She then traveled through the island to speak to occupational therapy and medical students at I-Shou University in Kaohsiung, National Cheng-Kung University in Tainan, and Taichung Medical University in Taichung.
  • Dr. Yda Smith presented a poster at the Occupational Science Symposium–Inclusion and Participation in Auckland, NZ. This poster provided information about a study of Karen youth, whose families are from Burma, who participate in traditional Karen dance. The focus is on personal perceptions of the meaning of this occupation to these youth and its relation to individual and collective identity construction and social engagement with their own and external communities.
  • Dr. Price conducted a workshop, “Range of Instructional Methods for Teaching the Concept of Occupation”, at the COTEC-ENOTHE Congress (Connecting Education/ Research/ Practice/ Policy) in Galway, Ireland.

2014-2015 School Year

  • Dr. Alex Terrill joined the faculty
  • Jeanette Koski successfully completed her Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree.
  • Kelly Brown was awarded the University of Utah Outstanding Academic Advisor award.
  • Jeanette Koski was awarded the College of Health Distinguished Teaching award.

2013-2014 School Year

  • JoAnne Wright became a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Lorie Richards was an inaugural inductee into the AOTF Leaders and Legacies Society – a new honorary society at AOTF that aims to provide service to the Occupational Therapy profession
  • Yda Smith was awarded the Community Service Award from the YWCA
  • Lorie Richards became a Fellow of the American Heart Association for her work with the Stroke Council
  • Yda Smith received the YWCA-Utah Community Service Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Beth Cardell became a Fellow of Academy of Health Science Educators
  • Yda Smith received the College of Health Distinguished Mentor award

 2012-2013 School year

  • Kasey Mitchell passed his Low Vision Certification.

2011-2012 School Year

  • Dr. Pollie Price was awarded both a $10,000 grant from the Society for the Study of Occupation and a $10,000 gift from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation for her research project: Determining how the construct of occupation is addressed in curricula.
  • Dr. Yda Smith received an award of $7500 from the Bennion Center Public Service Professorship for her work with the Karen ethnic group of Burma.
  • The Dean’s Office appointed Dr. Pollie Price as the new Academic Senator to serve from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015.
  • Kelly Brown and Deb Bachan received Staff and Advising Excellence Awards from the College of Health.
  • Dr. Beth Cardell completed her doctoral degree in Health Promotion and Education.
  • The Annual Research Symposium keynote speaker was Dr. Lorie Richards.
  • Dr. Donna Costa appeared on Ukraine television while directing a study abroad program.
  • Dr. JoAnne Wright taught a wheelchair training course in Vientiane, Laos. (Article in Vientiane Times)

Admitted to program: 32
Admitted to OTD: 8
BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 12
Masters of Occupational Therapy: 26
Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: TBD
Passing NBCOT test takers: TBD

2010-2011 School Year

  • The Life Skills Clinic opened directly across the street from the Division at 540 Arapeen and will be a wonderful addition to clients, students and to research opportunities. 
  • Dr. Bradley Freestone, Low Vision Optometrist was added to the faculty. 
  • Dr. Pollie Price received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor, the first in the Division.
  • Dr. Pollie Price was elected to the Board of the International Society for the Study of Occupation.
  • The OTD program started in the summer of 2010 and had 2 students. Three more students were admitted to start summer of 2011. This was the first year that the national applicant program was used (OTCAS). It created work but will open up the opportunity for greater diversity in our student population.
  • The Division itself went through its first Graduate School Review with the reviewers very impressed with the faculty, students and the program. 
  • Dr. JoAnne Wright the Developer/Chair of the program made the decision to step down as Chair. A national search was conducted and Dr. Lorie Gage Richards was hired as the new chair starting in July 2011. 
  • Liam Hesselbein was added to the faculty as the Fieldwork and Office Assistant for the Division.
  • Because of her genuine interest in well-being for the nominating student, course accessibility, and her dedication to the educational development of the student, faculty member Beth Cardell received an award from the Center for Disability Studies. This annual award recognizes faculty who have had a positive impact on their students' educational experience.
  • Beth Cardell received the 2010-2011 College of Health Distinguished Teaching Award.
  • Dr. JoAnne Wright received the 2010-2011 College of Health Distinguished Mentor Award.
  • Dr. Donna Costa was awarded a teaching grant for the Mind-Body Medicine for Health and Wellness from the University Teaching Committee.
  • The Annual Research Symposium keynote speaker was Dr. Karen Jacobs, former president of AOTA. The student presentations were well done and interesting. Four groups of student were selected to present their research during poster sessions at the National conference in April. 

