Occupational Therapy

 

Admission
The Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.) is a professional master's degree designed for entry-level generalist preparation of the occupational therapist. One cohort of students is admitted each year. Classes begin in June. The design of the program is a 2.5 year model with two routes of entry:

 

Graduate

Applicants with a bachelor's degree must submit application to the JMU Graduate School.

 

JMU students applying during their senior year must submit an application to the JMU graduate school. Refer to the Occupational Therapy program website for updated information.

 

Undergraduate: JMU Health Sciences Early-Entry

Students currently enrolled at JMU as health sciences majors with a concentration in health studies may apply to the M.O.T. program during their third year of undergraduate course work in a process known as the early-entry program.

Students must:

  • have completed 85 hours of undergraduate credit in order to start the program after their third year.
  • have completed all prerequisite courses, including all general education courses.
  • be accepted to the M.O.T. program and to The JMU Graduate School.
  • complete the additional 1.5 years of course work as graduate students after completing the first year courses as undergraduate students.

 

Application

Deadlines
Applications submitted by the due date are reviewed first and given earliest consideration for admission into the program. Applications received after the deadline will only be considered if enrollment permits. (Incomplete applications will not be reviewed).

 

The application deadline is January 10.

 

Graduate Students
Application must be submitted online to the JMU Graduate School. Check the program website for updated information. The JMU M.O.T. program does not participate in the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS).

 

Undergraduate Students
JMU undergraduate students in health sciences with a health studies concentration may apply for admission to the Occupational Therapy program during their junior year under the early-entry option. Students accepted to the early-entry program are accepted by The Graduate School and the occupational therapy program, but remain as undergraduate students during the first year in the program. Upon acceptance to The Graduate School and the M.O.T. program, students in the early-entry program become health sciences majors with a concentration in occupational studies to complete the bachelor's degree.

 

For additional information, contact the occupational therapy program office at 540-568-2399.

 

Admission Requirements
Admission is limited and competitive. Students applying to the program with a baccalaureate degree will enter the program directly as graduate students. Successful completion of 79 graduate credits will result in earning the M.O.T. degree.

 

JMU students admitted as juniors under the early-entry option will complete all required classes in the occupational studies concentration (35 credits) as undergraduate students to complete their bachelor's degree. Upon completion of the undergraduate degree/first year M.O.T. program requirements, students become graduate students and complete their remaining 44 graduate credits for the M.O.T. degree. Students must meet all requirements of The Graduate School and the first year requirements of the occupational studies concentration in order to advance to the graduate level.

 

Admission Requirements for Graduate Students

 

To be considered for admission to the M.O.T. program, prospective students must:

 

  • Have earned an undergraduate degree prior to classes beginning.
  • Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores in verbal, quantitative and writing.
  • Be admitted to the JMU Graduate School. Students with an earned undergraduate degree will apply to the M.O.T. program online through the JMU Graduate School.
  • Have a minimum preferred cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and meet all prerequisite course requirements with a grade of "C" (2.0) in the following courses: NOTE: These are JMU courses and numbers. Students not attending JMU as undergraduates may request that courses with similar content be substituted for the specific courses listed. Transcripts and syllabi of the courses should be supplied for the review of content. The admissions committee of the occupational therapy program will determine if the courses meet the prerequisite requirements.
  • Applicants must achieve a grade of "C" (2.0) or higher in the following courses:
  • Submit documentation of a minimum forty hours of observation of occupational therapy services.
  • Submit three reference forms: one from an employer or non-relative and one or more from an instructor. Request references online while completing the Graduate School application.
  • Submit an autobiographical statement of 1,500 words or less. Refer to the JMU M.O.T. program website for specific instructions regarding this assignment.

 

Applicants can be completing prerequisite courses when they apply to the program but no more than three prerequisite courses may be left to complete when an application is submitted for consideration of admission. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to beginning course work in the M.O.T. Program. Graduate applicants must demonstrate computer competency information-seeking skills.

 

A visit to the JMU Occupational Therapy program is strongly recommended for candidates who plan to apply. Applicants should be familiar with the JMU MOT Program, the curriculum, and length of study, as well as all financial responsibilities as an in-state or out-of-state student.

 

Admission Requirements for Early-Entry JMU Undergraduates
To be considered for admission through the early-entry program, prospective students must:

 

  • Be a JMU undergraduate major in health sciences with a concentration in health studies.
  • Complete a minimum of 85 credits by the end of the junior year, including all general education requirements.
  • Complete the following prerequisite courses with a grade of "C" or higher:
  • Submit documentation of a minimum 40 hours of observation of occupational therapy services (see form in application packet).
  • Take the GRE exams (verbal, quantitative, and writing) by November 15 of the junior year and submit scores to The Graduate School at JMU.
  • Complete successful application to the M.O.T program including application to the M.O.T. program and to The Graduate School. Although accepted by The Graduate School, entry to the graduate level of the M.O.T program will be delayed one year from application to allow students to complete the undergraduate degree.
  • Submit three reference forms (reference forms can be found on the JMU M.O.T. program website): one from an employer or non-relative and one or more from an instructor. Reference letters (rather than the provided forms) will not be accepted.
  • Submit an autobiographical statement of 1,500 words or less. Refer to the JMU M.O.T website for specific instructions regarding this assignment.
  • Meet all ISST requirements and requirements in computer competency as required by the university and stated in the general education requirements in the JMU Undergraduate Catalog.

