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Occupational Therapy


Occupational therapy is a vibrant, growing profession that makes it possible for people to live independently and enjoy life activities. Using a holistic approach, occupational therapists address the physical, cognitive, psychosocial and contextual issues that allow the individual to perform tasks essential to productive living. As an occupational therapist, you can look forward to a dynamic career working in a variety of health care and community settings with people of all ages.

When you receive your Master of Occupational Therapy degree, you will be ready to assist individuals in identifying goals and performing the activities needed to function in their home, school, community or work environments. By restoring, reinforcing or enhancing the ability to perform daily activities, you will help people adapt to limitations or reshape their lives to become more productive and meaningful.

Program Features

Unique Curriculum Design
The Occupational Therapy Program at Maryville is a graduate degree program designed for freshman entry. Students progress toward an MOT (Master of Occupational Therapy) degree in 5 academic years without being awarded an undergraduate degree. The community-based focus of the curriculum and its emphasis on the development of professional behaviors and clinical reasoning skills prepare our students to practice in a variety of clinical and community settings.

Real-Life Experience
Throughout the academic program, you will gain the knowledge, skills and clinical reasoning strategies needed for entry-level practice as an occupational therapist. Additionally, you will learn to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of professional behavior integral to clinical practice.

The occupational therapy curriculum provides a strong base of liberal arts and sciences with an emphasis on the physical and social sciences. Through the combination of general education, liberal arts, and professional education, you’ll become a practitioner who is culturally sensitive and well-rounded in your knowledge and interests. During the first two academic years you will enroll in some foundational occupational therapy courses while you focus on general education classes. Your third, fourth and fifth years of the Program are composed primarily of occupational therapy coursework, including fieldwork experiences in a variety of health care and community settings. Fieldwork placements are offered as two 12-week placements and may be assigned anywhere in the United States. International fieldwork placements may be possible provided the site and country meet the guidelines of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Professional Accreditation
The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814 (telephone number: (301) 652-AOTA). Graduation from an ACOTE accredited program is required to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Having been charged with or convicted of a felony; having any professional license, registration or certificate revoked, suspended or subject to probationary conditions; or being found to have committed negligence, malpractice, recklessness or willful or intentional misconduct may result in the graduate being barred from sitting for the certification examination. The graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR) after successful completion of the exam. The total number of graduates between 2010 and 2012 was 56.  Fifty four of those took the certification exam within 12 months of graduation.  Of those 54 first time test takers, 48 passed the exam, which is an 88% pass rate. Most states require licensure to practice. However, attainment of state licenses is usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

Essential Functions of the Maryville University OT Student

Students in the Occupational Therapy Program at Maryville University must possess the minimal skills, essential functions (critical thinking, sound judgment, emotional stability and maturity, empathy, physical and mental stamina), and knowledge to function in a wide variety of academic, fieldwork and community settings. These essential functions, in conjunction with established academic standards, are followed by the Professional and Academic Review Committee (PARC) for the selection and retention of students who possess the characteristics that are necessary to become competent occupational therapists.

The Occupational Therapy Program at Maryville University is committed to the education of all qualified individuals, including persons with disabilities who, with or without reasonable accommodations, are capable of performing the essential functions of the Program. When a student’s ability to perform is compromised, the student must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to perform the essential functions described below. Students with concerns about their ability to perform any of the functions listed are encouraged to initiate contact with any faculty member/advisor within the occupational therapy and/or personnel with the Center for the First Year Success and Academic Success Center to advocate for one’s own needs.

In accordance with regulations established the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Civil Rights Act of 1973, and state and local requirements regarding student and applicants with disabilities, the following essentials are described to assist each student in evaluating his/her prospect for academic and fieldwork success. Each category, Intellectual Growth, Skill Competencies, and Personal and Professional Growth and Development represents the curriculum of the Occupational Therapy Program. It is believed when the student completes the curriculum she/he will possess the necessary experiences of an entry level practitioner.