Admitted to program: 30
Admitted to OTD: 3
BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 10
Masters of Occupational Therapy: 27
Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: 27
Passing NBCOT test takers: 27

2009-2010 School Year

  • The 10th class of students was admitted this year as we began to celebrate 10 years as a Division. 
  • A 10th Year Open House was held on April 2, 2010. There was great food, a kid’s room, a slide show covering the years, and the class quilts on display.
  • A Pre-OT Club was started through ASUU this year.
  • The faculty increased by one more. Kasey Mitchell was hired as the Clinic Manager for the Faculty Practice Clinic. 
  • Dr. Pollie Price and Jeanette Koski obtained a grant from Neuroworx, which has led to additional grants and OT services being provided to their clients. 
  • All the faculty continue to develop their research and community presence.
  • Yda Smith and Dr. Tina McNulty presented at the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) in May of 2010. The conference was held in Chile. Several faculty presented at the annual AOTA conference.
  • The Minor in Disability Studies was approved and the Annual Forum was a success. 
  • Dr. Donna Costa was appointed as the Director of the OTD Program after it was approved by the Board of Regents and the Graduate School. The OTD will be a fully on-line class starting in the summer of 2010.
  • October 5, 2009 - SENATORS APPROVE NEW DOCTORATE IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY: This professional doctorate in the College of Health is for currently-licensed occupational therapists who have earned either a bachelor's or master's degree who may want to advance their education. The intent is to produce leaders in the profession who will contribute to the body of evidence within the profession, who will disseminate knowledge, develop programs, and perhaps enter educational positions.
  • Once again we broke our record for number of applicants with 59. The students, who are the strength of the program, continue to demonstrate their commitment to education and to the profession of occupational therapy.
  • The Annual Research Symposium had Alex Lopez, creator of PAR FORE as the keynote speaker. As a result of this, the Division partnered with him on a grant from the US Golf Association to implement the program here. The student presentations were well done and interesting. Six groups of student were selected to present their research during poster sessions at the National conference in April. 

Admitted to program: 27
Admitted to OTD: 2
BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 10
Masters of Occupational Therapy: 26
Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: 22
Passing NBCOT test takers: 25

2008-2009 School Year

  • New classes were added to the core curriculum. An additional core class entitled Occupational Aging and Wellness. A new elective was added OC TH 4720/6720 Immigration & Resettlement: Interdisciplinary & Community Perspectives. This class is cross-listed with Social Work. 
  • The Division is home for the Disability Studies Certificate and an undergraduate minor is in the works. The forum for Disability Studies was a huge success and will be an annual event. 
  • An agreement was signed between the Division of Occupational Therapy and the College of Nursing Gerontology program that allows students to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology.
  • Five students from the program were able to provide OT services in the Ukraine under the guidance of Dr. Costa. Yda Smith and other faculty continue to expand the opportunities that students have to work with refugees and provide services. All the faculty have been involved in diverse service to the community, to professional associations and to the students. In addition, the faculty continue to provide solid educational experiences as we continue with our vision to "Educate Our Future Colleagues". 
  • Aubrey Erickson was hired as the clinical education assistant as well as office assistant. 
  • The Annual Research Symposium student presentations were interesting and well received. The keynote speaker was Dr. Catana Brown. She is a leader in the field of occupational therapy in research. She spoke on "Evidence Based Practice in Occupational Therapy - What's Your Contribution Going to Be". 
  • Dr. Florence Clark, AOTA Vice President was the guest speaker at a luncheon for all faculty staff and students held at the University Park Marriott Hotel.

Admitted to program: 29
BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 15
Masters of Occupational Therapy: 18
Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: 14
Passing NBCOT test takers: 18

