Occupational therapy is a vital health care service that uses “occupation,” meaning purposeful activity, as the basis for treatment of people with a wide variety of physical, developmental, and emotional disabilities.
Occupational therapists help individuals with disabilities, of all ages, acquire or regain the skills they need to live independent, productive, and satisfying lives. They work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, public and private schools, home health agencies and community settings.
Occupational therapists are responsible for evaluating clients and developing treatment plans to assist clients in achieving their goals. They provide functional treatment activities for clients individually and in groups, and they choose or fabricate equipment that helps people function more independently. Occupational therapists supervise certified occupational therapy assistants in carrying out treatment plans and possess skills to work with a variety of allied health professionals.
Students must complete an educational program in occupational therapy at the graduate level to become an occupational therapist.
The graduate degree in occupational therapy includes coursework focusing on theoretical constructs and their application to clinical practice, research, competencies, and professional leadership skills. The degree also includes six to nine months of full-time (40 hours/week) internships in a variety of health care and human service settings.
To ensure continuity of application of academic concepts, all fieldwork must be completed within 24 months following academic preparation and 2 months prior to the NBCOT Certification Examination date.
Educational Learning Outcomes
The Shawnee State University Master of Occupational Therapy program focuses on learning essential concepts and skills to prepare students to enter the occupational therapy profession. It is the mission of the university, program mission, and key documents of the profession (AOTA Vision 2025, OTPF-4, 2018 ACOTE standards) that determine the expectations of knowledge, skills, and abilities that students are to obtain by graduation from the MOT program. Four primary concepts highlight the learning expectations.
- Students will understand “The Occupational Nature of Humans” and demonstrate the ability to evaluate, design client-driven treatment plans, and implement interventions based on this principle.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of occupational therapy theories, and the ability to select and apply theory(s) to individuals/groups for the purpose of improving participation in valued occupations.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of the influence of person, environment, and occupation on participation.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of human development, impact of various health conditions on participation, and ways to adapt to promote high functioning.
- Students will “think critically, act ethically, and communicate effectively”.
- Students will synthesize evidence for best practice when providing occupational therapy services to individuals and groups.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of using themselves therapeutically and communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, and supervisors.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of types of clinical reasoning and articulate how clinical reasoning promotes best practice.
- Students will use ethical reasoning in accordance with the profession’s current Code of Ethics to respond to ethical dilemmas.
- Students will demonstrate effective “leadership skills” to meet the health needs of an every-changing world.
- Students will understand leadership theory and apply to clinical situations.
- Students will identify their personal leadership strengths and areas for growth.
- Students will identify how their leadership strengths can be used as a “change agent” within occupational therapy practice.
- Students will demonstrate communication skills need as a leader within the community and profession.
- Students will work effectively in teams and group to accomplish a goal.
- Students will “Advocate and Promote Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” to remove barriers to services that promote meaningful engagement and quality of life.
- Students will employ understanding of diverse populations and best practices for delivering occupational therapy services for all people.
- Students will identify barriers for vulnerable populations and methods to remove these barriers.
- Students will identify personal biases and methods to replace them with more accurate understanding of diverse populations.
The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Blvd., Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-6611, and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.
Graduates of the program are able to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT); however, the NBCOT sets its own criteria for taking the exam, which may include questions on the applicant’s criminal history. A felony conviction my affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification examination or attain state licensure. For more information on these limitations, you can contact NBCOT at 301.990.7979, and its web address is www.nbcot.org. After successful completion of this exam, you are an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.
- University graduate application
- OTCAS application
- Earned bachelor’s degree
- College transcripts
- Minimum 3.2 GPA
- 50th percentile or above in each area on GRE < 3.2 GPA
- 40 hours of volunteer experience
- Three letters of reference
Social and Behavioral Sciences:
(3 or 4 CREDIT course in EACH of the following, beyond introductory level within ten years prior to program admission)
- Developmental Psychology or Human Development (must cover life span)
- Abnormal Psychology
- Sociology or Cultural Anthropology
- Adult Development and Aging
(3 or 4 unit course in each of the following upper division level of physical sciences within five years prior to program admission)
- Biomechanics and Functional Kinesiology
- Neuroanatomy with lab
- Advanced Human Physiology with lab OR Pathophysiology
- Two courses of physical sciences (upper division)
(3 or 4 CREDIT course in EACH of the following)
- Medical terminology