Intellectual Growth

  • Acquire, retain, and prioritize information to conceptualize and integrate information from multiple sources of data, apply theoretical knowledge, justify rationale for actions, and problem solve to create innovative and practical solutions in an efficient and useful manner.
  • Master abstract ideas and synthesize information to handle the challenges of the academic, laboratory and fieldwork settings.
  • Complete necessary laboratory or practical examinations within a time frame similar to clinical constraints
  • Ability to utilize technology: basic word processing; search online databases and web; basic file management skills; and receive and respond to email correspondence.
  • Utilize evidence-based information to justify and provide rationale for intervention.
  • Participate willingly in a supervisory process involving evaluation of abilities and reasoning skills.

Skill Competencies

  • Complete expected program curriculum competencies
  • Demonstrate selection and application of specific therapeutic techniques based on the client profile and anticipate changing needs based on the client’s response.
  • Demonstrate adherence to medical care related procedures and precautions in relation to the client’s diagnosis.
  • Demonstrate accuracy in palpation of bony prominences, alignment/placement of goniometer, identification of degrees of motion, and comparison to established norms.
  • Demonstrate accuracy in ROM techniques to the shoulder girdle and upper extremity.
  • Demonstrate the ability to attend to necessary details to safely perform transfers and bed mobility for patients in various clinical settings.
  • Demonstrate aspects related to splint development including problem-solving and comprehensive self-assessment of both static and dynamic splints.
  • Demonstrate accuracy in analyzing tasks relative to areas of occupation, performance skills, performance patterns, activity demands, context(s) and client factors.
  • Document effectively that is reflective of varying areas of practice within the clinical expectation (time, format, and compliant to expected rules and regulations)
  • Plan therapeutic group activities reflective of occupational purpose, engagement, and efficacy.
  • Safe and accurate administration of standardized assessment on a client (as observed by therapist) as evidenced by written evaluation reports
  • Adherence to clinical appropriate judgment and safety precautions during lecture, laboratory sessions, and fieldwork experience

Personal and Professional Growth and Development.

  • Be flexible and adapting to change in academic and fieldwork environments by demonstrating professional behavior while experiencing various challenges or unexpected demands.
  • Demonstrate alertness, responsiveness and attention sufficient to effectively participate in class, group sessions, team meeting and treatment of clients.
  • Demonstrate reliability by being on time and prepared for class, clinic work, and following through with commitments and responsibilities; including meeting deadlines for academic and fieldwork settings.
  • Uphold AOTA’s Code of Ethics, Maryville University’s Code of Conduct, and the clinical site by demonstrating honesty and respect, maintaining confidentiality, and complying with all laws and standards.
  • Awareness of nonverbal behaviors and the impact those behaviors have on communication.
  • Respond to questions in the classroom, initiate and participate in classroom discussion and activities by sharing perspectives, opinions and experiences, and communicate effectively as necessary in all academic and fieldwork settings.
  • Demonstrate compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation without prejudice or judgment. Including awareness and sensitivity for person’s cultural, religious, spiritual beliefs and life style choices.
  • Awareness of appropriate boundaries between personal and professional issues.
  • Demonstrate ability to develop and maintain mature, appropriate and effective interpersonal relationship with faculty, peers and fieldwork personnel through appropriate language, professional demeanor, tone of voice and non-verbal communication. This includes the use of any written communication such as emails or social media outlets.
  • Request, give and receive constructive respectful feedback and adapt his/her own behavior to the situation.

