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

Objective 1.A.2

100% of GVSU's Department of OST students will participate in at least 2 service learning events prior to graduation.

Baseline

Currently this data has only been tracked for the traditional program; tracking for the hybrid students' participation began in the Fall of 2015.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
In 2018 100% of students enrolled in both traditional and hybrid OT programs participated in more than two service learning events as part of coursework and through co-curricular activities.

2017 Status
Achieved
In 2017 100% of students enrolled in both traditional and hybrid OT programs participated in more than two service learning events as part of coursework and through co-curricular activities.

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

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Currently, the OST student population's diversity has increased in from 4% in 2016 to 7.5% in 2019.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
The OST Department had identified a second tenure track faculty member interested in completing the Inclusion Advocate training, this faculty member resigned her position in December 2018 leaving the department with only one trained inclusion advocate.

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

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
The OST advisory committee did not convene in 2019 for a multitude of reasons. The committee will be re-instituted in 2020.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
The OST Advisory Committee met one time in 2018, with one of the committee members serving as the chair of the committee. This member worked with the Department Chair to develop a meeting agenda and an online survey for current advisory committee members. There was no turnover of committee members during 2018.

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

2019 Status
Achieved
All core faculty utilize innovative technology in assigned courses.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
All core OST faculty have attended the iDeL foundations of hybrid and online learning. Two faculty attended a hybrid/online teaching circle in 2018.

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

2018 Status
Achieved
The OT fund held $250 in 2015, $650 in 2016, and $1474 in 2017.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
The OT fund held $250 in 2015, $650 in 2016, and currently stands at $1474.

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.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFWC) complete site visits for each placement. The type and duration of each visit is left to the discretion of the on site fieldwork educator.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Following a review of the LICEF documents from 2018 as well as a review of fieldwork feedback, both Academic Fieldwork Coordinators concur that all students engaged in a site visit for each of the fieldwork placements. The format of these visits was either face to face, virtual, or via phone. The OST Department increased expenditures that support fieldwork site visits by nearly $600 in 2018; these expenses included purchasing a departmental GoToMeeting account to allow for virtual meetings to be easily accessed by community partners as well as an increase in the overall number of face to face site visits.

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

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Ten core faculty have participated in professional development and/or doctoral education related to transformational and adult learning theory and practice, each have actively worked to integrate this into teaching in every OST course. Current adjunct faculty have not yet had the opportunity to participate in said training or education.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
55.5% (5 out of 9) full time faculty members have attended the COTE conference. The conference is offered every other year, and will next be offered in 2019.

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

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
Department has three tenure-track faculty who are eligible to be trained as an inclusion advocate; one is the department chair and one is already the inclusion advocate.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
The interested faculty member was granted contract renewal in 2018, but recently left the university for another faculty position.

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

2018 Status
Achieved
All new adjunct faculty for the hybrid program have completed the online/hybrid training.

2017 Status
Achieved
All new adjunct faculty have completed the online/hybrid 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

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
Three faculty have undertaken scholarship of teaching and learning projects utilizing Health Campus spaces.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
The OST Department moved into 500 Lafayette in May 2018. Faculty have not yet taught the full set of OST courses in the new lab spaces

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

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
This strategic plan objective has effectively been placed on hold.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
This remained a budget priority despite the recurring decrease in the departmental budget. CHP altered the funding rules for the college during this reporting period through the development of the Supplemental Development Fund, which is monitored by the CHP Research Committee.

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

2019 Status
Achieved
Departmental IA reviewed additional changes to the OST Department Student Handbook to ensure language of the policies coincided with university policy and the aims of the inclusion and equity office.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
Departmental IA reviewed additional changes to the OST Department Student Handbook to ensure language of the policies coincided with university policy and the aims of the inclusion and equity office.

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

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
While the student organization e-board members and the faculty mentors have identified a number of opportunities to collaborate with other student organizations. One has been completed by the end of this reporting period and additional collaborations are in the planning stages- two partnerships within the College of Health Professions (CHP) and both student organizations are exploring potential collaborations beyond CHP.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
While the student organization e-board members and the faculty mentors have identified a number of opportunities to collaborate with other student organizations, only one has been completed by the end of this reporting period.

Objective 3.C.2

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

Baseline

Not currently tracked

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
Currently all core faculty, with the exception of two new (hired Fall 2019), actively participate across campus. Examples include providing ergonomic assessments, being faculty advisors for undergraduate clubs, attending Laker Experience days and other campus events, and participating or chairing college and university level committees.

2018 Status
Substantive Progress
The department faculty and students have taken measured steps to increase the visibility of the two programs 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

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
The NBCOT (national certification board) website does not have cumulative 2019 data available at the time of report. Based on internal calculations, the three-year overall pass rate for our graduates is 98% (162/165). The most recent cohort had 54 total graduates between traditional and hybrid delivery modes, 51 of whom have passed the national certification exam at the time of reporting. 46 of those 51 passed the certification exam on the first attempt- 90.2% first-time pass rate for those students whose results have been reported.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
The Department of OST's three year overall pass rate, according to the NBCOT web page, from 2016-2018 was 99.4%. The most recent cohort (2018 graduates) had 47 of 59 students pass the exam on their first try- a 79.6% 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

Progress

2019 Status
Minimal Progress
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education on-site visit will take place in the fall of 2020. The department's self-study will be due three months prior to the scheduled on-site visit.

2018 Status
Not Yet Initiated
Not yet initiated as the self-study report is not due until the fall of 2020.

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

2018 Status
Achieved
HLC approved the DrOT program in August 2018 following their on-site visit in May 2018.

2017 Status
Substantial Progress
The DrOT program has been approved by both the University Curriculum Committee and the Board of Trustees.

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

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
All faculty interviewed for recent two positions either had or were in final process of achieving terminal degree. Current core faculty all have terminal degree, with exception of three who are currently enrolled in doctoral programs, and one in PhD dissertation phase.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
No new faculty searches were conducted this reporting period.

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