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OT Student Enjoys Accessibility, Small Atmosphere CSM Offers
Sam Homan
Omaha, NE
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Sam Homan initially attended college to become a nurse. But after his first clinical rotation, he changed his mind. “I got exposed to occupational therapy and fell in love with it,” he said.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in psychology, Sam enrolled in College of Saint Mary’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate program. He had applied to two other larger colleges, but he liked CSM for its small atmosphere, which mirrored his undergraduate experience.

“I just really love the aspects of smaller colleges in terms of the relationships you can build with your professors. It’s not overwhelming as far as the size of the campus,” Sam said, adding that lab spaces and equipment are also more accessible.

Sam also appreciates the OT faculty’s welcoming, open-door policy.

“I feel like I can ask questions, and I can really grasp what they are bestowing upon me,” he said. “I can set up office hours whenever I like. I could have a three-hour class and 30 minutes later see them at lunch and talk to them about something I may not have understood. If they had larger classes, I don’t think I would have that opportunity.”

CSM’s OTD program focuses on developing clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program development, advocacy, and education. In addition, students must complete two 12-week fieldwork experiences along with a 14-week doctoral experience that culminates in a scholarly project.

Sam was recently approved to complete his Level II fieldwork at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals in Lincoln. He’ll work with traumatic brain injuries in the acute inpatient rehab.

The Omaha native chose occupational therapy for its complexity and its creativity.

“With occupational therapy, everybody does functional tasks differently. You can bring your own creativity. No two days will be the same,” he said. “Sure, you might be relying on similar assessments or interventions or things of that nature, but everybody is going to present differently, and everybody is going to heal differently.”

While he will graduate in 2026, Sam hopes to eventually become a certified hand therapist, which requires five years of practice before he can apply for certification.