Health and Other Special Requirements

The following requirements must be met prior to participating in required Level I and Level II fieldwork and may be required for service learning activities:

  • Physical Examination
  • Documentation of Immunization and Titer Immunity
    • Measles/Rubeola, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
    • Tetanus, Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap)
    • Polio series completed
    • Varicella titer or Varicella vaccinations
    • Hepatitis B Vaccine Series or Declination (Students may not be able to go to certain fieldwork sites if they do not receive the vaccine)
    • Flu Vaccine annual
    • TB-Tuberculin PPD test (documented 2-step initially, then annual)
  • Health Insurance (copy of card annually)
  • CPR Certification-American Heart Association Basic Life Support for the Health Care Provider required
  • Current First Aid certification
  • Urine Drug Screen
  • Criminal Record Background check from Maryville University’s authorized agency and signed release to clinical sites (possible checks include: state criminal checks, disqualification lists, sex offender lists, social security number, address and alias). Having a positive Criminal Record Background check may influence fieldwork placement and delay progression through the Occupational Therapy program.
  • Fitting for a respiratory isolation device (i.e. N95 Mask) may be required by some clinical sites
  • A few hospitals in Missouri now require nicotine screenings for all new employees. Therefore it is anticipated that students may be excluded from some clinical sites based upon their use of nicotine
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Any additional requirements that may arise
  • Signed release of information forms to allow Criminal Record Background Check, Urine Drug Screen, health and other pertinent data to be provided to the Clinical Education Program and to facilities where the student completes fieldwork experiences.

Progression in the Occupational Therapy Program
Society has high expectations regarding the education and training of health professionals. These are the expectations of consistent levels of personal responsibility, professionalism and integrity. The profession of occupational therapy has the same type of expectations of its members. Students are responsible for maintaining the high standard of academic and personal performance established for each course and fieldwork experience in which they are enrolled.

The following standards related to continuation in the Occupational Therapy Program are stated below.  To remain in good standing for continuation through the OT Program, students must:

  • Maintain minimum full-time enrollment status (12 credit hours). Part-time enrollment status may be requested, in writing, on an individual basis.  Written requests for part-time status must reviewed by the student’s academic advisor and OT Program Director prior to submission to the Dean of the School of Health Professions. 
  • Meet the academic/grading standards necessary to enter the occupational therapy profession.
    • Students in the Occupational Therapy Program must earn no less than a “C” in all required undergraduate courses (100-400 level).  Students earning below a “C” (C- or below) in any required undergraduate level course will automatically be placed on probation and will not be permitted to progress to subsequent coursework until the course is retaken when it is next offered and passed with a grade “C” or better.
    • Students in the Occupational Therapy Program must earn no less than a “B-” in all required graduate courses (500 & 600 level). Students earning below a “B-” (C+ or below) in any required graduate level course will automatically be placed on probation and will not be permitted to progress to subsequent coursework until the course is retaken when it is next offered and passed with a grade “B-” or better.
    • Required courses within the OT curriculum may be repeated only once and failure to achieve the minimum accepted letter grade on the second course attempt will result in dismissal from the OT Program.  Failure to meet the minimum grade standards in any required course for a second consecutive or non-consecutive semester will result in dismissal from the OT Program.
    • A semester AND cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater must be maintained throughout the entirety of the program. Failure to achieve this minimum grade point average will result in probation. Failure to meet the minimum 3.0 semester AND cumulative GPA for a second consecutive or nonconsecutive semester will result in dismissal from the OT Program.
  • Meet the professional behavior standards necessary to enter the profession of Occupational Therapy. Students must achieve and maintain a satisfactory level of professional behavior each semester in the areas of time management, organization, engagement in academic and fieldwork experiences, self-directed learning, reasoning/problem solving, written communication, initiative, observation skills, participation in the education process, verbal communication/interpersonal skills, professional boundaries and use of professional terminology. Failing to achieve expected levels of professional behavior will delay scheduling of fieldwork experiences and may result in the student being placed on probation or being terminated from the program.
  • Successfully complete professional practicum courses and fieldwork affiliations.

