The School of Occupational Therapy at the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) has been granted candidacy status for the doctor of occupational therapy program. The status allows the school to admit students for the inaugural class that begins January 2022.
Candidacy applications are submitted and reviewed by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). ACOTE highlighted several strengths for the ACHE OT program including, experienced leadership, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, a campus environment dedicated to health and wellness, and opportunities for realistic education, according to an ACHE statement. The final report stated that “no areas of concern” were noted by the accrediting body.
“The ACHE OT faculty and staff are experts in occupational therapy practice and education. They are committed to the OT profession and the individuals it serves,” Kyle Parker, president and CEO at ACHE, noted in the statement. “ACHE OT is dedicated to providing a program that will produce occupational therapy practitioners who are equipped to be leaders in healthcare.”
The occupational therapy program will have 36 students and will begin in January 2022.
“We are grateful that Dr. Parker and the ACHE Board of Trustees have a mission to improve healthcare through innovative education practices and that they recognized the need to offer an occupational therapy program. We are primed to educate and graduate occupational therapy practitioners that will be outstanding in their field,” noted Dr. Jennifer Moore, dean of the School of Occupational Therapy.
ACHE was formed when Fort Smith-based Degen Foundation used part of $70 million from the sale of Sparks Health System in November 2009 to what was then Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates to build the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) at Chaffee Crossing. The $32.4 million college and its 103,000 square feet is now home to 600 medical students. ACHE has since built a 66,000-square-foot College of Health Science building on the campus that is home to physical therapy and occupational therapy degree programs. ACHE is also underway on standing up its Research Institute Health and Wellness Center.