Occupational Therapy Introduces Online Courses


Lydia Sheperd, a first year student in the Le Moyne College Occupational Therapy program, doing work on her laptop in the student common area at Le Moyne’s OT site in downtown Syracuse.

Caitlyn Austin, Staff Writer

Le Moyne College’s Occupational Therapy program will be introducing online courses in May 2022.

“The current generation of students uses technology as their primary mode of learning,” said Caitlin Esposito, chair of the Occupational Therapy program. “In order to appeal to this type of student and remain competitive with other occupational therapy programs across the country, we decided to offer online coursework.”

Esposito said that they hope this will make the applicant pool larger, but it will not affect the number of students they accept into the program. Esposito also added that these changes will make no difference in tuition cost, and the students will receive the same faculty to student ratio as offered face-to-face.

Esposito said that a unique part of their program is the short 24 month time frame, after which students can receive their master’s and sit for their national board certification exam. In order to keep balance and fit that time frame, the coursework needs to start in May of each year, explained Esposito. This can be a short transition time for students, and the online courses will make this transition much easier, said Esposito.

Four online courses will be offered: Ethics, Intro to OT, OT Science, and Clinical Medicine. The courses will run from May to August; since the program operates in a cohort, all 45 students entering the cohort in May will have to enroll in these online courses.

“We may transition a few other courses over time to either fully online or hybrid formats, dependent upon the success with these first courses,” said Esposito.

Marisa Hart, professor of practice in the OT program, said students will have to check in to a virtual classroom on an app called Zoomtopia or some type of learning platform they choose.

“For my course I am going to require a face-to-face virtual classroom every two weeks for one hour,” said Hart. “They will at least get to see their peers and give them a chance to get to know one another, because that is one of the concerns we heard about.”

Lydia Shepherd, a first year student in the Occupational Therapy program, was aware that the Occupational Therapy program was adding online courses to help make the transition into the program easier after undergrad.

“I didn’t come right from undergrad, but I think any option that gives people more flexibility is a positive thing for sure,” said Shepherd. “I can see how that would be a positive thing for both people coming right from undergrad, but even someone with a job or having to transition from whatever they’re doing.”