Additional Requirements
Students are also expected to:

  • Comply with University Academic Integrity Policy and Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics
  • Successfully complete all general education requirements by the Spring semester of the third year in the Occupational Therapy program
  • Pass background checks and urine drug screen. Failure to pass either of these screenings may result in dismissal from the Occupational Therapy Program
  • Successfully complete all required courses prior to enrollment in Level II fieldwork
  • Successfully complete all Level II fieldwork prior to enrollment in courses for the final semester
  • Complete all academic and fieldwork requirements within five calendar years after beginning the second year of the Occupational Therapy program

Graduation
Students must successfully complete all curriculum requirements (academic coursework and fieldwork) prior to graduation. The OT Program requires students to complete a minimum of 161 credits to be awarded a Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.) degree. Degree candidates must complete an application for graduation prior to the final semester that the degree will be completed. Students are encouraged to participate in commencement after all degree requirements are completed.

Fees for the Occupational Therapy Program
Students also can expect to pay additional expenses associated with the experiential portion of the program such as professional attire for fieldwork, lab fees for selected courses, fieldwork-required insurance coverage, health tests, CPR and first aid certification, immunizations, background checks, drug screens and living and transportation expenses during fieldwork. Other expenses include AOTA membership and textbooks that tend to be expensive but are used across the program and as professional references once in the field.

Professional/Career Opportunities

Occupational therapists often work in institutional settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers and school systems as members of interdisciplinary teams. While many occupational therapists continue to work in these settings, occupational therapists are also working with community businesses and agencies to bring occupational therapy services to a variety of places where people live, play and work. These locations include community-based health care systems (home care), corporate environments, physicians’ offices, correctional institutions, hospice programs, specialized day care and day treatment programs, residences for persons with developmental or mental health disabilities and retirement communities.

The outlook for occupational therapy is bright. Specialty areas are becoming increasingly more important in meeting the needs of our diverse and aging society. New specialties include training workers to use proper ergonomics on the job, helping people with low vision to develop strategies to allow them to live independently, making communities, buildings and homes more accessible to those with physical limitations, and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Degree Offerings and Requirements

Admission Requirements

Freshman Students

Admission requirements for freshman, transfer and international students are listed in the catalog.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may be considered for acceptance into the second year of the curriculum provided space is available and that students meet all requirements for second year entry. To qualify for a possible space in the second year students would need to complete the following courses with a minimum grade of C and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0: Anatomy & Physiology I & II, General Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, English Composition I and II, Human Growth and Development, Intermediate Algebra or higher, US History or US Government, Abnormal Psychology. Application review for transfer students will begin Spring 2014 and applicants can only apply for the fall semesterSpace for transfer students is extremely limited and highly competitive for entry in 2014-2015.

Transfer students may also be considered for admission into the freshman year of the program IF the program has not filled with traditional freshman. There is no guarantee space will be available for transfer students and applicants may not hear about possible openings until late spring/early summer.

International Students

International students must submit a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or aTOEFL score of 563 or greater. TOEFL test takers who take the revised TOEFL will be admitted into the Masters of Occupational Therapy Program with a speaking sub-score of 23, writing sub-score of 20 and reading and listening scores of 21 or higher, and a combined score of 85 or higher. Students not obtaining these scores are encouraged to contact ELS (www.els.com) in order to contract with them for English proficiency classes.

University Accreditation

Maryville University of Saint Louis is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 30 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504. You can contact them by calling 800.621.7440.

School and College Accreditation

School of Health Professionals

ACOTE
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Assocatiation (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
http://www.acoteonline.org

·         Acquire, retain, and prioritize information to conceptualize and integrate information from multiple sources of data, apply theoretical knowledge, justify rationale for actions, and problem solve to create innovative and practical solutions in an efficient and useful manner.

·         Master abstract ideas and synthesize information to handle the challenges of the academic, laboratory and fieldwork settings.

·         Complete necessary laboratory or practical examinations within a time frame similar to clinical constraints

·         Ability to utilize technology:  basic word processing; search online databases and web; basic file management skills; and receive and respond to email correspondence.

·         Utilize evidence-based information to justify and provide rationale for intervention.

Participate willingly in a supervisory process involving evaluation of abilities and reasoning skills.


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