Message From The Chair

Sherrilene Classen photo

Welcome to the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Florida!

The UF’s Department of Occupational Therapy is nationally renowned for its excellent programs in occupational therapy education and research, and is ranked 10th among all public universities in the nation. The Department has outstanding academic and training programs that include an accelerated Bachelor of Health Science to Occupational Therapy Doctorate, an entry level Master’s in Occupational Therapy, an Occupational Therapy Doctorate, a Post-Professional Certificate in Driver Rehabilitation Therapy, and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science. The department has federally funded programs in driving rehabilitation and community mobility, early childhood development, and intellectual and/or learning disabilities. The department is a co-leader in the NIH-funded K12 Rehabilitation Research Career Development consortium and houses the Institute for Mobility, Activity, and Participation. Our accomplishments, outlined below are varied. Specifically, the Department of Occupational Therapy:

  • was the first public university in Florida to offer an Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program (launched 2017)
  • launched the first accelerated Bachelor of Health Science to Occupational Therapy Doctorate (BHS-OTD) program in the country
  • launched the first and only Driver Rehabilitation Therapy (DRT) program in the country
  • is ranked 6th for its graduate program among public AAU universities by the US News and World Report
  • has for multiple consecutive years demonstrated a 100% pass rate of students on the NBCOT exams
  • has a rich history, with seminal leaders (Dr. Alice Jantzen, Dr. Lela Llorens), as past chairs
  • is the only program in the country with a Driver Rehabilitation Therapy certificate program
  • has a demonstrated international and national reputation for research excellence
  • has faculty members who are inducted into the American Occupational Therapy Foundation’s Academy of Research
  • has faculty members who are on the Roster of Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association
  • is home to the Editor-in-Chief of our profession’s research journal: OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health
  • presents rigorous pedagogical programs, informed by best evidence and best practices, from the undergraduate to doctoral level
  • attracts the best and the brightest students (more than 275 applicants for 47 spots in 2019)
  • boasts with Alumni in state and national occupational therapy leadership positions
  • showcases the annual Sandra Edwards Colloquium
  • provides lifelong learning opportunities via the on-line education program

In the past three years the Department has undergone transformational change: We have

  • more than doubled the number of our faculty
  • tripled the size of the Department
  • tripled our grant funding
  • expanded our academic programs from one to four
  • funded 11 OT PhD students in the RSD program
  • launched SmartDriver– a clinical driver rehabilitation program for North Central Florida

As you visit our site, we invite you to pay attention to our:

  • bold vision and mission
  • innovative research programs
  • collaborations with local, national and international stakeholders
  • creative pursuits in meeting the occupational demands and challenges of the 21st century
  • strategic actions to secure additional revenue streams
  • state of the art infrastructure, support, equipment, and services
  • accolades of faculty, staff, and students

The best predictor of future success is past performance.  While celebrating our most recent accomplishments over the past three years, we can only expect an incredible upwards trajectory, in all of our scholarly and academic endeavors, in the foreseeable future.

Sincerely,

Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, FGSA
Professor and Chair: Department of Occupational Therapy