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OTD Curriculum Design

Curriculum

The post-professional OTD at UTMB will be an online curriculum with only two visits to campus during the course of the program. The program is designed to be taken part-time over 2 years (6 semesters). This provides an opportunity to achieve higher-level clinical education while maintaining employment. All students entering the program will have entry level degrees in OT and at least three years clinical experience. Students will be able to tailor their programs beyond the required courses to achieve knowledge that will facilitate their specific career goals.

To develop practice-scholars and leaders in health and human service, coursework promotes reflection on practice in the context of professional trends, use of research, clinical reasoning, program evaluation, best practice, and roles associated with being an occupational therapist such as advocate, educator, clinician, manager and entrepreneur. Learning activities facilitate the development of the OT practice-scholar who embeds research in his/her everyday practice. Elective courses highlight advances in science associated with specialty areas of practice. Upon completion of a majority of coursework, students must successfully generate a Capstone Project, an individualized, culminating scholarly work demonstrating synthesis of curricular content, informing OT, and illustrating application of the best available evidence at the point of care.

The curriculum is based on an analysis and synthesis of evidence associated with a) adult learning theory, blended learning approaches, evidence-based practice, and graduate education, b) national and international trends in occupational therapy and healthcare, population health initiatives, evidence-based practice guidelines and knowledge translation and c) research and official documents, philosophical principles, theoretical perspectives, supporting the practice of occupational therapy. Ultimately, the process and intention of the curriculum aims to create a learning experience that causes or allows students to experience a paradigm shift leading to a transformation of one’s perception and practice as an occupational therapist (Mezirow & Associates, 2000). Completion of the curriculum confers the degree of Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) to graduates.