Occupational Therapy Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Degree Program Director: Dianna Lunsford, OTD, OTR/L, CHT
Introduction The Occupational Therapy Doctorate program offers opportunities for in-depth study of, and clinical experiences with clients of all ages who have limited capacity to perform to their expectations in their everyday lives or who are at risk of developing a limiting condition. The goal of occupational therapy is to assist individuals to achieve their maximum level of independent living and quality of life through remediation of, adaptation to, or prevention of physical, cognitive, perceptual or mental health functional limitations. Occupational therapy utilizes the consultative process in addition to direct intervention and works with populations and systems as well as individuals.
Mission The Occupational Therapy Doctorate program engages students in the teaching/learning process to enable them to demonstrate excellence in entry-level and advanced skills (above the generalist level) in assessment-evaluation and the intervention process. The program encompasses the individual, the community (specific populations) and is understood though proficiency in outcome measurement, program evaluation, and analysis and synthesis of evidenced based outcomes data. The overall process is grounded in the diagnosis and application of occupation and performance, and the use of reasoning and creative problem solving.
Goals of the Program The goals of the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program reflect the missions of the university, college, and program. In essence, these are to educate self-directed students who, upon graduation, will become quality professionals, contribute to the body of knowledge of the profession and provide leadership for the profession and society. This will be accomplished through incorporation of the liberal studies component of the student’s bachelor’s degree into graduate, professional education in Occupational Therapy. Accordingly, the goals of the program are: • Develop quality occupational therapists whose practice is guided by occupational science and clinical reasoning; • Create life-long learners who will contribute to the body of knowledge of the profession;
• Foster student attitudes and professional behaviors consistent with the missions of the university, college and program; • Assist the student to develop the skills necessary to provide leadership roles in the profession and society; • Provide students with the skills and problem-solving abilities to adapt and respond proactively to a changing health care system and society; • Provide professional resources, services, leadership and scholarship to the profession and community; • Foster an academic community in which its members participate actively in the development of self and society. • Provide opportunities that prepare the student to be a self-directed life-long learner and encourage evidenced-based professional practice, independent inquiry, critical thinking, clinical reasoning, self-reflection, and self-assessment. • Provide an opportunity to identify and develop an area of advanced practice that is developed and refined in the experiential component or “internship” and the culminating project.
Program of Study The Occupational Therapy Doctorate program of study in Ruskin, Florida begins in the summer semester of the entering year with three required and foundational OT courses. The first year summer courses are online and include DOCCT 811, DOCCT 815 and DOCCT 818. Full-time, on-campus graduate course work starts in the fall semester and continues for 3+ years, with the summer between the first and second year off. The summer, fall, and spring semesters of the third year are spent in the class or in full-time clinical internships, followed by a capstone semester in the final summer (see curriculum). Students must complete Level II fieldwork and experiential requirements within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program. Upon completion of the program an Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree is awarded and graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT; www.nbcot.org). Individuals with certain types of criminal records (felonies) may be barred from practicing occupational therapy at the national or state level. Individuals with criminal records should contact NBCOT (http://www.nbcot.org) and the occupational therapy licensing board of the state where they would like to practice prior to applying for admission to any OT program. Both of these organizations will do early evaluations of the criminal record as a means of determining if the student would be allowed to practice occupational therapy.
Accreditation The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline. org. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national