MS in Occupational Therapy Curriculum & Course Sequence
Core Competencies of Occupational Therapy
Developing a student’s competencies for occupational therapy practice is at the core of the Iona College curriculum. These competencies are the unique perspectives, abilities, and supportive professional practices of the occupational therapist and are represented as the center circle of the graphic below. Surrounding this circle are the four essential competencies each occupational therapist needs to hone in order to develop a thriving practice. Moving clockwise, they are Occupation, Assessment & Intervention, Skills for Evidence Based Practice, and Habits for Reflective Practice.
Occupation refers to all that is key for understanding the unique nature of occupational development, performance, and participation of the individual, group, or population.
Assessment & Intervention represents the unique occupation-based, client-centered, ethical assessment and intervention process.
It is critical that the occupational therapist develop Skills for Evidence Based Practice in order to maintain a competent and ethical occupational therapy practice as noted by the third circle.
Lastly, Habits for Reflective Practice is a reminder that reflection supports one’s continual growth as a person and allows for assessing one’s competencies and weaknesses in order to address any problem or barrier preventing the occupational therapist from delivering the best care possible.
Within the graphic, we see the white space labeled as Community Engagement and Entrepreneurship and Innovation depicting the activities to which these competencies are applied. Technology is the final thread which connects each competency and supports the student’s organization, management, and integration of learning and practice.
OT 500 Human Anatomy
In this course, students build on their prerequisite knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Students develop their knowledge of human anatomy and physiology and how that underlying structure and physiology impact human function and occupational participation in healthy individuals. as well as when individuals experience injuries or disease processes that impact their underlying body structure and/or physiology.
OT 503 The Human Musculoskeletal system and Human Movement
In this course, students study the human body’s musculoskeletal system to understand how movement occurs and impacts occupational performance across a person’s lifespan. Kinesiology concepts are explored to support understanding of how forces influence human movement and function. Students learn to apply this knowledge to analyzing the movement of persons engaged in their everyday activities and occupations. In a companion laboratory section, students will learn basic skills goniometry and manual muscle testing. Principles learned will be applied to occupational therapy theory, assessment, and intervention.
OT 505 Introduction to Occupational Therapy: Occupational Development and Practice Frameworks
In addition to being introduced the profession of occupation and its history, students will explore and gain an appreciation for the nature of human occupation and its role in health and illness. How context and factors including culture, race and ethnicity influence occupational development and practices for the individual, community and populations. Students will also explore the ethical and practical considerations that affect the occupational health and wellness of individual, groups, and populations including factors related to occupational justice. Students will then explore occupational therapy frameworks for supporting occupational health and development of persons, communities and populations.
OT 506 OT Process
In this course, students will be introduced to the OT Practice Framework which guides and grounds the practice of occupational therapy. Students will study and practice the process and methods of activity and occupation-based analysis as way to understand the interaction of the person, environment and task on human occupational performance of individuals. Students will also be introduced to the concepts and practices related measuring occupational performance and to the therapeutic use of self within the context of the occupational therapy process.
OT 507 Case-Based Learning
This course facilitates students making connections, applying and integrating their growing knowledge of human anatomy, physiology and kinesiology to occupational analysis and how body structure and function impacts occupational performance and participation. Students will use their foundational OT knowledge to analyze function/dysfunction of healthy persons as well as persons with medical conditions including physical injuries and disorders. This course will have the first module in the series of seven (7) modules provided in collaboration with the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation that will introduce students to the role of design, innovation and entrepreneurship for the occupational therapist. Co-requisites: OT 500, 503, 505 and 507
Semester Total: 17 credits
OT 510 Applied Neuroscience
In this course, students will study the anatomy and function of the components of the human nervous system including the spinal cord, brainstem, cerebrum and the auditory, visual and vestibular systems, as well as study the primary roles and functions of neural pathways that link systems. Normal function and dysfunction of the peripheral and central nervous systems will be reviewed and contrasted. Connections will be made to how neurological deficits impact performance and participation across the lifespan.
