Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

Ready to make your mark on one of the most in-demand professions in America?

Median Wage*
Credit hours to complete program
Job Placement Rate within one year of graduation
Projected Job Growth*

*Wage and job growth based on Statistics from Bureau of Labor Statistics.

About Our OTD Program:

The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Program is for the high achieving student who wants to change the world through innovative health care practices! The hybrid program model allows for the best of both worlds: flexibility and hands-on learning!

Preparation to serve future patients requires practical skills integrated with dynamic critical thinking, resulting in a clinician equipped to provide innovative health care solutions. At Cox College, all we do is health care!

Our OTD program is a nine semester, 108 credit program that combines hands-on skill-based practice and multi-modal knowledge acquisition in an innovative hybrid format. The combination of a state-of-the-art online learning management system and on campus activities prepare graduates for the NBCOT certification exam and how to apply for state licensure as an occupational therapist.


Department of Occupational Therapy at Cox College: To be the best for those who need us.


The mission of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Cox College is to create evidenced-based practitioners who are client-centered, occupation-driven, and clinically competent. We achieve this mission by:

  1. Utilizing a multi-modal curriculum that promotes knowledge translation, resulting in therapists equipped to meet the needs of diverse populations. (KNOWING)
  2. Encouraging professional identity development through hands-on practice and reflection to develop critical thinking and advance clinical reasoning, resulting in effective problem solving skills. (DOING)
  3. Advancing the profession of occupational therapy through innovation, evidence-based practice, and scholarly contributions. (ADVANCING)
  4. Committing to life-long learning through professional development, service, and inter-disciplinary collaboration in order to improve the health of the communities we serve. (LEADING)

Your OTD Experience:

Year One

You will be busy your first year, diving into a variety of compelling topics—kinesiology, pathophysiology, human occupation, neuroscience, innovation strategies, psychosocial practice, research, and more!

Year Two

Take a deep breath, because the second year will build on your first-year foundation of skills to develop you into the well-rounded occupational therapist you’re destined to be. Some themes include adult rehabilitation, pediatrics, and creative leadership & entrepreneurship. You will complete two research projects and learn to critically appraise evidence to determine the best course of treatment for your patient.

Real-Life Experience

Part of your training will include participating in simulations OTs face every day, preparing you to be a highly trained professional who can adapt to multiple contexts. By blending book work with real-life experience, you will be ready to graduate and ace your licensure exam.


"We give you ample opportunities to try on different professional behaviors, and then make them your own. By the time you finish OT school, OT is not just something you do, it's who you've become."

Dr. Amy Stark, OT Department Chair

Admission Requirements

The application deadline for Summer admission is April 1. The application process, prerequisite courses, and other admission requirements are listed in the OTD checklist.

OTD applicants must complete two different online applications:

  1. Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service
  2. Cox College Graduate Application.

Cost Breakdown of OTD program

The OTD program is $800 per credit hour. The total estimated cost breakdown can be found here. 

The Occupational Therapy skills kits and fees breakdown can be found here.

Tuition and fees are evaluated each year and based on operating costs of providing quality programs. Costs are subject to change at the discretion of Cox College.



Graduation Rates for the Cox College Program

CC OTD Cohort Graduation year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Percentage
1 2025 N/A N/A
Total Program Graduates N/A N/A N/A


NBCOT pass rates

Amy Stark, OTD, OTR/L, BCP

Department Chair & Professor

(417) 269-3334

Amy Stark, OTD, OTR/L, BCP is a Professor and the Occupational Therapy Department Chair at Cox College. Dr. Stark began practicing occupational therapy in 1998. She joined the Cox College faculty as a professor in 2015 and became Department Chair in 2017. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas occupational therapy program and of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions occupational therapy post-professional doctoral program. Her doctoral emphasis focused on occupational therapy education delivery as well as community programming that promotes physical engagement and social participation for children with autism and sensory processing difficulties. She became Board Certified in Pediatrics through the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in 2009. She has helped develop multi-disciplinary teams in hospital-based and out-patient community settings as well as school-based settings. Dr. Stark has been recognized by the Springfield Business Journal for both their 40 Under 40 Award and their 20 Most Influential Women in Southwest Missouri Award. She served as the Missouri Occupational Therapy Association State President (2018-2022). She is passionate about excellence in service delivery and client-centered care and seeks to foster positivity, leadership, and professional identity development in the students, faculty, and OT practitioners she serves.

April Swanson, OTD, OTR/L

Capstone Coordinator & Associate Professor

(417) 269-3441

April Swanson, OTD, OTR/L is the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Associate Professor for the Occupational Therapy Department at Cox College. She is instrumental in the administrative duties of the program and community outreach.Dr. Swanson began practicing occupational therapy in 2001. She joined the Cox College faculty in 2014. She serves as the faculty advisor to the active Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) at Cox College. Dr. Swanson is a graduate of the University of Missouri- Columbia occupational therapy program and of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions occupational therapy doctoral program. Her doctoral capstone “Creating Walking Environments for the Aging Population” combined two of her skilled practice areas: how the built environment influences occupation and aging in place. Dr. Swanson continues to stay clinically connected through consultation services and acute care fieldwork experiences. Among her many roles, Dr. Swanson serves as the President for the Fieldwork Alliance of the Ozarks, member of the board of directors for Empower: Abilities, and member of the Community Partnership of the Ozarks Community Collaborative HOME team focusing on universal design and inclusive housing. Dr. Swanson leads students in community service activities, campus events, and strives to foster self-reflection, creativity, and professionalism in the students she serves.

