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:
Utilizing a multi-modal curriculum that promotes knowledge translation, resulting in therapists equipped to meet the needs of diverse populations. (KNOWING)
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)
Advancing the profession of occupational therapy through innovation, evidence-based practice, and scholarly contributions. (ADVANCING)
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:
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!
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.
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. You'll spend two semesters in full-time level 2 fieldwork with expert mentorship. By blending book work with real-life experience, you will be ready to graduate and ace your NBCOT 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
The application deadline for Spring admission is September 1. The application process, prerequisite courses, and other admission requirements are listed in the OTD checklist.
OTD applicants must complete two different online applications:
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 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 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.
Michelle Jackson, OTD, MBA, OTR/L is a Professor for the Occupational Therapy Program at Cox College. Dr. Jackson began her OT career in 1995 with a 3-month fieldwork in rural Ireland. This experience was the start of a lifelong love of international aspects of care, and has led her additional experiences in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. Dr. Jackson has practiced with various populations and has provided occupational therapy in a variety of settings including acute care, ICU, in-patient rehab, home health, and outpatient facilities in the states of Colorado, Washington, North Carolina, Texas, and now Missouri. Her specialty areas are acute care/trauma and NICU. While practicing in North Carolina, Dr. Jackson earned her MBA with specialty certification in health care administration. She completed her doctorate through Creighton University December 2020. Dr. Jackson’s research in trauma informed care was published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing in 2021. Through a partnership with 7 Billion Ones and Gathering Friends for the Homeless, Dr. Jackson assisted in the development and successful launch of “The Road I Call Home”, a project that has led to new dialogue within the community of Springfield and across the country regarding homelessness. She is involved with the national LGBTQ+ advocacy group "Free Mom Hugs" and is the Missouri Ambassador for the Association of Occupational Therapy Politicial Action Committee (AOTPAC). Dr. Jackson’s global perspective, ethical framework, client-centered delivery of practice, and her dedication to social justice are evident throughout her course delivery including rich case study work and classroom discussion. Dr. Jackson will be completing a Bioethics certificate program through Creighton University beginning fall 2022.
Dr. Anna Quigg, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is an Associate Professor in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program at Cox College. Dr. Quigg is a licensed developmental psychologist and licensed behavior analyst (doctoral-level). Dr. Quigg completed her education, training, and fellowships in the University of Maryland System in Baltimore, Maryland. She practiced clinically in California and Missouri conducting developmental, behavioral, and diagnostic assessments; providing Applied Behavior Analysis treatment, training, supervision, and operations oversight. Dr. Quigg joined Cox College faculty in 2017 as Research Director for the MSOT Program. She has more than ten years’ experience in applied research and has published peer reviewed journal articles, poster presentations, and professional talks in the areas of pediatric growth and development, failure-to-thrive, feeding, development, caregiver stress and mental health, public policy, obesity, nutrition, and poverty. Her current research interests include professional education, pediatric well-being, and parent training. She continues to work clinically from her private practice, Quigg Consulting, which provides professional mentorship, supervision, consultation, and copy- and content-editing services. Dr. Quigg prepares students to see research opportunities in everyday clinical practice, to become critical consumers of information in order to create a generation of confident evidence-based practitioners.
Dustin Cox, DPT, PT, LSVT, CLT is an Associate Professor in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program at Cox College. Dr. Cox is a licensed physical therapist with advanced certification in therapeutic treatment for Parkinson’s and lymphedema. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology at Evangel University and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Southwest Baptist University and began practicing clinically in 2011. Dr. Cox has practiced in a variety of settings and specializes in geriatrics. His clinical focus includes maximizing quality of life and function, pain and lymphedema management, increasing balance and motor coordination, and decreasing bradykinetic movement. Dr. Cox brings rich perspective in the areas of biomechanics and environmental modification, biological concepts, neurological concepts, and maintaining highest level of occupational performance throughout the aging process. Dr. Cox’s research focuses on the relation between pain and functional performance and wellness. His research interests also include evaluating the efficacy of balance treatment strategies to increase patient safety. His community service interests include active participation in a variety of outdoor sports for charitable organizations and he has organized student participation in these events. He has helped develop and maintain multi-use trails, focused on community access for all people with TrailSpring in Southwest Missouri. Dr. Cox is passionate about excellence in geriatric practice, innovation in healthcare, inter-disciplinary collaboration, cross-disciplinary training, and all things biomechanics.
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 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.
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 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s web address is AcoteOnline.org.
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 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. 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.