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Occupational Therapy

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Westbrook College of Health Professions

Department of Occupational Therapy

Kris Winston

kwinston@une.edu

Mission

UNE Occupational Therapy (OT) Mission is to develop innovative and collaborative OT practitioners and leaders who respond to the dynamic needs of people and communities to support health and wellness through occupational engagement. 

Vision

Our vision is to lead the profession in meeting society’s occupational needs by fostering excellence in occupational therapy teaching, scholarship, and service.

Program Description

Occupational therapy is a health profession whose practitioners work with clients of all abilities across the lifespan. The goal of occupational therapy intervention is to increase the ability of the person to participate in everyday occupations that include activities we need and want to participate in such as, mealtimes, dressing, bathing, leisure, work, education, and social participation. 

Occupational therapy practitioners work in a variety of settings some of which include hospitals, clinics, schools, rehabilitation centers, home care programs, community health centers, psychiatric facilities, and skilled nursing facilities. With experience, practitioners might function in private practice, as a university faculty member, in administration, as a researcher, or as a consultant.

The OT curriculum is designed to facilitate occupation-based, client-centered practice, critical thinking, and clinical reasoning. Courses emphasize life-long learning and professional responsibilities and help students become competent and compassionate practitioners. Workshops, lectures, intervention labs, small group classes, and fieldwork experiences help students apply and integrate practice grounded in theory.

The graduate OT program within the Westbrook College of Health Professions emphasizes interprofessional education among nursing, nurse anesthesia, athletic training, applied exercise science, physical therapy, social work, dental hygiene, physician assistant, pharmacy, public health, nutrition, health wellness and occupational studies, dental, and osteopathic medical students.

Accreditation

The Occupational Therapy Program was first awarded accreditation in January 1985. The OT program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda, Md. 20852-4929. For members, (301) 652-AOTA, for non-members (301) 652-6611. www.acoteonline.org

Graduates of the program are eligible to take 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). NBCOT, Inc. 1 Bank Street, Suite 300 Gaithersburg, Md. 20878 Phone: (301) 990-7979 Email: Info@nbcot.org Websire: www.nbcot.org

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)

Most states require licensure to practice. (State licensure requires NBCOT Certification Examination results). Eligibility for the National Certification Examination requires:

  • Master's degree, with a major in occupational therapy
  • Successful completion of an accredited occupational therapy curriculum
  • Successful completion of a minimum of six months of supervised fieldwork (Level II)
Curricular Requirements
  Credits
Program Required Courses  
Summer  

OTR 505 - Foundations in OT

3

OTR 520/520L- Clinical Kinesiology & Anatomy

4

OTR 531 Health Conditions and Occupational Therapy

3

OTR 532 Therapeutic Use of Self and Group Process

3
OTR 502- Occupational Analysis 3
Subtotal 16
Fall  

OTR 521 - Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Mental Health & Wellness

3

OTR 521L - OT Interventions in Mental Health & Wellness (includes level I fieldwork)

2

OTR 528 Fieldwork Seminar Mental Health

1

OTR 640 Neuro-Occupation

3

OTR 650 Leadership and Advocacy in delivery Systems 3

OTR 628 Research Methods & Design

3

Subtotal 15
Spring  

OTR 621 - Health Care Management & Delivery

3

OTR 611 - Biopsychosocial Dimensions of Children & Youth

3

OTR 611L - OT Interventions w/ Children & Youth (includes level I fieldwork)

2

OTR 606 - Occupational Engagement in Communities and Contexts (taken either Spring or Second Summer)

3

OTR 610 - Integrative Practice w/Children & Youth

3

OTR 619 - Evidence-Based Research Seminar

3

OTR 605 Fieldwork Seminar Pediatrics 1
Subtotal 15-18
Summer  
OTR 527 - Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation in Adulthood 4
OTR 527L - OT Interventions in Adulthood 2
OTR 604 Fieldwork Seminar RDP 1
OTR 606 - Occupational Engagement in Communities and Contexts (taken either Spring or Second Summer) 3
OTR 529 Integrative Practice - Adults 2
OTR 630 Essentials for Practice 3
Subtotal 12-15
Fall/Spring  