Kristin Haas, OTD, OTR/L

Capstone Coordinator & Professor


Kristin Haas, OTD, OTR/L is the Capstone Coordinator and a Professor for the Occupational Therapy Department at Cox College. Dr. Haas began practicing occupational therapy in 1999. She joined the Cox College faculty in 2022. Dr. Haas is a graduate of the Midwestern University-Downer’s Grove occupational therapy program and of University of Saint Augustine’s occupational therapy doctoral program. Her work for the last 20 years has been in academics serving as a member of the Roster of Evaluators for the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and previously serving the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) as a test item writer. Dr. Haas is a graduate of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Academic Leadership Institute. At her previous institution she was awarded the Inspiring Excellence Award for faculty in 2021. Dr. Haas has served as a faculty member, program director (master’s and doctoral programs), and academic fieldwork coordinator. Dr. Haas’ previous clinical experience varied among skilled nursing facilities, acute rehabilitation, acute hospital, and long-term care facilities. Her love for occupational therapy came from working with individuals with traumatic brain injury.Dr. Haas lives in Omaha, NE and serves Cox College through a remote working position. Among her many accolades, Dr. Haas has been awarded the Outstanding Faculty Member Award twice at College of Saint Mary and both the Advocate of the Year and Contributor of the Year Award through the Nebraska Occupational Therapy Association. Dr. Haas is certified in Rieke and Laughter Yoga. Dr. Haas is passionate about community engagement and has led students in international trips to Belize, Ireland, and the Texas/Mexico border. Additionally, her local student community engagement has centered around youth in crisis, pregnant homeless women, homelessness, and access to health care.

Elizabeth Newport, OTD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor


Elizabeth Newport, OTD, OTR/L is a faculty member for the Occupational Therapy Department at Cox College. Dr. Newport earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from College of the Ozarks. She was a 2017 graduate of the inaugural Master of Science in Occupational Therapy class at Cox College. She went on to earn her Post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy from Baylor University. Her doctoral capstone focused on the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on occupational therapy practitioners who work in acute care. Dr. Newport’s clinical experience includes working with clients across the lifespan in the acute care setting, specifically in the areas of orthopedic trauma and cardiovascular intensive care. Dr. Newport’s research interests include functional cognition, advocacy, interdisciplinary education, and occupational burnout.

Carrie Miller, OTR/L

Assistant Professor & Academic Fieldwork Coordinator

(417) 730-0376

Carrie Miller, OTR/L is the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Assistant Professor for the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at Cox College. In addition to fieldwork coordination and teaching responsibilities, she serves as faculty sponsor for the Student Occupational Therapy Association at Cox College. As a 2019 graduate of the Cox College OT program, professor Miller has strong connectedness to the Cox College department of Occupational Therapy and is the first graduate to join faculty full time. Professor Miller has a variety of clinical experience with both adults and children. In the inpatient rehabilitation setting she has treated individuals impacted by neurological events such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injuries as well as cardiac and pulmonary related diseases. Her work as a pediatric occupational therapist has primarily been school based providing individual and group treatment to school aged children. Professor Miller is actively involved in the community, specifically with organizations that work to promote health and wellness for the children and youth of the Ozarks.

Libbianna Jones, OTR/L, ASDCS

Assistant Professor


Libbianna Jones OTR/L, ASDCS is a native of Ozark, MO and still resides there today with her two boys and her husband, Matt. Libbi is a graduate of Ozark’s Technical Community College in their Occupational Therapy Assistant program in 2015. After she graduated she began her clinical practice in Harrison, Arkansas working in skilled nursing facilities and independent contract in pediatric practice. She then transitioned to school based practice and decided to pursue her Master’s degree at Cox College. She graduated with her Masters in Science of Occupational Therapy in 2019. Since then she has practiced in the acute care hospital setting and has focused on an emerging practice in pediatric primary care here locally. Her research interest are pediatrics, emerging practices, and autism. Libbi is an Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist and is currently going back to school to receive her post professional doctorate and a graduate certificate in healthcare ethics from the University of Missouri. She is so excited to back teaching for Cox College and is looking forward to the innovation and collaboration with the community and students. 

Jamie Bergner, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, COMT



Jamie Bergner, OTD, OTR/L, CHT, COMT is a Professor for the Occupational Therapy Department at Cox College (since 2019) and teaches for the MSOT and the OTD programs. 