Prerequisites: OT500 and OT503
OT 511 Occupational Engagement and Performance: Adult Medical/ Surgical and Neurological Conditions
In this course, students will gain in-depth knowledge about the medical surgical conditions and environments for occupational therapy in acute care settings. They will also build on knowledge gained in the co-requisite course, Applied Neuroscience, to support their examination and application of OT assessment and intervention related to the impact of motor, sensory, cognitive, and emotional deficits on the occupational performance and participation of adult clients with various neurological injuries and disabilities including strokes and traumatic brain injury. Students will also learn and practice safe and effective transfer techniques for clients with different medical/functional needs.
Prerequisite: OT500, OT503, OT505, OT506, OT507
OT 515 Occupational Therapy addressing Orthopedic Injuries, Disabilities, and Health, Wellness, and Prevention
In this course, students explore biomechanical and orthopedic conditions in adult clients that may require occupational therapy evaluation and intervention methods. Students will analyze the impact of upper limb deficits on movement, occupational performance and participation.Students will learn and practice observational and standardized assessments and use simulation to practice evaluation, patient handling and intervention techniques. Students will also learn and apply the principles of ergonomics to prevention and health and wellness interventions to the occupational participation of persons at risk for biomechanical and orthopedic impairments, as well as for clients with chronic biomechanical and orthopedic impairments. This course includes the second module in the series of seven (7) modules provided in collaboration with the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation that will facilitate student thinking about the role of design and innovation in occupational therapy practice.
Prerequisites: OT500, OT503, OT505, OT506, OT507
OT 516 Occupational Group Process and Leadership
The course focuses on the understanding and application of group process theory to the development of occupation-based groups for clients across the lifespan. Emphasis is on students developing group leadership skills for psycho-educational and occupation-based therapeutic groups to support social participation and health promotion of clients.
Prerequisite: OT505, OT506, OT507
Co-requisites: OT517, OT518
OT 517 Behavioral and Mental Health: Principles, Assessment and Intervention
In this course, students explore occupational performance and participation needs of persons with mental illness, occupational therapy evaluation and intervention methods in behavioral and mental health settings. This course reinforces and applies previous learning related to human development, psychology, introduction to OT, and OT process. It integrates and reinforces co-requisite coursework in occupational group process and leadership.
Co-requisites: OT516, OT518
OT 518 Service-Learning I: Supporting the Occupational Participation and Performance of Persons with Mental Health-Related Needs
This is the first service-learning course in a series of three courses. In this course, students will be introduced to community-based OT practice and then apply and integrate what they have learned in prerequisite courses, and are learning in co-requisite courses, to providing service to persons who have experienced trauma and/or have other mental health needs. Students will provide health and wellness occupation-based individual and group activities within a community-based setting. Students will be introduced to documenting client needs for service and practice writing progress notes over the course of providing service. Students must complete at least 40 hours of service over the course of this semester. This course focuses on mental health needs of persons in a community setting and meets ACOTE requirements as a Fieldwork 1 experience. Co-requisites: OT 516, OT 517
Semester Total: 17 credits
OT 520 Evidence Based Practice 1
In this course, students learn the importance of scientific evidence as the foundation for the practice of occupational therapy. Students learn the process of asking clinical questions and searching for practice related evidence to support clinical decision making. Students develop skills for effectively locating, understanding, critiquing, and evaluating evidence for its use in clinical decision making.
OT 521 Technology for Evidence Based Practice
In this course, students are introduced to technology that will support their abilities to engage in evidence-
based practice and clinical research. Students will create simple databases in Excel and SPSS, explore NVIVO for literature reviews, as well as explore apps to support the collection of outcome data.
OT 524 Clinical Skills I: Splinting and Related Tools for Practice in Adult Rehabilitation
Students will gain in-depth knowledge and learn the principles and techniques utilized in the fabrication and/or selection of static and dynamic splints. Students learn to design, fabricate, and fit orthotic devices as well as how to train clients in the use of orthotic and prosthetic devices and explore the use of physical agent modalities in OT practice. This course also includes the third module about design and innovation applied to the creation of orthotic devices and related tools. It will be provided in collaboration with and at the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
OT 525 Level Fieldwork 1 in Adult Health Care
In this course, students integrate academic learning related to adult health care through directed observation and participation in selected aspects of occupation-based interventions in adult health care settings. Under supervision, students participate in therapeutic interactions with individual clients as appropriate. The focus of this experiential course is to develop students’ clinical observation skills, ability to apply skills learned in academic courses, and skills for designing individualized occupation-based interventions. Students must complete at least 40 hours of observation/participation in an adult health care setting for successful completion of this course.
