Colorado State’s Occupational Therapy Program Awarded $1.6 Million and Lauded as "Program of Excellence"

Colorado State University’s Occupational Therapy program has been awarded $1.6 million over a five-year period by the Colorado General Assembly and distinguished as a "program of excellence" by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

At it’s June meeting, the commission announced the award to the internationally-known program, noting that Colorado State’s occupational therapy program had taken a leadership role in establishing the young profession as a science-based practice.

"To be recognized by leaders of the state reaffirms our program’s extraordinary achievements," said Jodie Hanzlik, head of the occupational therapy department. "The funding from this award will allow us to take this already ground-breaking program to a new level of innovation and excellence."

Hanzlik added that the increased funding would also allow the program to enhance its community-based services while extending its resources to other departments at the university and other educational and health-related institutions throughout the state.

"We will be preparing our students to be leaders in the field through a program grounded in technology- and research-based competencies," said Hanzlik. "These curricular changes will allow us to provide students with a host of new skills necessary for the challenges of the 21st century, thereby increasing their employment opportunities and enabling them to work in a variety of healthcare arenas within and beyond OT."

U.S. News & World Report named Colorado State’s occupational therapy master’s degree program as one of the top 10 graduate programs in the nation this year. It also is consistently ranked among the top 10 programs by the Gourman Report and Peterson’s Guide, both publications rate graduate and professional programs of American and international universities.

"The occupational therapy department truly epitomizes the goals of a land grant institution," said Nancy Hartley, dean of applied human sciences. "An advanced curriculum, significant research and community outreach are the foundation of the program taught by an internationally recognized faculty."

The program has been designated as a "Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence" at Colorado State University. In addition, Anne Fischer, professor of occupational therapy, was recently named a University Distinguished Professor. This is the highest honor the university can bestow upon its faculty, reserved for only twelve members who have achieved national and international distinction in their academic careers.

Colorado State is the only higher education institution in the state to offer an occupational therapy degree.

For more information about the occupational therapy program, visit their website at; or, call Hanzlik at (970) 491-7304.