2007-2008 School Year

  • Dr. Donna Costa was hired as a Professor (Clinical) and will join the faculty in the fall of 2008. Her areas of expertise are mental health, gerontology and fieldwork. Dr. Pollie Price continued her pioneering research in occupation-based practice. Dr. Louise Dunn was very active in networking and in scholarship this year. Yda Smith was able to visit Thailand and the refugee camps along the border and to expand the role of OT at the UNP/Hartland Center. Beth Cardell continued her scholarship and lecturing to students. Both Yda Smith and Beth Cardell were promoted to Assistant Professor (Clinical). Dr. JoAnne Wright was promoted to Professor (Clinical). She also traveled to the Ukraine with other OT's to provide services as well as lectures in Chernivtsi. SOTA and SAC participated in fund raising and made wash mitts and universal cuffs for the people in Ukraine. Nancy Johns decided to move to the ocean and Jeanette Koski was hired to be the Clinical Education Coordinator for the Division. Kelly Brown, Administrative Assistant, was a nominee from the Health Science District (non-hospital) for the University Staff Award.
  • The Division was reaccredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association's Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) for 10 years. There were nice strengths noted and although the program was evaluated on the new 2006 standards, there were no areas of non-compliance. Of the nine OT programs that were reviewed with the new standards this academic year, we were one of only three that had no areas of non-compliance.
  • The Division received $5,000 from the Eskuche Foundation for a grant for Functional Low Vision Treatment Clinic Equipment.
  • Funding was provided for a new scholarship by the Don B Hutchison family.
  • The Research Symposium keynote speaker was Dr. Gelya Frank. Dr. Frank is an anthropologist and Professor of Occupational Science at the University of Southern California.

    Admitted to program: 28
    BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 13
    Masters of Occupational Therapy: 23
    Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: 22
    Passing NBCOT test takers: 23

2006-2007 School Year

  • Dr. Tina McNulty joined the faculty in August as an assistant professor in the Division. Her area of expertise is in mental health and in gerontology. She has been consulting with The Connection Cottage. She also was awarded a grant to start the Division's Standardized Patient Assessment (SPA) project. The first SPA was held as the final for the adult theory class. It was intense but an excellent learning tool for all. Dr. Pollie Price was elected as President of the Society for the Study of Occupation:USA. She is the co-developer of the first course in Disabilities Studies. Nancy Johns and Beth Cardell received their Master of Science in Health Promotion and Education.
  •  Dr. JoAnne Wright has been involved with URLEND as the OT Discipline Faculty Member. Yda Smith was names Director of Graduate Studies for the Division of OT as well as the Faculty Director of University Neighborhood Partners Hartland Project. Dr. Louise Dunn continues to network with other disciplines. Both she and Dr. Price received grant monies. Each faculty was invited to present at a number of national conferences.
  • The Research Symposium had its first annual keynote speaker and an open house to celebrate the presenters and the keynote person. Dr. Elizabeth Crepeau, PhD, OTR, author of Willard and Spackman was the first recipient.
  • An elective in Cognition was piloted by Beth Cardell and was well received. This will continue as a regular electives offering within the Division. The curriculum remained stable as the faculty starts gearing up for reaccreditation that will occur in 2008.

    Admitted to program: 20
    BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 8
    Masters of Occupational Therapy: 18
    Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: 18
    Passing NBCOT test takers: 18

2005-2006 School Year

  • With the advent of the DPT program in Physical Therapy and a need to make classes more occupationally and functionally based, the functional anatomy class entitled: The Body as a Component of Occupation replaced the kinesiology mechanics class and the Gross Anatomy Class. Pathophysiology was replaced by Conditions Impacting Occupational Performance. The curriculum overall is much more fine-tuned towards teaching occupation-based practice through curriculum reviews and collaboration within the faculty. We added our first Alumnus as faculty with Greg Wootton (02) teaching the Psychosocial class in the Spring.
  • Research was even more evident within the faculty ranks. Louise Dunn was busy networking with ULEND, and collaborating with the School of Medicine and the University on such projects as Day Break and the National Children’s study as well as continuing with her CHORES project. Pollie Price was the Chairperson for the Society for the Study of Occupation:USA held in Maryland. She continues her occupation-based practice research with local therapists. Beth Cardell researched resiliency and Nancy Johns researched vision-based ergonomics in the workforce as part of their master’s degrees. They are both involved with NBCOT. More research is being done with therapists in the community as a part of the projects. Yda Smith passed her preliminary exams for her Ph.D. and received another grants from American Express to provide occupational therapy to refugees, many of them from Somalia. JoAnne Wright became a Certified Low Vision Therapist through ACVREP. Kelly Brown's research was an in-depth study of toxemia with the results of Valerie Lenore Brown arriving in November, six weeks earlier than expected.
  • The second annual job fair was held in conjunction with Physical Therapy. The two additional research classes were offered to formalize the research process. The Research Symposium was successful with the new twist of pairs presenting.
  • Approval was given for the remodel project on the 2nd floor. The remodel consists of reconfiguring the two labs into better lab classrooms, an observation room, a research office, and better facilities for the Anatomy lab. CF& R funding will assist with this project. The College of Health, through the work of Dr. Scott Ward, received 1.3 million dollars. A portion of those monies were used to upgrade the entrance to the building and the building was renamed the Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Health Professions Education Building. The first Alumni event was held April 8, 2006 celebrating the graduation of the 5th class of students. The Alumni Scholarship was established with Rachel Motscheidler as the first donor.

