4720 Montgomery Lane
P.O. Box 31220
Bethesda, MD 20824-1220
Phone number for AOTA is: 301-652-AOTA
Graduates of the program will be eligible to take the certification examination implemented by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) located at:
800 South Frederick Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). Most states require a license in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based in part on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Some states might not license, nor fieldwork sites accept individuals with prior criminal records. A criminal background check will be required of all students in the second professional year of the program. It is the applicant's responsibility to inquire about licensing and fieldwork requirements prior to enrolling in the MOT program.
The University of Findlay's mission statement is: to equip students for meaningful lives and productive careers.
mission of the Occupational Therapy Programs is to prepare occupational
therapists who understand and value a community-focused and occupation-based
approach to practice, are leaders in a variety of professional roles, and
participate in ongoing professional development in preparation for service in
occupational therapy curriculum is organized around the concepts of humans as
occupational beings, the daily performance of occupations, and an understanding
of the contextual complexities that are necessary for meaningful occupational
performance. Meyer (1922) suggests that
the essence of human functioning includes being active and that active
engagement serves to ground humans in reality.
Kielhofner (1995) has defined human occupation as "doing culturally
meaningful work, play or daily living tasks in the stream of time and in the
contexts of one’s physical and social world" (p.3). These occupations are the foundation for
productive living. Dunn, Brown, and
McGuigan (1994) extend this concept by suggesting that occupational performance
may be understood by examining the phenomenology of the interactions between
the person, the task, and the environmental experiences of the individual who
is engaged in occupations. The use of
occupation as a therapeutic tool is grounded in the historical and theoretical
foundations of the profession.
individual may combine occupations in a variety of ways to support and satisfy
the occupational demands of his/her unique life roles and activities of daily
living that may include: self-care, work
and productive activities, education, play, leisure, rest, and relaxation. Occupational therapists are concerned with
the ability of individuals of all ages to perform occupations that allow them
to live satisfying and productive lives.
In addition, occupational therapists ensure client-centered practice by
involving individuals in the process of determining which performance areas
receive attention in the therapeutic process.
Occupational therapists believe that occupational performance is
enhanced through a holistic approach that includes attending to and respecting
the physical, mental, social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of the
individual. The occupational therapy
process also includes cooperation and collaboration among clients, caregivers,
family members, and other professionals.
The practice of occupational therapy requires a continually developing
base of clinical reasoning and technical competencies for effective
interaction, evaluation, and implementation of intervention strategies.
are many diverse direct and indirect service delivery contexts in which
occupational therapists practice. These
settings and areas of practice may include:
school systems, long-term care facilities, acute care settings, physical
rehabilitation settings, mental health programs, home care opportunities, early
intervention programs, industrial rehabilitation programs, case management,
community-based programs, consultation, education, research, disease prevention
and health promotion. Occupational
therapists must understand that society and health care are dynamic
institutions impacted by individual, local, national, and global growth and
change. The practice of occupational
therapy also includes innovative, creative thinking necessary for the
advancement of the individual and the profession to meet the ever-changing
demands of occupational therapy, health care, and society.
is essential that occupational therapists understand, internalize, and live the
ethical principles and values of the profession.
The curriculum design for the Occupational Therapy Programs
at the University of Findlay is based upon concepts of the Model of Human
Occupation (Kielhofner & Burke, 1980), the Ecology of Human Performance
framework (Dunn & McGuigan, 1994), and the application of Schön’s (1983)
Reflection-in-Action theory as described in Clinical Reasoning by Mattingly and
Fleming (1994). In addition, the curriculum is designed to comply with
the Standards for an Accredited Educational Program for the Occupational
Therapist (Standards) adopted in 2008 by the Accreditation Council for
Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy
Association, Inc. (AOTA).
Conceptual Foundations for Curriculum Design
The Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) outlines three major subsystems
that attempt to explain and account for all human behavior. At the most
basic level, the mind-brain-body performance level, new skills and the rules
for using these skills are developed. At the next level, the habituation
level, skills are practiced until they become internalized as components of
various life roles and habits. At the highest level, the volitional
level, a person makes decisions to act based on values, motivations, and
beliefs in order to engage in occupations in an effective and satisfying
manner. The model of human occupation also suggests that learning may
occur interactively, at multiple subsystem levels, and relies on feedback from
the environment to modify human behavior.
The Ecology of Human Performance (EHP) framework extends the emphasis of the
significance of the environmental context within which human beings perform
daily occupations. Human occupational performance can be best understood
with knowledge of the unique contextual complexities that each individual includes
in the performance of daily occupations. By emphasizing the importance of
environmental factors, an occupational therapist demonstrates an awareness that
extends beyond a holistic and technical evaluation of an individual’s
occupational performance. The contextual complexities that are a part of
daily living, serve to organize volitional, habituation, and performance level
functioning into a unique and meaningful occupational profile. By
understanding an individual’s occupational performance within the context of
unique life circumstances, an occupational therapist is able to offer
appropriate and meaningful interventions.
