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Strategic Plan for Occupational Science & Therapy

Context For Planning

The Department of Occupational Science and Therapy began as the Occupational Therapy Program in the Fall of 1996. At that time it was housed in Henry Hall on the Allendale campus and was a part of the School of Health Professions within the Department of Math and Science. In 2003, the Program moved to the Center for Health Sciences building in downtown Grand Rapids. One year later, a reorganization took place within the university that created the College of Health Professions. The Occupational Therapy Program became a Department in 2010, and also developed the Hybrid entry-level master's program that was implemented in the same year, in addition to the continuation of the traditional entry-level master's program. Until the Fall of 2009, there were four core faculty members of the Program; since the time of the transition to the Departmental level, the faculty has expanded to 8 full-time faculty and four part-time affiliate faculty. The long-term plans for this Department include the development and implementation of a post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy and an eventual undergraduate occupational science major, which will begin with an emphasis area initially contained within the Allied Health Science program. The Department's focus on critical thinking, high-impact learning, and transformative education have proven effective for enhancing retention, continued high rates of success on the national certification exam, and the ability to generalize classroom knowledge into clinical practice for the overall valuation by the community. These will continue to be a focus of all the programs within the Department of Occupational Science and Therapy.

Mission

The mission of the GVSU Department of Occupational Science and Therapy is to educate and empower graduates to have a positive impact on the health of individuals and groups in our society through innovation and leadership in occupation-based practice.

Vision

We envision the GVSU Department of Occupational Science and Therapy as a leader in developing critical thinking skills and reflective judgment through a transformative approach to education that considers the connection between occupation and health over the lifespan. Through faculty and student scholarship/research and student service in the community, graduates will emerge as professionals prepared to create and lead the future of occupational therapy.

Value Statement

The core values and attitudes of occupational therapy are organized around seven basic concepts--altruism, equality, freedom, justice, dignity, truth, and prudence. How these core values and attitudes are expressed and implemented by occupational therapy practitioners may vary depending upon the environments and situations in which professional activity occurs. These values are embedded and espoused throughout the Department's courses, service learning events, and student/faculty research. 


Altruism is the unselfish concern for the welfare of others. This concept is reflected in actions and attitudes of commitment, caring, dedication, responsiveness, and understanding. 

Equality requires that all individuals be perceived as having the same fundamental human rights and opportunities. This value is demonstrated by an attitude of fairness and impartiality. We believe that we should respect all individuals, keeping in mind that they may have values, beliefs, or life styles that are different from our own. Equality is practiced in the broad professional arena, but is particularly important in day-to-day interactions with those individuals receiving occupational therapy services. 

Freedom allows the individual to exercise choice and to demonstrate independence, initiative, and self-direction. There is a need for all individuals to find a balance between autonomy and societal membership that is reflected in the choice of various patterns of interdependence with the human and nonhuman environment. We believe that individuals are internally and externally motivated toward action in a continuous process of adaptation throughout the life span. Purposeful activity plays a major role in developing and exercising self-direction, initiative, interdependence, and relatedness to the world. Activities verify the individual's ability to adapt, and they establish a satisfying balance between autonomy and societal membership. As professionals, we affirm the freedom of choice for each individual to pursue goals that have personal and social meaning. 

Justice places value on the upholding of such moral and legal principles as fairness, equity, truthfulness, and objectivity. This means we aspire to provide occupational therapy services for all individuals who are in need of these services and that we will maintain a goal-directed and objective relationship with all those served. Practitioners must be knowledgeable about and have respect for the legal rights of individuals receiving occupational therapy services. In addition, the occupational therapy practitioner must understand and abide by the local, state, and federal laws governing professional practice. 

Dignity emphasizes the importance of valuing the inherent worth and uniqueness of each person. This value is demonstrated by an attitude of empathy and respect for self and others. We believe that each individual is a unique combination of biologic endowment, sociocultural heritage, and life experiences. We view human beings holistically, respecting the unique interaction of the mind, body, and physical and social environment. We believe that dignity is nurtured and grows from the sense of competence and self-worth that is integrally linked to the person's ability to perform valued and relevant activities. In occupational therapy we emphasize the importance of dignity by helping the individual build on his or her unique attributes and resources. 

Truth requires that we be faithful to facts and reality. Truthfulness or veracity is demonstrated by being accountable, honest, forthright, accurate, and authentic in our attitudes and actions. There is an obligation to be truthful with ourselves, those who receive services, colleagues, and society. One way that this is exhibited is through maintaining and upgrading professional competence. This happens, in part, through an unfaltering commitment to inquiry and learning, to self-understanding and to the development of an interpersonal competence. 

Prudence is the ability to govern and discipline oneself through the use of reason. To be prudent is to value judiciousness, discretion, vigilance, moderation, care, and circumspection in the management of one's affairs, to temper extremes, make judgments and respond on the basis of intelligent reflection and rational thought.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

Develop initiatives to integrate diversity into the department by using staff trainings, guest speakers from under represented groups, and recruitment strategies for graduate students, faculty, and staff.

Baseline

The cumulative diversity of Occupational Science and Therapy students, faculty, and staff is below 4% annually.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
All OST faculty have completed the IDI and collectively met with a representative from Inclusion and Equity to begin the discussion about becoming more aware and sensitive to differences. Two faculty members have begun to invite guest speakers from diverse backgrounds to discuss topics related to course materials. One faculty member is actively working with a number of undergraduate programs such as TRiO, La Familia) to increase the diversity in the students that are recruited into our department.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 1.C.1

The Department of OST will continue its advisory committee, made up of regional practitioners, service learning partners, and alumni.

