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Curricular Themes

Four curriculum themes were developed to operationalize the mission and reflect current perspectives in health care, as presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). These themes are as follows.

Occupational Perspective of Human Nature and Health

This theme reflects the profession's focus on occupation. In this usage, occupation refers to the normal activities that we engage in every day, and which have both a purpose or goal and a uniquely personal meaning to each individual. Development of this perspective requires that therapists look at daily activities and how they reflect life goals and personal perspective of independence.

Critical Reasoning and Independent Learning

This theme is consistent with the OT Program's desire to create reflective practitioners. Critical reasoning and independent learning are necessary for new health care practitioners to survive in a rapidly changing, increasingly technological health care delivery system and culturally diverse society.

Competent Service Delivery

This theme speaks to the importance of both conceptual and technical competence in the delivery of health care. Graduates of health care programs must provide safe, creative intervention that is based on evidence of effectiveness as shown in the health care research.

Socially Responsive Practice

This theme addresses the belief that the role of professionals is to use their knowledge and skills in service to society first and foremost. It also addresses the need for professionals to be actively involved in the support of their professions.

Program Goals

The four curriculum themes form the bedrock of the OT Program's goals which reflect new health care directions, new directions for the profession, and accepted professional education theory and practice.

  1. The graduate will demonstrate a view of humanity that supports the role of occupation as critical to health and wellness, and as uniquely experienced within varied contexts.
  2. The graduate will effectively translate concepts of an occupational perspective of health and wellness to the person-centered delivery of occupational therapy services to individuals, groups, and populations.
  3. The graduate will demonstrate well-developed reflective judgment, based in critical thinking, rational inquiry, the challenge of assumptions, and the appropriate use of emotional/intuitive experiences.
  4. The graduate will demonstrate competencies and attitudes required to deliver safe, effective, and creative entry-level occupational therapy through mastery of the art and science of professional practice.
  5. The graduate will demonstrate socially conscious citizenship as a representative of the community, through leadership in public service and advocacy for positive change in the profession and in society.
  6. The graduate will demonstrate the ability to engage in scientific inquiry to enhance theory and practice for the benefit of the profession and society.

This two-year program in occupational therapy is a revision of a highly successful longer curriculum that has produced graduates with excellent skills, who are serving in the Midwest and other parts of the country. We anticipate that this revised version of the program will be equally successful and well-received by the West Michigan community.