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(Bachelor of Science Degree)
Occupational therapists are health care professionals who assist clients and their families to participate in meaningful daily life activities (occupations), gain or restore independence, and promote a satisfying, healthy lifestyle. Occupational therapists use occupations as the means and the goals of prevention and intervention. They provide skilled services across the lifespan in a wide variety of settings, including homes, schools, community centers, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities.
The Occupational Therapy Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD, 20814-3449; phone, (800) 729-2682; and it’s web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of this program who have successfully met all academic and fieldwork requirements and Utica College graduation criteria are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapists that is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), located at 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD, 20877-4150. In addition, most states require licensure to practice occupational therapy; however, state regulatory boards typically accept the results of the NBCOT certification examination to determine eligibility for licensure. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination and/or to obtain a state license as an occupational therapist. Potential students, with a prior felony conviction, should contact NBCOT for a pre determination of eligibility.
The occupational therapy curriculum is designed to integrate foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students learn and develop from studies in the liberal arts with professional education at the graduate level. Students may earn a bachelor of science degree in health sciences while completing the first year of the occupational therapy program. Students who have already earned a bachelor degree may also enter the occupational therapy program as graduate students. Using a transformative learning model, the Utica College occupational therapy faculty embraces a humanistic educational process that acknowledges and respects individual needs and learning styles. As much as possible, the faculty provides an individualized and facilitative approach that fosters self-directed learning within a safe and trusting environment. Learning occurs best through collaborative experiences and active, life-long engagement in the teaching-learning process. Toward that end, faculty work to develop and sustain a community of scholars in which the reciprocal nature of education and knowledge development is experienced by faculty, students, and professionals within the community. Students are exposed to a diversity of perspectives while provided with the opportunities and experiences that facilitate:
- the assumption of personal responsibility and autonomous thinking,
- critical reflection,
- self-directed and life-long learning, and self-efficacy.
The faculty believes these to be the hallmarks of a liberally educated, ethical occupational therapist, capable of contributing to a just society while assuming leadership roles in a diverse and changing society.
This program is designed to be completed according to the published academic sequence (see below). Any alteration to this sequence must be approved by the occupational therapy faculty and will most likely have financial implications.
Occupational therapy prerequisite course work must be successfully completed prior to the beginning of Fieldwork Level II experiences. In addition, the occupational therapy faculty members have the responsibility to review all students to determine readiness for Fieldwork Level I and Level II experiences. Such faculty decisions are based on students’ demonstrated ability to meet the fieldwork goals and objectives and their professional behaviors. If a student is not deemed ready for a fieldwork experience, he or she will be notified of the faculty decision and a plan of action will be developed and monitored through its completion. After this remediation, the faculty members will again review the student’s readiness for fieldwork placement and make a final decision regarding the student’s readiness for fieldwork, or the need for dismissal from the program.
- A requirement of the Utica College Occupational Therapy program is that all Fieldwork Level II requirements be satisfied within twenty-four months of the completion of academic courses.
- Communicate an awareness of and appreciation for the importance of interacting effectively with people of diverse backgrounds.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the varied interdisciplinary healthcare roles inclusive of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Therapeutic Recreation and Psychology-Child Life.
- Interpret and apply Human Development concepts across the lifespan to evaluate and improve the health of individuals with/without various medical conditions.
- Demonstrate critical appraisal skills when utilizing clinical research in order to be critical consumers of research as well as advocates for their future healthcare clients.
Identify key components of professional ethics and behaviors of health practitioners.