Jul 23, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalog 
2023-2024 General Catalog

Division of Occupational Therapy

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We believe that humans are complex and active beings whose development is dependent upon participation in occupations. This participation is context dependent and involves the whole person. Humans continually adapt as they grow. When this adaptation process is interrupted, occupational therapy utilizes occupation to facilitate change and renewal. The Division of Occupational Therapy believes that occupational therapy is client-centered, and occupation based. It is the role of the occupational therapy educators to promote the use of occupation to assist strength, fitness and wellbeing, growth, change, and adaptation to encourage full participation in meaningful occupation that culminates in general safety, security, and appropriate quality of life. Occupational therapy is science driven and based upon evidence. Occupations will be utilized to prevent, habilitate, and rehabilitate, through the intervention planning process to allow maximum participation in occupations.
We believe students should develop a solid base of knowledge that facilitates critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and problem-solving skills, all of which are essential to transition from student to competent occupational therapy practitioner. Recognizing that all interventions must be focused on client priorities, we emphasize client-centered evaluation and intervention. We believe that human beings grow and develop through occupation to participate fully in life. Participation in occupations is critical to a sense of well-being and health.
The curriculum is designed to provide students with an educational experience which focuses on continuous critical thinking in order that occupational therapy students be well prepared to function and thrive in the ever-changing contexts and environments of a diverse and multicultural society. This process acknowledges that skills must be achieved and maintained through research in a self-directed independent manner; foundational knowledge is best retained and applied when learned in a meaningful context of occupations. Graduate education must respect the uniqueness of individuals and honor a variety of perspectives, backgrounds and learning styles that enhance the richness of the graduate experience.

How the Program Philosophy Reflects the Current Philosophy of the Profession

The program faculty believes that the core philosophy of the profession includes the concepts that occupational therapy is occupation based, evidence-based, client-centered, and addresses health and well-being.  The revised philosophy of the program explicitly includes these concepts as evidenced using practical opportunities to screen and assess clients during University Health Fairs and through learning activities with children. The division utilizes such activities as observation, evaluation, splint making opportunities and group projects to disseminate Occupational Therapy information. Community events, such as the Forget Me Not Walk assists to meet the needs of a diverse and multicultural society. 


The mission of the occupational therapy program is to recognize that the program promotes meaningful participation in all occupations and activities. Human populations are diverse. Admissions are open and encourage cultural diversity for the student population and to meet the needs of the community. Research and evidence-based practice are promoted for knowledge acquisition and retention. The program will produce competent and critically thinking therapists. The program values integrity, ethical behavior, respect for all people and accountability.

Program Accreditation


c/o Accreditation Department

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200

Bethesda, MD 20814-3449   


The program is accredited until the next on-site evaluation in 2022/2023. Graduates are eligible to take the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapists administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).  Upon successful completion of this examination the individual is certified to use the title, Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). A score of more than 70% is required for passing.  As of July, 2013, 80% of students must pass the examination within one year of graduation. Most states require licensure to practice, however, state licenses are usually based on results on the NBCOT Certification Examination.

Organization of the Curriculum:

Prior to admission to the program, students must establish an educational base in liberal arts and sciences through baccalaureate programs and additional prerequisite coursework.  These requirements introduce students to modes of inquiry and subject matter of the major branches of knowledge that include the information and theoretical/artistic constructs that impact on kinds of questions to ask and how insight, knowledge and data are acquired and used.  These experiences include a core curriculum of physical and biological sciences, history and social sciences, art, humanities, mathematical thinking, and general liberal arts education.  Students are expected to have writing skills, an appreciation for cultural diversity, a worldview of their environment, reasonable ethical viewpoints, and a sense of citizenship.

The concepts and methods utilized to organize the curriculum strongly reflect the mission and educational philosophy of the program.  The curriculum follows a modified problem-based learning model of teaching and learning.  Students are required to solve practice problems through self-directed and peer group study. Use of this system allows students to integrate their acquired theoretical and foundational knowledge base into occupational therapy practice. 


    Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s Degree

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