Semester Total: 6 credits
OT 600 Evidence Based Practice II: Research Methods
Through learning the process and procedures of designing and implementing qualitative and quantitative research in occupational therapy, students build on the skills learned in Evidence Based Practice I. Students learn the process of writing a research proposal and seeking IRB approval. Students will have the experience of writing a literature review, collecting and managing research data, analyzing and interpreting data, and reporting results.
Pre-requisites: OT520, OT521
OT 601 Frames of Reference for Pediatric OT Practice
In this course, students will explore frames of reference used by occupational therapists to assess and treat infants and young children with disabilities including frames of reference for addressing sensory integration, motor, biomechanical, motor learning, cognitive and social participation skill development. In this process, students will examine children’s physical, cognitive, and social development and learn to choose appropriate frames of reference to support skill development, occupational performance and participation. Students will also learn observational, criterion referenced and standardized assessments that support the application of particular frames of reference. Students will consider how an occupational therapist chooses and applies frames of reference in different practice settings including hospitals, schools, private practice and community settings.
OT 605 Clinical Skills 2: Assessment and Intervention Practices in Pediatric OT Practice
In this course, students practice their developing assessment and intervention skills for children through simulation activities, as well as by offering community service for individual children. Students develop their skills in client-centered interviewing and goal setting, occupational and performance analysis, behavioral observation, administering assessments for children. Students also collaborate with students in other graduate programs who are developing their own professional skills for working with children and older adults.
Co-requisite: OT 601
OT 610 OT Practice with the Older Adult
In this course, students analyze the effects of the aging process on the individual and explore the relationship between the aging process and the completion of life tasks. They learn to select and use appropriate assessment measures and use interventions to support the older adult participate in their daily occupations. This course includes the fourth module that is provided in collaboration with the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to facilitate student understanding and application of design principles to home modifications to support the functioning of the older adult.
OT 611 Service-Learning 2: Supporting the Occupational Participation and Performance of the Older Adult in Community Settings
This is the second service-learning course in a series of three courses. In this course, students deepen their knowledge of community-based OT practice and then apply and integrate what they have learned in prerequisite courses and are learning in co-requisite courses. In this course, students will provide individual and group occupation-based services to support health and wellness of older adults related to gaining/supporting access, safe mobility and participation in activities and occupations at living and community environments such as senior settings or adult daycare settings. Students will apply appropriate teaching and learning strategies to support the health literacy of the older adult. Students continue to develop skills for documenting client need for occupation-based services and documenting client response and progress over the course of an occupational therapy intervention. Students must complete at least 40 hours of service over the course of this semester. This course integrates student co-requisite learning in OT 610 and meets ACOTE requirements as a Fieldwork 1 experience.
Co-requisite: OT 610
Semester Total: 13 credits
OT 620 School-Based OT Practice
In this course, students explore occupational therapy practice in school settings including an examination of practice models within general education and special education for children and youth from birth to 21 years old. Students will also explore the occupational therapist’s responsibilities and role development at the classroom, school district and community level.
OT 622 Adolescents and Young Adults with Disabilities: Composing an Adult Life
In this course, students will explore the occupational needs of adolescents and young adults with a range of intellectual and/or developmental disabilities as they transition towards adulthood. Students will explore public policy, services and emerging practice opportunities related to supporting adolescents and young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities as they prepare/pursue for post-secondary education, employment, community participation, and independent living.
OT 625 Service-Learning 3: Supporting the Occupational Participation and Performance of Children in School Based Settings
This is the third service-learning course in a series of three courses. In this course, students deepen their knowledge community-based OT practice and then apply and integrate what they have learned in prerequisite courses and are learning in co-requisite Graduate Occupational Therapy courses. Students will provide service to support children’s participation in school settings including individual and group occupation-based services. Students must complete at least 40 hours of service over the course of this semester. The experiences that students will have in this service-learning course will resonate with the academic coursework of OT 620 and meets ACOTE requirements as a Fieldwork 1 experience.
