Skip to Main Content
Spalding University Library Logo

ASOT OTD Program Student Handbook

The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT), Occupational Therapy Doctoral (OTD) Program Student Handbook is the policy and procedure resource specific to this program. This handbook aligns with the Spalding University Student Handbook and Catalog.

Active Enrollment

Each OTD student is responsible to enroll and fulfill financial obligations according to publicized timelines for courses according to the ASOT OTD Program of Study. Each student is responsible for engaging in this program as professional, accountable, adult learners and to fulfill academic obligations as described by faculty, other educators, and/or syllabi for each course within the ASOT OTD program. Each student is expected to engage in behaviors that align with the ASOT OTD Professionalism Guidelines and the American Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. All students who consistently fulfill these criteria are actively enrollment in the program and will progress through this program as outlined by the ASOT OTD Program of Study in good status with this program and Spalding University. 

Progam Completion Time Frame

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) students must satisfactorily meet all degree requirements (including Level II Fieldwork experiences and the OTD Capstone Project) for OTD completion/matriculation within five (5) calendar years/60 months from the date of initial enrollment in the program. 

  • All OT 700 and OT 800 level courses (including Level II Fieldwork) must be successfully completed within four (4) years/48 months from program start date. 
  • Subsequently, all course requirements for OT 700 and OT 800 level courses shall be satisfactorily met prior to the student enrollment in OT 900 Occupational Therapy Capstone.
  • Successful completion of OT 900 Occupational Therapy Capstone must occur within 12 months from initial course enrollment date. 

Any deviations or exceptions to this policy due to extenuating circumstances must be made at the discretion and approval of the ASOT Chair. All Level II fieldwork and the doctoral capstone must be completed within a timeframe established by the program (i.e. ASOT OTD program). Please see the Fieldwork and Capstone handbooks for more details.

Withdrawal from the OTD Program

A student wishing to withdraw from the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy must meet with his/her advisor for academic counseling and must complete the appropriate forms.  An exit interview with the ASOT Chair is required. All withdrawal or drop forms must also be signed off on by a financial aid counselor. Any drop or withdrawal from a course may impact a student’s financial aid package. If a student is in a good academic standing with the program and wishes to return to the program, arrangements and a timeline for return will be discussed at the time of withdrawal.  If a withdrawing student is eligible to return to the program, this return must occur within 12 months of withdrawal, or the student will be subject to re-admission and to completing the entire 110-credit professional program curriculum.

Course Withdrawal

All courses must be taken in the defined program of study (POS) sequence unless permission from the ASOT Chair is given. A student in the ASOT OTD Program may ONLY withdraw from a maximum of two (2) courses.

  • Approval will not be given for a second withdrawal from the same course.  For example, a student may withdraw only one time from OT 720 Movement in Occupation.
  • Only one (1) withdrawal from any of the Level II Fieldwork courses, or
  • Only one (1) withdrawal from OT 900 OTD Capstone Experience can occur.  

Most courses occurring in each trimester are pre-requisites for subsequent OTD program courses occurring in latter trimesters. Please refer to the University Catalog for the Occupational Therapy Program of Study and course descriptions.  


1.      Withdrawal from an OTD program course will result in the student being placed on a delayed track until such time as that course is taught again in the curriculum. During the program delay, the student may not be registered for subsequent courses where the course withdrawn from is a prerequisite, unless approved by the ASOT Chair.

2.     Regardless, if the course withdrawal is the first or second occurrence in the professional program, request for withdrawal will be approved for only one (1) Level II Fieldwork course; this may be for OT 830 or OT 840.  Request for withdrawal from a Level II Fieldwork will only be approved through the tenth week of the experience.  Course withdrawal from a Level II Fieldwork due to risk of failing will require a faculty-approved intervention plan prior to subsequent Fieldwork placement. This plan is developed through face-to-face dialog between the student, the Academic Fieldwork Director, and ASOT Chair.  Future Level II Fieldwork will be scheduled as available.  Failure in a Level II Fieldwork course will result in withdrawal from the OTD program. A grade of “C” or lower in Level II Fieldwork experience is considered a failure. A student who has not been successful in a Level II Fieldwork experience is NOT eligible to complete the OTD program.​

3.  In the event that a student has significant life challenges in any given trimester that precludes successful academic performance in two or more courses, and in the event that that the student has no prior OTD course withdrawals; the student may be allowed to withdraw from all OTD courses for that trimester during the official University withdrawal period.  The student will be placed on the delayed track to return to the program within 12 months. Further course withdrawals will not be approved without written appeal to, and subsequent approval from, the ASOT Chair. 

Reinstatement to the OTD Program

Students who withdraw and wish to reenter at a later date are subject to the University Catalog Returning Students policy within the Graduate Program Policies >Graduate Application and Admission > Returning Students section.  The student is required to submit a letter to the ASOT Chair requesting reinstatement to the OTD Program, within 12 months from date of withdrawal.  Reinstatement into the program will be on a space-available basis only.

Students who wish to apply for reinstatement to the Occupational Therapy Program must submit, to the Chair, a letter requesting reinstatement no later than 60 days prior to the next scheduled academic term.

Upon receipt of the student’s letter, the Occupational Therapy Admission Committee will review the student’s record and submit recommendations to the Chair of the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy.

A letter from the Chair of the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy Program will be sent to the student regarding the decision for reinstatement.  Reinstatement to the program must be within twelve (12) months of the withdrawal to remain in the sequence of previous status.  Withdrawals extending beyond 12 months will require re-application and completion of the entire entry-level OTD program.​


Dismissal from the OTD Program

Students who fail to meet OTD program standards are subject to dismissal from the OTD program and university.  Dismissal can occur due to:

  • Failure to meet graduate academic grade/GPA standards,
  • Inability to demonstrate behaviors consistent with the professional practice of occupational therapy as described in the Statement of Professionalism in the Professionalism Section of this Handbook and/or the AOTA Code of Ethics, or
  • Violations of student responsibilities, and/or maintenance of professional and/or academic integrity or academic GPA standards as described in the University Catalog.



Appeal Process

Students have the opportunity to appeal academic and/or professional integrity decisions. A student's appeals process must be in compliance with University Catalog’s Procedures.  Per University policy, the faculty/instructor of record for a course is the student' first point of contact in the appeal processStudents MUST communicate in writing with the faculty/instructor of record of the course within five (5) days of the dispute occurrence. The student must follow the policies and procedures based upon the nature of the dispute. Students are expected to understand and foster the University Statement of Responsibility as listed in the University Catalog.

The following University Catalog Policies pertain to the appeals processes:

  • Disagreement in Grade Assigned
  • Professional Integrity
  • Academic Integrity
  • Professional and Academic Decisions: Student Appeal Procedure