Students

OT Curriculum Design

The study of human performance and participation in everyday occupations and contexts across the lifespan is the conceptual core of our M.OT, M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs. This core stems directly from the department’s vision and mission, hence, our dedication to education, research, outreach and engagement that meet real-world occupational needs.

Our conceptual core serves as the anchoring center of courses, fieldwork experiences, and research and outreach activities in the department and throughout students’ learning experiences. Shared attention to human performance and occupational participation also links our faculty’s respective programs of research and community outreach and service. The core consequently informs five curriculum threads, or broad thematic areas of study, which cut across multiple courses in the master’s and doctoral programs:

  • Rigorous culture of inquiry
  • Foundations of performance and occupational participation
  • Optimizing performance and occupational participation
  • Teaching and learning
  • Professional identity and career
OT Curriculum Design Conceptual Core Professional Identity and Career Foundations Human Performance and Participation Optimizing Human Performance and Participation Teaching and Learning Rigorous Culture of Inquiry Professional Identity and Career Foundations Human Performance and Participation Optimizing Human Performance and Participation Teaching and Learning Rigorous Culture of Inquiry

As shown below for the master’s programs, the five threads organize five overall curricular outcomes. Each thread is also associated with specific learning outcomes that students achieve by the conclusion of their studies. In addition, threads are associated with the specific learning objectives of assignments and courses.


Master's Overall Outcomes Organized by Curricular Threads

Prepare practitioners who use contextual thinking to meet the ever-changing occupational needs of individuals, groups and populations in diverse service contexts, as evidenced by:

  • Reflection, flexibility, and curiosity in learning and practice.
  • Empathy, compassion, and the ability to discern clients’ priorities for service.
  • The ability to integrate knowledge, evidence and situational factors to make, justify and modify decisions.
  • The ability to create and influence dynamic practices that reflect up-to-date research, theory and approaches.
  • A sincere appreciation for research.

Rigorous Culture of Inquiry

Masters students are able to:

  • Express and justify one’s reasoning orally and in writing.
  • Actively participate in a community of scholars consisting of faculty, interdisciplinary scholars, practitioners, clients.
  • Explain the historical and philosophical development of different areas practice and forms of inquiry.
  • Explain the relationship of different forms of inquiry to practice.
  • Understand that professional knowledge is fluid and dynamic by demonstrating the ability to:
    • Locate, synthesize, critically evaluate, and apply scholarship that supports practice and its underlying foundations.
    • Select, justify, and advocate for practice approaches considered "best practice".
    • Allow research to modify and change one’s practice.
    • Translate research to practice and understand when research does not translate to particular clients or settings.
  • Demonstrate preliminary skills and habits to support further developments as scholars.
  • Conduct components of research under the guidance of faculty.
  • Discern ethical issues concerning the conduct and translation of research.
  • Generate questions about individuals’ and groups’ performance and participation that range from basic to applied, from body functions & structures to social, economic and political systems.

Foundations of Human Performance and Participation in Everyday Occupations and Contexts

Masters students are able to:

  • Articulate the contributions of Occupation and Rehabilitation Science to understanding human performance and participation in occupation.
  • Explain the transactions between: the quality of performance and participation in occupation, the distinctiveness of the person/group, and the characteristics of environments.
  • Explain how performance and participation in occupation influences and is influenced by the following:
    • Body structures and function
    • Mental health & well-being
    • Lifespan development
    • Culture and diversity
    • Social participation
    • Public policy
    • Physical environments
  • Synthesize knowledge of the multiple levels that influence occupational performance to guide practice perspectives and decisions.

Optimizing Human Performance and Participation in Everyday Occupations and Contexts

Masters students are able to:

  • Use occupation therapeutically with individuals, groups, populations across the life span.
  • Engage clients (individuals, groups, systems, populations) in creating a course of action for improving and/or maintaining human performance and participation.
  • Assess the impact of each of the following on occupational performance:
    • Body structures and function
    • Mental health & well-being
    • Lifespan development
    • Culture and diversity
    • Social participation
    • Public policy
    • Physical environments
    • Service context
  • Design and implement interventions that address multiple levels (see above) of human performance and participation for individuals, groups, systems and populations.
  • Provide strong rationales and evidence to justify interventions at each level (above) of human performance and participation.
  • Competently measure, document and report changes in human performance and participation in occupation.
  • Utilize ethical reasoning throughout the OT process.
  • Identify needs where occupational therapy could provide a vital service.
  • Create new services and determine how services will be delivered.
  • Continuously critique and modify practice approaches in light of new scholarship.

Effective Teaching and Learning

Masters students are able to:

  • Analyze, evaluate and construct knowledge.
  • Create learning opportunities for a broad continuum of clients (individuals, groups, populations, systems), using scholarship of how people learn
    • Engage clients (individuals, groups, populations, systems) in problem-solving that will improve human performance and participation.
    • Use strategies that are universal for all types of learners.

Professional Identity and Career Development

Masters students are able to:

  • Embrace and integrate the philosophy, history and values of occupational therapy.
    • Analyze and evaluate origins, evolutions and future direction of present day interventions.
    • Articulate how one will move the occupational therapy profession forward.
  • Articulate and advocate with confidence, for what occupational therapy can offer society.
  • Act ethically and with integrity during all interactions as an occupational therapy student/practitioner/professional.
  • Demonstrate continuous reflection, flexibility and curiosity in learning to keep practice dynamic.
  • Craft a professional development plan for continued competence after the academic program.