Curriculum Design

Description: The Masters of Occupational Therapy (OT) curriculum at the University of Texas Medical Branch was designed to implement the stated teaching philosophy to achieve the University, School, and Program Mission. The Transformative Model of Adult Learning involves students using a recursive and reflective approach to develop professional reasoning and identity. Students develop competencies (knowledge and skills), demonstrate those competencies, and then apply the competencies using professional reasoning in occupational therapy scenarios.

How the individual courses provide the knowledge, clinical competencies, and development of professional reasoning and identity needed to become an OT practitioner is depicted in the Curricular Schematic. Students progress through the program by acquiring knowledge and then practicing clinical competencies based on that knowledge. Professional reasoning and identity are developed by application of knowledge and clinical competencies to specific case studies focusing on the PEO (person, contextand environment , and occupational) factors involved. All of these are synthesized in the Level II Fieldwork experiences. Each semester has a focus on specific intervention settings, allowing the students to use previous knowledge and competencies with new populations while learning new knowledge and competencies. Some courses provide primarily knowledge (first layer) and others primarily practical skills (second layer). Courses that provide a combination of both are listed under Knowledge Base and repeated in Clinical Competencies in orange font. Each semester has an Applied Reasoning course that provides case analyses related to the intervention content being studied in that semester. The level of professional reasoning expected in the Applied Reasoning courses increases in each successive semester to prepare the students for Level II fieldwork. Knowledge courses that specifically build on a previous course are connected by arrows.

In the first semester, content is primarily related to foundational skills that underlie and define OT practice. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th semesters use this OT lens to develop professional reasoning in specific practice settings. Associated with the Practice courses is a Level 1 Fieldwork and an Applied Reasoning course to allow students to synthesize the material using case studies. Professionalism and professional development is addressed throughout the curriculum through self-reflective assignments imbedded in the fieldwork courses.