Students working with a Faculty member and a person who needs physical therapy.

Curriculum Design

Curriculum Threads 

The curriculum is organized around four major themes. The themes run through the curriculum which include:

  1. Evidence-based Practice and Scholarship
  2. Occupation-centered and Client-centered Approach
  3. Ethics and Interprofessional Practice
  4. Innovation and Technology

Fink’s taxonomy of significant learning experiences (Fink, 2003) is used as a framework to guide the development of a range of student learning experiences within the curriculum.  It consists of six domains that are dynamic and interactive. The learning experiences facilitated and fostered in the program are as follows:

  1. Foundational knowledge:  involves key information such as facts, concepts, and principles that are important for students to learn. 
  2. Application: involves development of essential skills required from students such as critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills.
  3. Integration: involves recognizing and making connections among the information, ideas, and perspectives within the same course and those in other courses within the curriculum. 
  4. Human dimension: reflects discovering something about themselves and understanding others as wells as how the interactions with others can happen more effectively. 
  5. Caring: reflects a change in attitude/ideas/values about themselves and their own learning.
  6. Learning how to learn: encourages life-long learning. Students will continue learning beyond the classroom.

Reference: Fink, L.D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

The curriculum design reflects the mission and philosophy of both the OT program and the College.  The design identifies four primary practice areas: Children and Youth, Rehabilitation and Disability, Productive Aging, and Mental Health. In the first semester, the program focuses on building strong foundational knowledge that underlie and define OT processes. Occupation Engagement as the core concept of Occupational Therapy is introduced in the first semester and addressed throughout the curriculum in each major practice area. Starting in the 2nd semester, the specific areas of OT practice, Mental Health and Productive Aging are incorporated.  The Rehabilitation and Disability area of practice is primarily covered in the 3rd semester. In the 4th semester of the curriculum, the Children and Youth practice area is offered.  These Practice courses are associated with a Level 1 Fieldwork experience, which occurs concurrently when the practice course offered.  Client-centered Practice, Professionalism, and Ethics are addressed throughout the curriculum through all practice and fieldwork courses as well as professionalism courses. Students will have opportunities to learn interprofessionally in both first and second year of the curriculum. Evidence-based practice is embedded in a series of four research courses and is reinforced throughout the curriculum. The program also prepares students to be life-long learners and embrace Innovation and Technology for both traditional and emerging practice areas.