The proposed Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) is a post-baccalaureate, entry-level professional doctoral degree. Applicants must have completed all the requirements for a bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation into this program. The OTD program is based on the reality that quality health care practice relies on bright, flexible practitioners that are accustomed to working collaboratively across disciplines in the delivery of patient care. From the curriculum to the layout of our new health sciences facility, interprofessional didactic and clinical interactions make our program unique.
It is anticipated, with the completion of the curricular process, that the total length of the program will be approximately 115 credit hours, 3.0 years (nine semesters). The curriculum will include two, 12-week fieldwork experiences and one, 16-week Doctoral Clinical Experience. Students must successfully complete a practical examination at the completion of their second year in order to begin Fieldwork II practicum. They must also take and pass a written practice exam National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) prior to matriculation to the final clinical experience (16 weeks). Successful completion of the terminal clinical practicum sequence and evidence of meeting the competencies for entry-level occupational therapy practice must be met in order to graduate.
The proposed Occupational Therapy curriculum is based on a carefully selected and sequenced set of courses. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) requires the following content areas be included in any OTD curriculum:
- Foundational Content Requirements
- Basic Tenets of Occupational Therapy
- Theoretical Perspectives
- Screening, Evaluation, and Referral
- Intervention Plan: Formulation and Implementation
- Context of Service Delivery
- Leadership and Management
- Professional Ethics, Values, and Responsibilities
- Fieldwork and Doctoral-Level Experiential Component
All content areas will be met by both the didactic and clinical portions of the curriculum. The Occupational Therapy Model Curriculum referenced on the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) website was used as a resource to support the proposed OTD curriculum. Mary Baldwin College has applied for accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
The AOTA listed as a key objective in their 2012 Centennial Vision “increasing the number of doctoral-level academic educators.” In addition to meeting the content areas designated by ACOTE the proposed curriculum of the OTD program has an emphasis on teaching and learning. There are three specific courses geared to this area. OTDs graduating from MDCHS will demonstrate effective use of pedagogical processes in the classroom. This will provide graduates with the tools to support their return to academia after independent practice. By providing specialized course work and threading this objective throughout the curriculum, the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences will help support the goal of the AOTA to increase the number of doctoral-level academic educators as well as fulfill the critical need for OT practitioners.
The goals of the OTD Program, in keeping with the mission of Mary Baldwin College and the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, are to:
- Provide the appropriate learning opportunities for students to acquire the theoretical knowledge, applicable skills, and attitudes necessary to function as an entry-level post-baccalaureate occupational therapist (OTD).
- Instill in students a commitment to the core values and ethics of the occupational therapy profession.
- Model the integrative, interdisciplinary, and collaborative nature of the health care industry through interprofessional educational opportunities in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings.
- Provide a learning environment that fosters critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, reflection, and personal and professional growth with a commitment to life-long learning for faculty and students.
- Provide opportunities for faculty and students to contribute positively to the health of the regional community through service, research, and clinical practice.
- Provide an environment that supports students in obtaining the knowledge and skills for understanding and applying current and emerging evidence to clinical practice, as well as participate in and utilize research to advance the scholarship of the profession.
- Support students in gaining the knowledge and skills needed to support teaching and learning in both the classroom and clinic setting.