The Occupational Therapy Department is excited to announce it has received approval from the American Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) to begin admitting students to an entry-level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree. This new program builds upon the curriculum in place during the 2012 re-accreditation of the program by ACOTE. The entry-level MSOT degree is specifically designed to enable students who possess a baccalaureate degree to learn the knowledge, skills and values to become a successful entry-level professional occupational therapists. The design of the curriculum is firmly embedded in the mission of Alvernia University and the values of American Occupational Therapy Association. These create a foundation for values-centered learning that enables graduates to serve others and adopt positions of ethical leadership.
The occupational therapy program at Alvernia University is grounded in the belief that humans are active, intrinsically motivated beings, whose development is continuous throughout their lives. Humans are motivated to adapt to the changing needs and conditions of the self and the environment. Occupation provides the means by which humans adapt, achieve health and wellness, and spiritual wholeness. Engagement in meaningful occupations has a fundamental effect on growth, health, the development of functional skills, and living life to its fullest. Disease, functional or structural impairment, activity limitation, or participation restriction may at any time interfere with the process of development, growth, or adaptation. By engaging in occupations, humans are able to influence their physical, psychosocial or virtual environment; and to achieve higher levels of function, independence, quality of life, and spiritual fulfillment.
The occupational therapy curriculum is based on an understanding of occupation, client-centered, evidence-based, clinical reasoning, and the ideology underlying the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domains and Process, second edition, which describes the profession’s unique focus on, and use of, occupation to enable individuals to participate in lives that hold meaning to them. Graduates will develop a broad perspective in the use of occupation to solve problems for various conditions that interfere with the quality of life for individuals, groups, communities, and populations. Interdisciplinary coursework create opportunities to discuss issues from multiple perspectives and broaden the process of learning. Five threads weave throughout the curriculum:
- Occupation Centered Practice
- Reflection on Ethical, Moral, and Professional Values
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Current and Emerging Service Delivery Models
- Scientific Inquiry and Research
The capstone experience for the entry-level MSOT is the completion of a research project to address a problem related to occupational science or participation, practice or service delivery, or education. By completing the research project students demonstrate proficiency in ethical research, and the ability to identify, evaluate, collect and use evidence. A written report and oral presentation of the research findings demonstrates the integration of a professional identity as a master’s level occupational therapists.
Karen Cameron, OTR/L, B.S., M.Ed., Ph.D
Associate Professor of
“The MSOT program provides the tools for the student to effect change through the application of research-based best practice with core knowledge, respecting the value of each and every individual. It helps to blend the sciences and the healing arts.”
Candace Perez, MSOT ’08
“The MSOT program at Alvernia University has given me the opportunity to take the knowledge I've learned in the classroom setting and apply it to real-life situations.”
Aaron Dearstyne, MSOT ’12