Program Goals and Outcomes

CURRICULUM DESIGN

The occupational therapy curriculum design is organized based on the Human Developmental Model (biological and psychological) for a conceptual framework and the three domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains as the categories of educational activities. The human development model is used to guide the student in learning and understanding the impact of challenges on occupational performance during the lifespan of individuals.  This provides the framework for students to develop their clinical skills. The three domains of Bloom’s taxonomy (knowledge, skills, and attitude), are also applied throughout the curriculum.  The curriculum involves the acquisition of knowledge and the development and shaping of intellectual skills, as students begin to recognize facts, procedural patterns, as well as concepts that help in developing cognitive skills. The acquisition of skills pertinent to the profession, such as practice of hands-on activities, is of utmost importance and is used extensively in the curriculum. Personal attitude is important in all professions, and even more so in a clinical profession such as occupational therapy. Therefore, students’ awareness of their own behavioral strengths and weaknesses that can affect their attitude is strongly emphasized from day one of the curriculum. This is accomplished through self-assessment of behavior using a portfolio-based reflection tool and professional skills assessments.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DOCTORAL PROGRAM PHILOSOPHIES:

The Kettering College Occupational Therapy Program has adapted philosophies of occupation and occupational therapy from the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd Ed. (AOTA, 2014).  The fundamental beliefs about humans and how people learn is adapted from Andragogy (Knowels, 1980)

Occupation

“The term occupation…refers to the daily life activities in which people engage.   Occupations occur in context and are influenced by the interplay among client factors, performance skills, and performance patterns.  Occupations occur over time; have purpose, meaning, and perceived utility to the client; and can be observed by others or be known only to the person involved.” (Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd Ed., p. 53)  Occupations are the activities in which human beings engage that provide meaning and purpose.  Humans engaging in occupation contributes to their improved health and well-being.  Specific occupations are differentiated by the unique characteristics of each individual person, task, and context in which the occupation is engaged.  Occupational contexts include the cultural, temporal, physical, and social diversity that are present in our everyday lives.  Engagement in occupation creates the fabric and meaning of our human experience.

Occupational Therapy

“In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • An individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals.
  • Customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals.
  • An outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.” (AOTA, 2013)

The art and science of occupational therapy is to support full participation in life through identified meaningful occupations, which leads to increased health and well-being.  Fundamental to occupational therapy is the belief that occupational engagement is the right of everyone regardless of circumstances.  Occupational therapy is the only profession that provides treatment focused on increased participation in meaningful occupations as a method to maximize function, adaptation, and health.  Occupational therapy interventions comprise a variety of approaches including the promotion, restoration, and maintenance of health, well-being, and quality of life; modifications to support health and occupational engagement; and prevention of changes that could negatively impact health and participation in life.  Occupational therapists strive to provide occupation-based, evidence-based, client-centered, and culturally appropriate interventions for individuals, communities, or populations.  Maintaining high levels of quality in occupational therapy requires continued professional engagement of therapists in research, education, advocacy, cultural competency, and clinical practice.
Occupational therapy practitioners use their knowledge of the transactional relationship among the person, his or her engagement in valuable occupations, and the context to design occupation- based intervention plans that facilitate change or growth in client factors (body functions, body structures, values, beliefs, and spirituality) and skills (motor, process, and social interaction) needed for successful participation.  Occupational therapy practitioners are concerned with the end result of participation and thus enable engagement through adaptations and modifications to the environment or objects within the environment when needed. Occupational therapy services are provided for habilitation, rehabilitation, and promotion of health and wellness for clients with disability- and non-disability-related needs.  These services include acquisition and preservation of occupational identity for those who have or are at risk for developing illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or participation restriction.  (Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd Ed., p. 51)

Fundamental Beliefs about Humans and How They Learn

Human beings have an innate drive to learn.  Learning prepares people for full participation in the occupations of life.  The learning process is unique for each individual and based on multiple dynamic variables including the purpose for learning, the preferred learning style, the learning environment, the time frame for learning, and the complexity of information to be learned.  Adult learners are capable of identifying areas that need to be improved, setting their own goals and desired outcomes, and choosing which approaches to learning will help them achieve these outcomes.  Acquisition of knowledge and skills occurs through seeking, reflecting, hands-on practice, and self-assessment.  Successful educators facilitate and mentor adult learners in methods that support life-long learning.

Main threads of the Occupational Therapy Curriculum Design and Student Outcomes

    • Student-Centered Learning

    • Occupation-Based Practice

    • Client-Centered Practice

    • Evidence-Based Practice

    • Social-Cultural Interactions

    • Reflective Learning

    • Christian Service

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