History of Occupational Therapy

The Occupational Therapy Program at Tuskegee University was established  in 1978  with the first class graduating in 1980. Tuskegee University houses the second oldest professional program in occupational therapy in the State of Alabama and the second oldest program at a historically black college or university.


TUSKEGEE University
School of Nursing and Allied Health
Occupational Therapy Program


The program received initial accreditation on January 11, 1980 and has maintained  continuous accreditation, first with the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation of the American Medical Association (CAHEA) and beginning in 1998 with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

Mrs. Lyles arrived at Tuskegee University (then Institute) on July 1, 1977 to develop the occupational therapy curriculum.  She served as the program director from 1977 to 1999.  Ms. Gwendolyn Gray was appointed as interim program director  in 1999 and was approved as program director by ACOTE in the Fall of 2000.  Mrs. Lyles retired on May 31, 2000.

Graduating a class every year since 1980, the occupational therapy program has alumni practicing across the United States in clinics, hospitals, academic and other community settings. Many of our alumni are administrators, senior therapists and business owners. Several are educators in occupational therapy and many have returned to school to pursue and obtain advanced degrees in various fields of study. In August of 2002 the occupational therapy freshmen class began the 5 year Master of Science program in occupational therapy.  The first M.S. class graduated in May of 2007.

The occupational therapy alumni association was established on January 20, 2004 when a group of local alumni met at the home of Mrs. Marie Moore Lyles to plan a 25th anniversary celebration and reunion.