Your academic journey will encompass hands-on working experiences that will lead you to a successful career as an occupational therapy student.
As a Doctor of Occupational Therapy student, your curriculum will include nine academic semesters. The academic coursework and fieldwork are integrated into a curriculum that is organized around the 5 curriculum themes depicted in our curriculum graphic.
The curriculum is based on a contemporary, subject-centered design (Hopper et al., 2014) with the concepts of occupation and participation to improve health and wellbeing as the curricular core. Five curricular threads constitute major areas of emphasis which support the curricular core. We believe aligning our entire curriculum with this curricular core is essential to our students acquiring a deep understanding of occupational therapy’s distinct value and to the development of their clinical reasoning and professional identity (AOTA, 2015; Hooper et al., 2014).
The mission of the IUPUI occupational therapy entry-level clinical doctorate program is to prepare future occupational therapy leaders to address the occupational needs of a diverse society and to promote health and well-being by facilitating participation in life roles, everyday activities, and community living.
The IUPUI entry-level OTD program strives to reflect current and emergent occupational therapy practice by placing equal value on rehabilitative, community-based, and role emerging areas of practice. Towards that end the curriculum design embodies AOTA Vision 2025 while also addressing healthcare quality core competencies for health professionals set forth by the Institute of Medicine ([IOM] 2003).
AOTA Vision 2025
As an inclusive profession, occupational therapy maximizes health, well-being, and quality of life for all people, populations, and communities through effective solutions that facilitate participation in everyday living.
The IOM core competencies for health professionals include client-centered care, work in interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice, and data driven decision making (quality improvement and informatics). Finally, providing trauma informed care is now the expectation, not the exception, in behavioral health systems and primary care settings (National Council for Behavioral Health, 2020). For this reason, the entry-level OTD curriculum prepares students to develop the knowledge, attitudes, values, and skills needed for successful practice as competent, contemporary, trauma informed entry-level therapists.
You will begin your clinical experience during your first semester and continue to complete your fieldwork throughout your three-year program.