    Admitted to program: 24
    BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 11
    Masters of Occupational Therapy: 22
    Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: 19
    Passing NBCOT test takers: 22

2004-2005 School Year

  • Yda Smith received a grant from American Express for refugee job placement and economic self-sufficiency. Pollie Price hired Kyle Gibson as a graduate research assistant to support her research efforts. The Division experienced more personnel changes. In August, Sharlene Yarman left to pursue other interests. In November 2004, Deb Bachan was hired as an executive secretary for both divisions. A clerk position was added to the Clinical Education Component of the program. In April, a job fair was hosted in conjunction with Physical Therapy where 36 employers were on hand to talk with students.
  • The Division revised its curriculum to bring more occupation into anatomy, kinesiology and pathophysiology. Two additional research classes were added to the 2nd year curriculum to more formally guide students with their research projects. Beth Cardell presented a poster at the annual AOTA conference in Long Beach, California. The Division was pleased to be able to pay the registration fee of students who attended the conference. JoAnne Wright was promoted to Associate Professor (Clinical). Louise Dunn received her Doctorate of Science from Boston University and was promoted to Assistant Professor.

    Admitted to program: 20
    BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 10
    Masters of Occupational Therapy: 20
    Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: 19
    Passing NBCOT test takers: 20

2003-2004 School Year

  • During the fall, the first floor changed from cinder block animal cages to an ADL training apartment for OT, with an adjustable stove and sink. A classroom/lab, research space, faculty offices and a wellness clinic run by PT were part of the remodel. Faculty offices were remodeled during the summer of 2004 to provide private faculty office instead of cubicles. The school year started by adding an additional faculty member. Beth Cardell went from part-time teaching to a full time instructor. In November 2004, Sharlene Yarman was hired as an office assistant for both Physical and Occupational Therapy. Dr. Jay Graves became Dean of the College of Health. December 2004, Rosemary Lysaght and Margaret Bent resigned as faculty. Louise Dunn began teaching in January of 2004. As part of her responsibilities, she represented the Division on the ULEND grant now in its 3rd year. Pollie Price was hired in spring of 2004 and will begin teaching in Fall 2004. In April, Nancy Johns with hired as the Clinical Education Coordinator (CEC). Yda Smith transitioned out of the CEC position so she can focus on teaching and research. Faculty presented posters and lectures that included student projects at the AOTA annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. JoAnne Wright was the chair of the Society for the Study of Occupation:USA conference held in Deer Valley. In an effort to refocus faculty practice more towards transition, the Division terminated their contract with Utah Transit Authority. The Research Symposium was successful.

    Admitted to program: 23
    BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 16
    Masters of Occupational Therapy: 12
    Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: 12

2002-2003 School Year

  • Two new scholarships were added to the Division scholarships. They are the Ronald L. and Donna P. Call Endowed Scholarship, and the Gordon and Betty Browning Endowed Scholarship. During the summer of 2003, a number of construction and upgrade projects started to provide computing facilities and a new apartment for the education of OT students. Louise M. Dunn was hired as a clinical instructor/tenure-track assistant professor beginning Jan 2004.
  • The Annual Fieldwork Seminar "Refining the Art of Occupational Therapy" was presented by Linda Learnerd. The contract with UTA to provide the Paratransit Evaluation moved from a simulated evaluation to an actual community evaluation including bus and Trax rides. The grant with the Paiute Indian Tribe successfully finished this year. The Mexico Project and the Haiti Project successfully continued with a number of students traveling to those countries and providing services.
  • Dr's. Bent and Lysaght as well as Yda Smith presented at the World Federation of Occupational Therapy Conference in Sweden and the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference in Washington D.C. Elizabeth M. Brown (daughter of Kelly and Scott Brown) was born on August 31, 2002 and became the unofficial Assistant Administrative Assistant and Mascot for the Class of 2005.
  • Jamie Reynolds Mayer (Class of 2003) was elected the President of the Associated Student Delegates (ASD). This is the National Student Organization of the American Occupational Therapy Association. OT students presented for the 2nd year at the Annual Scholar's Forum in conjunction with the Division of Physical Therapy. John Dunn, Dean of the College of Health resigned to take a Provost position in Illinois. Carolee Moncur replaced him as Interim Dean.