The Reflection-in-Action theory developed by Schön, serves to complement the
tenets of MOHO and EHP. Schön emphasizes the process of critical thinking,
or reflection, in the everyday life of the professional. Critical
thinking allows a competently trained professional to recognize phenomena sets,
such as symptoms associated with a particular disease, for which an understanding
has been gained primarily through hands-on experiences. The process of
critical thinking goes beyond an accumulation of professional skills and
knowledge, and requires individual practitioners to respond critically to
uncertainty, instability, uniqueness, and values conflicts. In daily
practice, a professional makes innumerable qualitative judgments for which
he/she rarely states the rules or procedures; the professional simply
"knows" what to do through experience based on prior learning.
Even when the professional consciously uses research-based theories and
techniques, he/she is dependent on implicit recognitions, judgments, and
skillful performances that require critical thinking. Critical thinking,
or clinical reasoning as identified by Mattingly and Fleming (1994), recognizes
and values the individual strengths, judgment, and levels of competence of the
occupational therapy practitioner.
Mattingly and Fleming (1994) have identified four levels of clinical reasoning
that each occupational therapist is likely to progress through as he/she gains
experience through clinical practice. As the occupational therapist gains
knowledge through experience, he/she is able to look beyond the technical
aspects of a client’s occupational performance needs and develop an
understanding of the context surrounding a client’s unique life
situation. This contextual understanding allows the occupational
therapist to develop more effective interventions that address a client’s
occupational performance needs in a meaningful, individualized manner.
The oil derrick has been chosen as a graphic representation of the UF
Occupational Therapy Program curriculum design. All of the concepts of
the guiding theories discussed here can be seen reflected in the various parts
of the derrick. Refer to the curriculum graphic model on the page
preceding this section. The curriculum design is essentially a plan for
selecting and sequencing the program content. This curriculum design
reflects the program’s philosophy regarding occupational therapy as a
profession and the ACOTE Standards of a professional education for an
occupational therapist. In addition, this curriculum design describes a
process and does not intend to limit the scope of theories and models of
occupational therapy practice addressed and included in the program.
The sequence of courses in the curriculum reflects the philosophical base of
the curriculum design that includes MOHO and EHP. In many ways, MOHO is a
developmental model that describes how individuals acquire skills, develop them
in their daily roles and habits, and subsequently make choices necessary to
function on a daily basis. EHP places additional emphasis on the
recognition and understanding of the contextual aspects of each individual’s
life, and suggests that the occupational therapist include these important
considerations when developing a plan to enhance occupational
performance. The ability to recognize the contextual implications and
understand an individual’s occupational performance needs is the essence of
clinical reasoning for occupational therapists.
The courses in this curriculum serve to build the knowledge and skills of a
student in a developmental manner as he/she progresses through the
program. As the level of the professional courses increases, there is an
assumption that these higher-level courses are based upon the courses
previously offered in the prerequisite and professional coursework. As
the student moves from the academic setting to the clinical setting during
fieldwork, skills and techniques become more familiar and integrated as the
student continues to develop toward the future role as an occupational
therapist. As the student nears the completion of the fieldwork, he or
she obtains entry-level competence and functions at a level that incorporates
motivation and an understanding of the role of the occupational therapist.
This development parallels the subsystems outlined by the model of human
occupation and emphasizes the importance of contextual learning experiences
outlined by the ecology of human performance framework. The entire
sequence of a student’s pre-professional and professional education is based on
learning the skills, roles, motivations, and values of the profession through a
carefully considered curriculum outline. In addition, students learn to
use clinical reasoning to guide their professional decisions and practice
occupational therapy using occupation-based methods. Students are
encouraged to be self-directed, life-long learners; agents for change; and leaders
in the profession and the community in a manner consistent with the mission of
the Occupational Therapy Program, The University of Findlay, and The American
Occupational Therapy Association.
Professional Curriculum - Curricular Themes
The professional program
sequence is organized to integrate information from the pre-professional
coursework and build upon this knowledge in a manner that is consistent with
basic tenets of the curriculum design.
The courses progress logically, reflecting MOHO while considering the
importance of occupational contexts as outlined by the EHP framework described
earlier in this document.
The following curricular themes reflect the faculty
perspective on what students need to value for practice and are reflected
across all courses in the professional curriculum:
occupational therapy incorporates the construct that humans find meaning in
their lives through occupations.
Meaningful occupations are unique to an individual and must be freely
chosen by the individual.
Effective practitioners recognize that
occupations are culturally imbedded, and reflect an individual’s cultural
roles, beliefs, values, and traditions. An
appreciation of diverse cultural perspectives is essential for effective
occupational therapy practice.
Client–Centered and Evidenced Based
is based on critical reasoning, the evidence and focused on the individual
client’s needs and goals. For
occupational therapy to survive in the rapidly changing health care system of
today, the occupational therapist must practice being client centered and
provide intervention based on the evidence coupled with sound clinical
reasoning every day.
of Community and Socio-Political Contexts of Occupation
and their occupations are shaped by the opportunities afforded or denied them
in socio-political contexts. Occupational therapists look for opportunities
to expand practice to community-based settings in which they can facilitate
social justice to increase occupational choice and promote community
integration for all individuals.