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Whitworth University Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program Achieves Candidacy Status

April 26, 2022

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at Whitworth University has been granted candidacy status by the professional accrediting body the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The status allows Whitworth to admit students for the inaugural class that begins in August 2022.

“Being granted candidacy status is confirmation from ACOTE that Whitworth University’s new Doctor of Occupational Therapy program has a great foundation with its internationally and nationally recognized faculty, innovative curriculum design, state-of-the-art building, and creative educational strategies,” says Greg Wintz, Ph.D., Whitworth’s OTD program director.

ACOTE highlighted several strengths of Whitworth’s OTD program including:

Strong support from university administration, faculty, and students

Faculty with community and clinical experience

On-site clinic to support student clinical training and the community

State-of-the-art building to promote interprofessional education between occupational therapy, physical therapy, and athletic training students

The financial backing of a $10 million gift to support Whitworth’s graduate health science programs

Occupational therapy assistant and pre-OT degree programs nearby

Christian university compliments dimensions of OT scope of practice

Designed as a full-time, three-year program, the Whitworth Doctor of Occupational Therapy program will prepare graduates to work in healthcare, community, and educational settings. The program will provide hands-on classes, clinical opportunities and professional education integrated with other interprofessional graduate courses to facilitate professional development.

Students can expect to complete this program in nine consecutive semesters. Whitworth’s OT graduates will be prepared to collaborate with other healthcare professionals in patient care, health science education, research, and service, particularly to the underserved populations of the region. 

Students in Whitworth’s OT program will also be some of the first to benefit from a new, state-of-the art, 38,000-square-foot health sciences building. The Dana & David Dornsife Health Sciences Building includes an Activity of Daily Living and Pediatric Neuro Lab, Motion Analysis Research lab, Exercise Physiology labs, Anatomy labs, Simulation labs, dedicated classrooms and functional lab spaces to support the unique needs of each of its health programs, and an interprofessional practice clinic. 

“These learning environments, in addition to our curriculum’s robust interprofessional education component, will allow students to thrive in their clinical fieldwork placements and beyond,” says Loriann Helgeson, academic fieldwork coordinator for the OTD program.  

The program now proceeds to pre-accreditation review, the second step of a three-step accreditation process. The program must have pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, which is scheduled between August-November 2024, and be granted full accreditation status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination. 

For more information about Whitworth’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, click here

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or