    Admitted to program: 21
    BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 15
    Masters of Occupational Therapy: 11
    Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: 11

2001-2002 School Year

  • Funding was received for scholarships and equipment from the Castle Foundation, the Dumke Foundation and the Broadbent Family. Fall Semester was impacted by the events of 9/11 and Spring Semester was truncated with most of the month of February as vacation for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Students volunteered to go to Haiti to provided services the summer of 2001 and the summer of 2002 other students went to Mexico with Dr. Robin Marcus, PT and Nancy Inaba MA, OTR/L. An open house was held in May to celebrate the first graduating class of 15 students and as a thank-you to all who had helped make the Division of Occupational Therapy happen.
  • An agreement with Baby Watch to collaborate in credentialing Early Intervention Therapists was put into place and the Division offered its first elective taught by Barbara Lancelot (Family Perspectives on Early Intervention).
  • OT students presented for the 1st year at the Annual Scholar's Forum in conjunction with the Division of Physical Therapy. The first class included: Michelle Anderson, Jeff Bezzant, Dana Dunbar, Ella Fitzmayer, Maryn Green Edgmon, Alisa Henry Frei, Taira Christiansen, Angie Holmes Elder, Shelby Ivory, Becky Jardine, Krisanne Lewis, Mat Nielson, Heather Prisbrey Johnson, Sara Rasmussen and Greg Wootton. All fifteen students passed the National Certification Examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

    Admitted to program: 13
    BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 4
    Masters of Occupational Therapy: 15
    Passing First-time NBCOT test takers: 15

2000-2001 School Year

  • The Division of Occupational Therapy, in partnership with the College of Nursing and Division of Physical Therapy, received a grant to provide health services to the Paiute Tribe in southern Utah (November). In April 2001, the Division of Occupational Therapy received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education for the maximum 7-year period granted new programs. Margaret Bent received her Ph.D. and was promoted to Assistant Professor. A scholarship was started by the Eugene D. and Ann O. Wright Family. The Division started participating in the Student Exchange Program operated by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).

    Admitted to program: 12
    BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 7

1999-2000 School Year

  • The Division of Occupational Therapy moved from their temporary quarters: 2220 and 2222 Annex, along with Physical Therapy, the Body Donor Program and the Medical School Anatomy Program to their present location--the Health Professions Education Building at 520 Wakara Way in Research Park (August 9-10, 1999). Orientation for the first class of students admitted to the Occupational Therapy program was held August 23-24.
  • This begins the 150th Year of the University of Utah. Dr. Rosemary Lysaght was promoted to full-time tenure track Assistant Professor. Kelly C. Brown was hired as Administrative Assistant (L. Ketsdever resigned August 9, 1999). The Division secured a contract with UTA (Utah Transit Authority) to assess riders using the Flex-Trans system. Margaret Bent was hired as a clinical instructor/tenure-track assistant professor and she joined the faculty in May 2000. Taira Christiansen, Maryn Green and Sara Rasmussen received the first three Bachelors degrees in Occupational Therapy Studies. The Division submitted its self-study document to ACOTE on April 1, 2000.

    Admitted to program: 16
    BS in Occupational Therapy Studies: 3

1998-1999 School Year

  • The Senior Vice President for Health Sciences (Dr. John M. Matsen), the University President (President Bernie Machen), the Academic Senate, the Graduate School, the Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents granted approval for the Division of Occupational Therapy. This action included: 1) the Request to start a Master’s Entry-Level Occupational Therapy program; 2) recognition of the Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy Studies for students applying without a BS/BA. Intermountain Health Care (IHC) pledged substantial amount of money for start-up equipment.
  • The Program Developer became the Division Chair (July 1999), the Administrative Assistant (Laurie Ketsdever) was hired in December of 1998 and the Clinical Education Coordinator (Yda J Smith, MOT, OTR/L) was hired in March 1999. The Division received its first scholarship from G. Mitchell and Betty Morris. In the spring of 1999, the inaugural class of 17 students was admitted to the University of Utah to begin their studies that fall. In June of 1999, the Program Advisory Committee became a more autonomous body with Denise Keenan as Chair of this committee

