Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

Dr. Stephanie Bachman, Program Chair

Program Vision

The Occupational Therapy program cultivates a learning environment that promotes critical thinking and autonomous problem-solving skills using evidence to meet the dynamic needs of society through occupational engagement in traditional and emerging practice areas.

The program prepares culturally sensitive occupational therapists who advance the profession through innovative thinking, collaboration, and service.

Program Mission

The mission of the Walsh University Occupational Therapy Program reflects the philosophy and vision of the profession of occupational therapy. The Occupational Therapy Program provides an educational experience that integrates active learning techniques, evidence-based practice, and collaboration with faculty who engage in scholarship. The program supports personal and professional growth through lifelong learning, critical thinking, professional behaviors, interprofessional collaboration, cultural awareness, and spirituality.

Graduates will facilitate participation in meaningful and necessary occupations with clients, families, and organizations within their communities. Graduates will contribute to the future of the profession through leadership, evidence-based practice, and service. The Occupational Therapy Program supports the missions of Walsh University and the School of Behavioral and Health Sciences, which encourage individuals to act in accordance with reason guided by the example and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Program Philosophy

We believe human beings have an innate desire to participate in occupation and by doing so become active members of their communities. Across the lifespan, participation in occupation enhances lives by providing a meaningful approach to health and wellness. Occupational therapists engage in professional relationships with consumers of their services to determine the intrinsic motivators for individuals or groups to enhance the quality of occupational performance. Occupation is fundamental to the profession of occupational therapy to advance individual, community, and global health.

We view our students as active learners who require dynamic, realistic contexts to apply acquired knowledge and develop critical thinking skills. We believe our students have an inherent desire to promote and advance the profession of occupational therapy by linking education to research through evidence-based practice and lifelong learning.

Program Themes

The Occupational Therapy program strives to educate competent, caring, entry-level practitioners. The curriculum serves as a structure to provide this education and is organized into five curricular themes that reflect the essence of our curriculum design:

  • Professional Behaviors and Ethical Practice: Incorporate the AOTA Code of Ethics and Core Values (AOTA, 2015) to demonstrate ethical decision-making skills and articulate rationale for delivery of occupational therapy services across the lifespan in multiple contexts. Model behaviors consistent with the profession of occupational therapy and in alignment with the mission of Walsh University.
  • Client-centered: Respecting client diversity and autonomy, integrate psychosocial, cultural, contextual needs and preferences of the client to develop intervention priorities and set goals to maximize participation in desired occupations.
  • Critical Thinking: Integrate principles of occupational therapy along with knowledge of anatomy, medical conditions, human behavior, and human development to analyze client occupational functioning. Solve clinical problems using skills of observation, reflection, analysis, and interpretation combining current evidence and OT theory to synthesize components of the OT Process.  
  • Evidence-based Practice: Generate a clinical question and locate evidence relevant to OT practice. Evaluate, interpret, and synthesize results to determine applicability to client care. Integrate current literature, clinical experience, and client preferences to inform clinical decisions.
  • Servant Leadership: Develop personal leadership and advocacy skills to positively influence the profession of OT and the greater community. Seek opportunities for collaboration to improve the lives of others incorporating attributes such as effective communication, trustworthiness, empathy, humility, creativity, and innovative thinking.

AOTA. (2015). Occupational therapy code of ethics (2015). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69, 6913410030p1-6913410030p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.696S03

Program Student Learning Outcomes

1. Graduates will demonstrate core knowledge competencies in the foundations and basic tenets of occupational therapy. 

2. Graduates will apply clinical skills of screening, evaluation, intervention, and referral in occupational therapy service delivery. 

3. Graduates will support clinical decisions with relevant, current evidence. 

4. Graduates will model professional, ethical behaviors, and a respect for diversity in all interactions consistent with the profession of occupational therapy.

5. Graduates will engage in service to communities at large. 

Academic Guidelines for Master of Occupational Therapy

Admissions Overview

All qualified students applying to our program must complete an undergraduate baccalaureate degree prior to entry into the graduate program. Students may complete this degree at Walsh University or another accredited institution. Our program utilizes the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) for processing of all applications. The following requirements must be met for consideration: 

  • B.S. or B.A. degree with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher from an accredited institution. Students in their last year of completing their undergraduate degree are eligible to apply for admission.
  • Application to OTCAS.org (https://otcas.liasoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login)
  • Completion of MOT prerequisite courses with a grade of a B or higher and a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Transcripts from all former institutions attended must be submitted
  • Three professional letters of recommendation (e.g. coach, instructor, mentor, supervisor)
  • Verification from OTCAS of a minimum of 20 total hours of observation in at least 2 sites. Verification must be signed by a licensed occupational therapist or licensed occupational therapy assistant. 
  • On-site interview (by invitation only)
  • TOEFL score (international students only)