OTR 601 - Fieldwork IIA

6

OTR 602 - Fieldwork IIB

6

Subtotal 12

Fieldwork Experiences

Level I Fieldwork: Students complete Level I Fieldwork experiences as part of instructional courses in a variety of community and medical settings. This experience reinforces course concepts. Students are supervised by qualified personnel may include occupational therapists, teachers, social workers, public health nurses, and physical therapists.

Level II Fieldwork: Emphasizes the application of knowledge by providing the student with in-depth experience in delivery of occupational therapy service to patients/clients. Students complete two full-time level II fieldwork experiences, each is 3 months long.

The expenses incurred for room and board during these internships, and travel to and from the fieldwork sites, are the responsibility of each student. Students may complete fieldwork at any approved location.

The requirements for Level II fieldwork include:

  • A minimum of six months (24 weeks, full time) of Level II Fieldwork experience, preferably with at least three months on a full-time sustained basis;
  • Completion of all fieldwork experience no later than 18 months following completion of the didactic portion of the curriculum;
  • Supervision provided by a licensed occupational therapist with at least one year of experience.

Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully complete all courses prior to graduation and fulfill all curriculum requirements.

Academic and Technical Standards

WCHP Academic Policies

The Department of Occupational Therapy, the Westbrook College of Health Professions, and the University of New England are committed to offering a quality Occupational Therapy education program that complies with the evaluative criteria of the ACOTE (Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education). The program provides learning experiences to enable graduates to achieve the outcomes required for the practice of Occupational Therapy. Please refer to the WCHP Graduate Program Progression Policies and Procedures (PDF) for a detailed description of academic standards.

M.S.O.T. Technical Standards

Technical Standards for Occupational Therapy Program

The following abilities and skills are necessary to engage in the Occupational Therapy department at the University of New England: 

  • Cognitive abilities to analyze, synthesize, and integrate information related to anatomy, physiology, human development, psychology, sociology, kinesiology, and occupational studies in order to make clinical judgments for planning and implementing effective occupation-based interventions.
  • Critical thinking and judgment that promotes safety, optimal occupational performance, remediation, and adaptation.
  • Time management and organizational skills to meet demands of classroom and practice environment.
  • Interpersonal skills that include participating in classroom discussion, conducting interviews, observing body language, listening, responding, collaborative goal setting, and developing intentional relationships.
  • Evaluation of the performance of self and others and making adjustments in behavior or promoting behavioral change in others to enhance occupational performance.
  • Communication skills to develop positive client relationships, complete written documentation consistent with OT practice, and participate as a health care team member.
  • Physical abilities to perform physical examinations, such as balance, range of motion, and strength, and to accurately, safely, and efficiently use assessment tools, equipment, and other materials during occupational therapy intervention.
  • Emotional stability to handle the demands of a practice environment. This includes acting in a professional manner, being dependable, meeting commitments, and being forthcoming about one’s own needs.
  • Ability to maintain personal appearance and hygiene conducive to working in clinical and community settings.
Learning Outcomes

Through the transformative power of occupation, UNE OT graduates collaborate with people and communities to navigate a journey toward health and wellness.

Upon completion of the Occupational Therapy program, students will demonstrate the following outcomes:

Leadership and Advocacy

  • Advocate for access to occupations that support health and wellness.
  • Demonstrate everyday leadership that equips others to navigate the journey to health and wellness through the transformative power of occupation.
  • Develop as leaders who model the way to health and wellness through the transformative power of occupation.

Collaboration

  • Effectively demonstrate professionalism to communicate and collaborate in team-based care for client-centered practice.
  • Cultivate relationships to facilitate health and wellness.
  • Demonstrate communication that is flexible and responsive to contextual demands.