Baseline

Current advisory committee meets twice per academic year

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The Department of OST is in the process of updating the roster of advisory committee members to reflect the current state of practice and education in West Michigan.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

All core OST faculty will utilize innovative technology to support their teaching and engage student learners.

Baseline

Not currently tracked

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
Faculty currently report using an array of technology and tools outside of the Blackboard environment to engage students.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 1.E.1

Department of OST will increase OT Fund support from faculty and alumni by 200%

Baseline

OT Fund currently has $250 deposited

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
The OT Fund has grown by over 150% since the start of 2016. Funds in January 2016 totaled $250, the OT Fund currently stands at $650.

Objective 1.E.2

Department will allocate increased fieldwork budgetary support to increase Academic Fieldwork Coordinator travel to distance sites

Baseline

Currently the only sites that receive a face to face visit are in Grand Rapids/West Michigan or Detroit area.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 2.A.1

By 2019, all full-time faculty members and all adjuncts utilized for more than one semester will routinely utilize transformational and adult learning practices in their teaching.

Baseline

As of December 2015, two full time faculty members had completed the Center for OT Education summer institute training.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The Department instituted a teaching circle in Winter 2016 that focused on adult learning principles, this group continued to meet throughout the Fall semester. All faculty hired from Fall 2015 to present participated in this teaching circle.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

By 2021, the Department of OST will have >1 trained inclusion advocate.

Baseline

Department currently has one inclusion advocate.

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Currently the OST Department has one identified inclusion advocate. A current tenure-track faculty member intends to complete the training sequence once eligible.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 2.D.1

100% of core OST faculty will complete the university endorsement to teach courses in a hybrid or fully online program.

Baseline

Currently 50% of OST faculty hold this endorsement

Progress

2016 Status
Achieved
All current tenured, tenure-track, and affiliate faculty members have completed the foundations for hybrid/online learning course. All adjuncts assigned to a hybrid course or lab section have also complete the training.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 2.E.1

Utilize new lab spaces at 500 Lafayette to develop scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) related to OT education

Baseline

Faculty are not currently involved in SOTL based research

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
OST faculty have begun discussions related to planned usage of our new space, but no definitive plans for SOTL projects have been formulated.

Objective 2.E.2

Increase funding for professional development for each full-time faculty member to $2500 annually to support increased scholarly activities.

Baseline

Current departmental budget supports faculty conference travel with $1500 annually

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The department has been able to support $1500 annually to each full-time and part-time faculty member. Two faculty per year have been allotted an additional $500 ($2000 total) to supplement a second professional development event related to disseminating faculty scholarship and representing CHP and GVSU to a wider audience.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

Department of OST will utilize its inclusion advocate to evaluate policies and procedures to align for consideration of persons of all backgrounds.

Baseline

No current program in place.

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Department chair has met with Academic Fieldwork Coordinators, Research Coordinator, and Service Learning Coordinator to discuss plans to draft official policies and procedures related to these three areas.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 3.C.1

OST student organizations (PTE and SOTA) will partner with PT, PAS, SLP, PH student organizations for fund raising and/or advocacy efforts common to all professions

Baseline

Currently not being tracked

Progress

2016 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Both student organizations (Student OT Association and Pi Theta Epsilon) transitioned to new faculty mentors throughout the Fall 2016 semester. Both new mentors are aware of this element of the strategic plan and plan to work towards this objective in 2017.

Objective 3.C.2

OST faculty will increase the presence of the department across campus by connecting with other departments in order to more fully utilize our expertise.

Baseline

Not currently tracked

Progress

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
Starting in September 2016, the Department of OST has partnered with the Health and Wellness program to provide office ergonomic evaluations for employees across campus.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

Graduates from GVSU's Department of OST will maintain a 3 year average of 95% pass rate on the NBCOT certification exam for first-time test takers.

Baseline

Pass rate from 2013 and 2014 was 95%.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
The Department of OST's three year pass rate 2014-2016 is 95.2%. The most recent cohort (2016 graduates) had 50 of 53 students pass the exam on their first try- a 96.2% pass rate.

Objective 4.A.2

The Department of OST will achieve the maximum of 10 years of accreditation following our self-study and related on site accreditation visit in 2021.

Baseline

The Department currently has a 10 year accreditation approval which expires in 2021

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 4.D.1

Receive regional accreditation for the DrOT program by the summer of 2018.

Baseline

DrOT proposal is currently being reviewed by Grad Council

Progress

2016 Status
Substantive Progress
The DrOT proposal and list of courses has moved through Grad Council and is awaiting review by the University Curriculum Committee. Recommended edits for the proposal and individual courses have been completed with rapid turnaround in order to keep the review process moving.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 4.E.1

Ensure that future full-time tenure track faculty searches result in the hiring of doctorally credentialed OTs

Baseline

This is currently a consideration of all faculty searches, but will become a requirement with the addition of the DrOT program.

Progress

2016 Status
Substantial Progress
All current and future searches will include terminology stating the need for candidates to either possess an earned doctorate or be enrolled in a doctorate program. This will ensure the department maintains or exceeds the required ratio of doctorally credentialed faculty through the timeframe represented by this strategic plan.

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