Additional Requirements

Beyond the stated admission requirements, students in the Occupational Therapy program must have (with or without reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act):

  • Adequate gross and fine motor abilities for safe performance of patient evaluation and treatment procedures
  • Adequate visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic senses for obtaining accurate evaluative and investigative findings
  • Ability to think critically and problem solve
  • Ability to effectively communicate (oral, nonverbal and written)
  • Ability to organize and effectively use time
  • Adaptability to perform tasks with persons from diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings
  • The Occupational Therapy Student Manual provides more details on additional requirements including physical examination and immunizations, as well as criminal background check and substance abuse information.

Accreditation

The Walsh University entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Eligibility

All students applying for the Occupational Therapy program should be aware that prior criminal convictions could affect the student's ability to obtain a license to practice in the State of Ohio and in other legal jurisdictions (states, districts, territories) in the United States upon graduation from the program. It is the student's responsibility to determine whether he or she is eligible for licensure as an occupational therapist in the state in which he or she wishes to practice.

Registration Procedures

Students fully admitted to the program will register electronically through the Cavalier Center. A registration pin # and instructions will be provided by Graduate Admissions. 

Academic Standards

The Occupational Therapy program has three primary academic standards:

  1. Students must maintain a B (3.0) overall GPA throughout the program,
  2. Students must receive a satisfactory/passing grade for all Fieldwork I and II experiences,
  3. Students must receive a course grade of B- or higher in every course. 

The Occupational Therapy program follows the Student Retention Policy in the MOT Program Student handbook, which outlines a stepped process of formative and summative assessment geared to ensure that students are informed of their academic standing and status in the program. Students who do not meet one or more of the primary academic standards may be given a warning and/or placed on probation with remediation as deemed appropriate prior to dismissal from the program. 

Students must complete the didactic portion of their coursework within 36 months of admittance to the Master of Occupational Therapy program and complete Level II fieldwork within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.  

Appeals

The Master of Occupational Therapy program adheres to the University guidelines for the appeal process as outlined in the Graduate Catalog. In addition, specific programmatic policies that lead up to the University appeal process are outlined in the Program Student Handbook.

Withdrawal

The Master of Occupational Therapy program is lock-step; therefore, students cannot withdraw from individual courses and continue in the curriculum. Students may need to withdraw from the program for various reasons including a medical leave of absence. Students wishing to return to complete the program at a later time should meet with their academic advisor or the program director to establish a plan prior to withdrawal. Students who are dismissed from the program will not have the option to return to complete the program. 

Academic Advising

Upon entry into the Occupational Therapy program, each student is assigned an academic advisor. This advisor will assist/counsel the student as needed to help ensure success in the program. Students are required to meet regularly (at least two times per semester) with their advisor to facilitate communication and progression in the curriculum. If at any time there is a need for a change in academic advisor, the student and current advisor will present their request to the program director. The Office of Counseling Services is available in the David Campus Center for students having difficulties beyond the scope of academic advising.

Curriculum and Degree

The Walsh University Occupational Therapy program is an intensive two-year, six-semester (including summer) program culminating in a Master of Occupational Therapy degree. 

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Semester IHours
OT 502 Foundations of OT 3
OT 503 Human Anatomy 6
OT 503L Human Anatomy Lab 0
OT 504 Conditions in OT 2
OT 506 Task Analysis 2
OT 508 OT Theory & Frames of Ref 2
 Hours15
Semester II
OT 602 OT Evaluation & Assess Skls 3
OT 606 Therapeutic Interv in Ped 4
OT 608 Biomechanics in Occup Therapy 3
OT 610 Neuroscience for Occup Therapy 3
OT 612 Lvl 1 Fieldwork A/Seminar 2
 Hours15
Semester III
OT 604 Psych Aspects of Occup Perf 3
OT 614 Ther Interventions in A & G 4
OT 616 Enviro & Tech Interventions 2
OT 618 Therapeutic Groups 2
OT 620 Evidence-based Practice I 2
OT 622 Lvl I Fieldwork B/Seminar 2
 Hours15
Second Year
Semester IV
OT 624 Evidence-based Practice II 2
OT 626 OT Mgmt and Leadership 2
OT 628 Neuro-Cognitive Rehab 2
OT 630 Advanced Clinical Reasoning 3
OT 632 Lvl I Fieldwork C/Seminar 2
OT 652 Community Based Prac in OT 1
 Hours12
Semester V
OT 660 Lvl II Fieldwork AB 7
 Hours7
Semester VI
OT 662 Lvl II Fieldwork CD 7
 Hours7
 Total Hours71