OT 626 Clinical Skills 3: Assessment and Intervention Skills Practice Across the Lifespan
In this course, students practice their developing assessment and intervention skills for persons who may benefit from OT service through the use of simulation activities, standardized patients, as well as by offering community service for individual persons with disabilities. Pre-requisites include successful completion of all prior Graduate OT coursework. Co-requisites: OT 622, 625, 627
OT 627 Assistive Technology
In this course, students explore low to high tech equipment and devices designed to support occupational participation for individuals with mild to significant disabilities in a range of environments. Students will apply prior learning to assessment and intervention of client need including adaptive seating and mobility equipment/devices. Traditional and alternative funding resources will be addressed. This course will include the fifth module provided in collaboration with the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation that will support students applying their knowledge about design, innovation, and entrepreneurship to the creation of an assistive device for a person with a disability.
OT 629 Leadership, Management, and Advocacy in OT Practice
This course focuses on leadership and managerial skills needed for developing, leading and managing OT services in healthcare, educational and community-based settings, as well as on advocacy on behalf of persons with disabilities and occupational therapy service needs in healthcare, education and community settings. Students examine how personal, organizational and societal factors interact with an occupational therapist’s opportunities for leadership, management and advocacy. Students will study how to develop, organize, and market the delivery of OT services and then apply learning to developing a program or service plan for a community organization. Students will also explore processes for quality improvement and supervision of staff. This course will include the sixth module provided in collaboration with the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation that will support students applying their knowledge about entrepreneurship related to the development, marketing, and management of OT programs and services.
Semester Total: 14 credits
Program Subtotal: 67 credits
OCTR 631/632/633 Evidence Based Practice III: Community Program Development or Research
This course has 3 sections based on project focus: Children and Youth, Older Adults, Persons with Mental Health Needs. In this course, students will apply their knowledge of program development or research to a faculty-led Community Project Development or Research Project.
OT 635 Transition to Fieldwork 2
This course is designed to prepare students to begin and to succeed in their transition to their full-time fieldwork experiences. Students will review the process, procedures, and expected demands of Fieldwork 2. Students will prepare by creating an e-portfolio that organizes the knowledge that they gained over the course of their academic coursework related to the common disorders of clients served at Fieldwork 2 sites, and evidence-based occupational therapy assessment and intervention methods for addressing client needs in those settings. Students will reflect on and assess the required competencies for OT service provision and practice skills as needed. Students will also reflect on the OT clinical supervisory process and prepare to participate as a supervisee.
OT 636 Fieldwork 2: Placement 1
In this course, students participate in a full time clinical education fieldwork experience. They practice under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist and through the process, develop basic professional competencies for occupational therapy practice. This fieldwork experience strengthens students’ clinical reasoning and reflective practice and prepares them for professional practice. Students must complete a minimum of 24 weeks full-time Level II fieldwork experience in order to sit for the national certification examination.
Semester Total: 6 credits
OT 640 Fieldwork 2: Placement 2
In this course, students participate in a full time clinical education fieldwork experience. They practice under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist and through the process, develop basic professional competencies for occupational therapy practice. This fieldwork experience strengthens students’ clinical reasoning and reflective practice and prepares them for professional practice. Students must complete a minimum of 24 weeks full time Level II fieldwork experience in order to sit for the national certification examination.
OT 642 Health Care Policy and Access
In this course, students will explore current U.S. healthcare policy and access and its implication on occupational therapy practice. It will examine the ethical dilemmas that healthcare providers may confront and strategies for analyzing and resolving ethical dilemmas. Students will examine how services are funded including state/national programs for persons across the lifespan. Students will explore current trends and challenges in healthcare including its funding.
OT 645 Transition from Student to OTR
This course is designed to support students in reflecting on their education and preparing for the NBCOT exam and for entering the occupational therapy profession as a licensed clinician. Students will prepare for taking the NBCOT Certification examination by exploring practice exams, review the process for applying for licensure after successfully passing the NBCOT exam, as well as will develop a first professional development plan to support their continuing competency and to promote lifelong learning. Students will consider their future possible OT roles including OT practitioner, fieldwork educator, entrepreneur, intrapreneur, consultant, educator, and researcher. This course will include the seventh module provided in collaboration with the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation that will integrate students thinking about how entrepreneurship and innovation will fit into their career goals and plans.
Semester Total: 7 credits
Program Total: 80 credits