Dr. Bergner is passionate about the future of OT and has a long-established career of pushing boundaries of clinical practice patterns, education, and clinician-led research leading to multiple peer reviewed publications, dissemination, and professional service. She obtained her post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy with an elective track in academic education from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in 2016. Dr. Bergner has practiced occupational therapy with clients of all ages, across multiple practice settings, and currently specializes in complex traumatic injuries of the upper extremity. She is a certified hand therapist, certified orthopedic manual therapist, and clinically practices at Vanderbilt University Medical Center near her home in Hendersonville, Tennessee.   

Dr. Bergner is involved with OT education and research on multiple levels. She co-directs the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine – US Hand and Upper Extremity Track, serves as the AOTA consultant, and teaches live continuing education courses nationally. She is an instructor with MedBridge developing continuing education courses published online. As a hand specialist consultant for EndoEvolve, a company that is developing adaptive surgical equipment, Dr. Bergner is working to improve inclusivity and ergonomics for endoscopists and gastroenterologists to prevent musculoskeletal injuries. Since 2019, Dr. Bergner has had the pleasure of serving as an NBCOT volunteer invited to serve on three different development teams. She serves as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Hand Therapy and the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy. Dr. Bergner has presented at numerous local, state, national, and international conferences, and was the recipient of the 2021 Best Scientific Paper Award for the American Society of Hand Therapists Annual Meeting. A strong advocate of clinician-led research, Dr. Bergner is a principal investigator, leading the Vanderbilt Hand and Upper Extremity Research Focus Group on multiple projects. She is the founding facilitator of the Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Research Committee, a grassroots interdepartmental, interdisciplinary collaboration with the goal of paving easier pathways for therapists in systematic inquiry, dissemination, and publication. 

Anna B. Harris, OTD, OTR/L



Anna B. Harris, OTD, OTR/L is a Professor for the Occupational Therapy Department at Cox College for the MSOT and OTD programs.  

Dr. Harris began practicing occupational therapy in 2005 and has experience in various settings including home health, in-patient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and community outreach. She is a graduate of the Rockhurst University Master of Occupational Therapy Program and the University of Kansas Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program. Her career in academia began in 2019 as an Assistant Professor with the University of Arkansas|University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program which she assisted in developing. 

Dr. Harris has extensive experience in neurorehabilitation and geriatrics. She has aided in the development and provision of clinical education courses in neurorehabilitation for healthcare providers on a national level and is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS). Dr. Harris has published and presented on various aspects of dementia care and partners with the Alzheimer’s Association to conduct a monthly support group for caregivers of individuals with dementia. She is currently practicing as an occupational therapist with PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Elderly Care) of the Ozarks. Dr. Harris is passionate about occupational therapy and thrilled to have a role in educating future clinicians.

Meagan Cummins, OTL/R

Assistant Professor

Meagan Cummins (formally Meagan Green) joined the faculty at Cox College as an adjunct professor in 2019 and recently transitioned to an assistant professor. Before Cox College, she completed an AA degree at Ozarks Technical Community College, then transferred to Missouri State University where she completed a BS degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Meagan is a 2018 graduate of the Cox College MSOT program and is currently seeking her post professional doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy and a graduate certificate in College Education at The University of Missouri. Meagan has worked for Cox Health going on 9 years, in various positions from a secretary at a walk-in clinic, an acute care therapy tech, an occupational therapist at the rural hospital and to currently an occupational therapist at Cox South. Her interest include geriatrics, upper extremity rehab, and pathology. 


Bailey Baucum, OTD, OTL/R

Associate Professor

Bailey Baucum, OTD, OTR/L is an associate professor for the Occupational Therapy Department at Cox College. Dr. Baucum began practicing in occupational therapy in 2019. She joined Cox College faculty in the summer of 2024. Dr. Baucum is a three-time graduate from the University of Missouri—Columbia. She first earned her bachelor's in health sciences in 2017 and her master's in occupational therapy in 2019. Dr. Baucum then became the first graduate of the University of Missouri’s post-professional doctoral program. During her post-professional career, she earned a graduate certificate in organizational change and conflict management. Dr. Baucum’s doctoral capstone focused on fieldwork educators’ perspectives on Level II occupational therapy students in acute care. Her primary areas of practice and teaching include acute care, oncology, and documentation. 


The Cox College Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD  20814. ACOTE’s web address is AcoteOnline.org.

Professional Licensure

Successful completion of the program will confer an Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree. Graduates of the Cox College OTD Program will meet all of the educational requirements to be eligible to sit for the national certification examination, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The NBCOT Program data results can be found here. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination and/ or attain state licensure. Professional licensing varies by state/ territory and it is the program applicant’s/student’s/ graduate’s responsibility to thoroughly research specific licensing requirements in the state they wish to practice. To review state licensure eligibility requirements, go here.

The state professional licensing boards make the ultimate decision as to whether or not an individual will be eligible to sit for licensure based on the rules and regulations in place at the time the individual submits their application for licensure. The Missouri Occupational Therapy Practice Act can be found here.

Cox College occupational therapy graduates are encouraged to register nationally and also apply for state licensure in their home state of practice.


The Cox College entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD  20814. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.

The program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

The NBCOT Program data results can be found here.

Future on-site visit dates can be found here. 



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