Community and Context

Facilitates UNE OT students' recognition that occupations are inextricably connected to and influenced by the communities and contexts in which they are performed

  • Demonstrate the ability to recognize and assess characteristics of community (comprised of individuals, groups, and populations that are complex, multifaceted, and layered with meaning) and context (factors such as culture, physical environment, personal interests, rituals, routines, spirituality, roles) to collaboratively find solutions to occupational challenges and to support occupational engagement and participation.
  • Value the characteristics of community and context as they influence occupation due to the symbiotic, dynamic, and complex relationship with the nature of the occupation.
  • Support occupational engagement and participation by recognizing and assessing the characteristics of communities and contexts.

Creativity

  • Collaborate with individuals, groups, populations, and communities to implement creative solutions to occupational challenges.
  • Integrate creative resources and strategies to shape thinking that will move people and communities toward health and wellness through occupational engagement.
  • Demonstrate the resourcefulness to keep occupation at the center of academic and practice related learning.

Evidence-based Practice and Scholarly Inquiry

  • Integrate all levels of evidence to create, inform, and support occupation-centered practice encompassing (or throughout) the entire OT process.
  • Embrace a culture of scholarly inquiry that addresses gaps in knowledge and promotes best practices and lifelong learning.
  • Demonstrate excellence in written and verbal communication to disseminate new ideas, knowledge, and skills that inform and guide practice.

Meaning

Meaning provides a framework for people to participate and live a fully engaged life

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how participation and engagement in occupation creates a sense of meaning and in turn influences health and wellness.
  • Demonstrate awareness that meaning is a dynamic process that occurs throughout day-to-day occupations across the lifespan.
  • Discern meaning as it relates to each individual, population, group, and community.
Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit

  • Transfer credits are rarely awarded to students who transfer from another Occupational Therapy program
  • Transfer credits will be reviewed and awarded on a case by case basis

Advanced STANDING

  • No advanced standing available

Experiential Learning

  • No credit awarded for experiential learning
Admissions

Admissions Requirements

APPLICATION

The University of New England Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program participates in the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). All applicants are required to apply online through this service.

DEGREE REQUIREMENT

GPA REQUIREMENT

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, as calculated by OTCAS (inclusive of all coursework taken with no forgiveness for retakes), required.
  • Minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0, as calculated by UNE using highest grade received for repeated coursework; calculated using the OTCAS universal computation scale for quality points.
  • All applicants must meet minimum GPA requirements to be considered for admission.

PREREQUISITE COURSEWORK REQUIREMENTS

  • Science​​
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II (with labs, 8 semester or 12 quarter credits) or
      • Human Anatomy, 4 semester or 6 quarter credits, and
      • Physiology, 4 semester or 6 quarter credits (Animal or Exercise Physiology not acceptable)
    • Neuroscience* (3-4 semester or 4.5-6 quarter credits); lab component not required but is highly recommended​
  • Other (each prerequisite course below should be equivalent to 3 semester or 4.5 quarter credits)
    • Statistics (Bio, Math, Psych)
    • Intro to Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Human Development** (lifespan)
    • Social Science*** (Sociology/Anthropology)
    • English Composition
    • Courses in Medical Terminology, college Chemistry or Physics, and Introduction to Occupational Therapy are not required but are highly recommended​

Other Important Prerequisite Coursework Notes:

  • All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or better (“C minus” grades not acceptable).
  • All science prerequisite coursework must be completed no more than seven (7) years prior to UNE’s OTCAS application deadline.
  • A maximum of 6 Advanced Placement (AP) credits can be accepted as a substitute for Intro to Psychology and English Composition only.
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university.
  • *Neuroscience prerequisite – the course should include structure and function of the nervous system including both the central and peripheral nervous system, content related to the neural basis for movement and sensory functions (including content on sensory and moto pathways), and general cognitive functioning.
  • ***Social Science prerequisite – applicants must have 3 credits of social science which might include sociology or anthropology that is focused on the study of society, human interactions/relationships, the structure and function of social institutions or organized groups, and culture.
  • **Human Development prerequisite – course must cover entire lifespan from birth to death. Applicants wishing to use Developmental Psychology to fulfill this prerequisite must reach out to the program for approval prior to application submission.
  • Prerequisite coursework may be in-progress or planned at the time of application. All courses must be completed with an official transcript submitted to the Office of Graduate Admission prior to the start of the program.
  • Official transcripts for coursework and/or degrees completed in the summer/fall term should be submitted and verified by OTCAS during the Academic Update period.
  • Official transcripts for coursework and/or degrees completed in the spring term should be submitted directly to UNE’s Office of Graduate Admission prior to the start of the program.

All planned or in-progress coursework should be listed on the OTCAS application at the time of application submission; not doing so will result in the applicant not meeting all admission requirements and therefore will not be eligible for admission review.

Online courses offered through UNE’s Online Science Prerequisites as well as online courses from other regionally accredited U.S. colleges or universities are acceptable with program approval.

LETTERS OF EVALUATION

Two (2) letters of evaluation are required* – submitted via OTCAS

  • Letters should come from individuals who can speak to the applicant’s academic abilities and/or professional experiences.

*Letters from friends or family members are not acceptable.

OBSERVATION HOURS

  • Completion of volunteer or work experience in a health or human service-related setting is highly recommended.
  • All hours can be documented directly within the OTCAS application.

PERSONAL STATEMENT

  • Please refer to the OTCAS application for specific writing prompt and additional information.

INTERVIEWS

  • Interviews are required for admission and are by invitation only.
  • Alternate interviewing modalities (including virtual interviews) may be instituted as necessary to address ongoing public health concerns with COVID-19. The Office of Graduate Admissions will be in touch with any updates, as necessary.
  • If an applicant has extenuating circumstances and would like to request a virtual interview, it may be granted with program approval. Please reach out to the program directly for additional information.

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

International applicants and those with foreign degrees and coursework are required to satisfy the following additional requirements:

  • Official credential evaluation by World Education Service (WES), confirming degree and grade equivalency to that of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. The completed credential evaluation should be submitted directly to OTCAS. Please refer to the International Admissions section of the UNE website for more information on the type of credential evaluation required for admission review.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate written and spoken fluency through the successful completion of a UNE approved English language proficiency test.
  • Applicants should refer to the English Language Proficiency page on the UNE website for specific information and minimum score requirements.
  • Please refer to the OTCAS application for test score submission instructions.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Prior to matriculation, accepted and deposited students will be required to complete the following compliance requirements:

  • Completion of physical examination with proof of up-to-date immunization status. Please refer to UNE’s Student Health Center for detailed information.
  • Satisfactory completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen prior to matriculation, as well as periodically throughout the program (as required by clinical affiliations).
  • All students must have the ability to meet Academic and Technical Standards of the Occupational Therapy profession.

Note: All materials submitted as part of the application become the property of UNE and will not be returned or released to anyone, including the applicant. This policy includes letters of reference, primary and secondary applications, personal statements, transcripts, and other supporting materials.

Due to continuing developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, some application requirements and processes may change during the cycle for the health and safety of the university, its employees, and prospective students/applicants. We appreciate your flexibility and consideration.

POLICY EXCEPTIONS

  • Policies have been established to ensure fair and consistent admissions practice for all applicants to the university and its programs
  • All criteria presented in this summary are subject to change per professional accreditation requirements, changes in curriculum and/or other institutional standards, and clinical affiliation requirements
  • Exceptions to existing admission policies are rare and made only when it is deemed necessary and appropriate to maintain fair and consistent practice for all candidates, not individual candidates
Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2020-2021 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication May 1, 2020.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.

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