Prior to 1999

  • In January of 1998, the University of Utah and the Board of Regents officially approved the occupational therapy program as a top funding priority to be submitted to the 1998 Utah State Legislature.
  • The community, including the Utah Occupational Therapy Association (UOTA), the Coalition for People with Disabilities, consumers and their families, representatives from health care, prospective OT students, higher education officials, and representative of state government provided strong support for the implementation of this program. National leaders from the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation also offered strong support for a program in the State of Utah.
  • January 26, 1998. Two introductory courses: Occupational Therapy 300 (OC TH 300) Introduction to Occupational Therapy (Quarter course) and Occupational Therapy 3000 (OC TH 3000 Introduction to Occupational Therapy (Semester Course)) were approved by the College Curriculum Committee. The 300 course was taught once and was replaced by the 3000 class, which continues to be taught but is neither part of the prerequisites nor part of the actual master’s program leading to a degree in occupational therapy.
  • The 1998 legislature convened on January 19, 1998. The University of Utah presented to the Higher Education Appropriations Joint Subcommittee, David Steele and Afton Bradshaw, Chairs. February 18, 1998 funding was approved for the Occupational Therapy program. The amount to be added to the $50,000 appropriated the previous year was $174,500.
  • Rosemary Lysaght Ph.D., OTR/L was hired part-time (June 1998) to assist with the program development and to search for additional funding, grants and proposals and other research opportunities.
  • August 13, 1998 the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association granted Developing Program Status to the University of Utah, College of Health, Division of Occupational Therapy. This action by the Council then gave the program permission to accept students for the first class to begin Fall 1999.
  • OC TH 300 Introduction to Occupational Therapy was first taught Summer Quarter (the last quarter for the University of Utah) by JoAnne Wright, Ph.D., OTR/L. There were 12 students in the class. This class was then taught as a semester class for the first time Fall of 1998 by the same instructor.
  • A broad-based Occupational Therapy Advocacy Committee was formed to promote and support the development of the U of U’s request to fund an occupational therapy program. Representation on the committee included parents, representatives from health care, prospective OT students, higher education officials, and representatives of state government. This group was later reorganized in the fall of 1997 and the name changed to the Program Advisory Committee with representation from the same stakeholders.
  • In August 1997, a Ph.D. level Occupational Therapist, Dr. JoAnne Wright, was hired to develop the program in accordance with the American Occupational Therapy Standards, advise interested students of program status and prerequisites, act as liaison to the COTA program at SLCC and act as liaison to the Utah Occupational Therapy Association.
  • A formal letter of intent was submitted on September 8, 1997 to the Director of the American Occupational Therapy Association Accreditation Department (ACOTE). On October 22, 1997 ACOTE acknowledging receipt of the letter of intent. Included in the response were tentative target dates for the accreditation process.
  • With the strong endorsement of Dr. John M. Matsen, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, the University of Utah included funding for an occupational therapy program in its budget request to the Regents.
  • At a meeting held in the Regent’s Office to resolve the issue of program site the University of Utah, College of Health under the direction of Dr. John M. Dunn, as Dean, was asked to take the lead in developing and promoting an occupational therapy program for the State of Utah.
  • In January of 1995, Administrators within the College of Health participated in discussions with others, including personnel from Weber State University, regarding the option of Salt Lake Community College University Center offering an Occupational Therapy Program through Colorado State University. While this option was deemed less desirable than offering such a program at the U, it would allow for residents of Utah to access an accredited B.S. program.
  • In October of 1995, the University of Utah was notified that Weber State University and Salt Lake Community College were proposing a Bachelor of Science Degree program in Occupational Therapy. The U submitted a response to the request on November 20, 1995.
  • Since 1990, Administrators in the College of Health continued to communicate with the American Occupational Therapy Association about an interest in and desire to offer a B.S. degree.
  • Discussions about the continued desirability of offering the program led to the submission of a request for external funds to the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in 1989-90 to implement a B.S. program in Occupational Therapy. The proposal included a letter of support from Governor Bangerter. The proposal ranked high, but was not approved for funding.
  • Funding requests were submitted in several of the intervening years between 1972 and 1990. It was defeated at times by the Board of Regents, other years they approved it and the Governor and legislature approved it but the legislative analyst cut the funding.
  • In July 1972, the exclusive role assignment was granted to the U of U with authority to offer a B.S. degree in Occupational Therapy.
  • The University of Utah submitted to the Board of Regents a request to offer a B.S. in Occupational Therapy in 1970.

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