 

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Application Evaluation Criteria
Candidates are evaluated through review of their written application. The following characteristics, skills and accomplishments are assessed:

 

  • Academic preparation (overall GPA, prerequisite GPA).
  • Autobiographical statement. (See program website for further information)
  • Written communication skills.
  • Volunteer/health and human services experience (Volunteer Form – 40 hours minimum).
  • Three references using reference form (not letters).
  • Thoroughness and timeliness of application submission (date and status of application material when received).
  • Level of commitment and desire to enroll in graduate occupational therapy education at JMU.
  • Degree of professional behavior and maturity during the student's advising and application process.

 

Mission
The mission of the occupational therapy program is to provide a well-rounded educational experience to students that will prepare them to effectively practice in a variety of service areas within today's health and human service arena. Each graduate will:

 

  • possess a thorough understanding of occupation.
  • be able to articulate and demonstrate the theoretical and practical application of occupational therapy.
  • be comfortable and competent working with individuals in a variety of practice settings.
  • be committed to continuous professional growth and the evolution and validation of the profession as human needs change.
  • be able to systematically locate and evaluate available evidence-based literature to formulate assessment and intervention decisions to guide professional practice.

 

Faculty participating in the program will contribute through service and education to professional circles and the local community. They will maintain high standards of professional knowledge while offering quality education to students.

 

Occupational therapists work with individuals whose ability to participate in the occupations of life is disrupted or unable to develop due to injury, disease, developmental difficulties or environmental factors. Occupational therapy is a health and human service profession whose name is reflective of the time that it was formally founded (1917) when the term occupation collectively referred to activities people engage in throughout their day. Based on the centuries-old belief that there is health in doing, active client-centered participation is both the focus of the professional and its main avenue of intervention.

 

Occupational therapists work in hospitals (inpatient and outpatient programs), rehabilitation centers, early intervention programs, schools, mental health programs, home health care agencies, industrial medicine/rehabilitation programs, skilled nursing facilities, private practices, correctional facilities, shelters, community-based programs, or at colleges or universities as faculty.

 

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Accreditation
The JMU 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 20814-3449. AOTA's phone number is (301) 652-AOTA; website is http://www.aota.org.

 

Graduation from an ACOTE accredited program is a requirement for eligibility to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. NBCOT can be contacted at 120 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150 or (301) 990-7979. Successful completion of this examination forms the basis for the regulation of practice. A prior felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to take the NBCOT certification examination and/or attain state licensure.

 

The licensing authority for occupational therapists in the Commonwealth of Virginia is the Department of Health Professions of the Virginia Board of Medicine, Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive. Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23233-1463. Telephone: (804) 367-4600. Refer to the AOTA website for licensing information for other states.

 

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Curriculum
All of the following courses are required and must be taken in the sequence specified. Students must be enrolled full-time. Exceptions to this requirement are rare and are only granted by the program coordinator. Students must perform satisfactorily from an academic standpoint in a manner that is consistent with JMU Graduate School and Occupational Therapy Program policies.

 

Occupational Therapy Degree Requirements

 

Summer: Year One (6 weeks) Credit Hours
HTH 409/OT 510. Therapeutic Interaction 3
HTH 431/OT 530. Human Occupational and the Foundations of the Profession 3
HTH 445/OT 540. The Occupational Therapy Process 3

  9

 

Fall: Year One Credit Hours
HTH 424/OT 520. Occupational Development through the Lifespan 3
BIO 414/BIO 514. Functional Anatomy for Occupational Therapists 4
BIO 440/BIO 540. Functional Neuroscience 3
HTH 461/OT 561. Therapeutic Media in Occupational Therapy 2

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Spring: Year One Credit Hours
HTH 435/OT 555. Level I Fieldwork One 1
HTH 460/OT 560. Sensorimotor Foundations of Occupation 3
HTH 478/OT 580. Occupational Dysfunction: Cause and Impact 3
HTH 479/OT 590. Foundations of Research in Occupational Therapy 3
HTH 485/OT 585. Psychosocial Perspectives in Occupational Therapy Practice 3
HTH 491/OT 591. Occupational Therapy Tutorial Group I 1

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Students enrolled in the program at the undergraduate level would receive a Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences at this time. These students would have the option of earning a minor in gerontology, substance abuse or special education (non-teaching) if appropriate course work is completed.

 

Summer: Year Two Credit Hours
OT 538. Administrative Functions for OT's 3

  3

 

Fall: Year Two Credit Hours
OT 600. Assistive Technology in Occupational Therapy Practice 3
OT 610. Occupational Therapy Intervention in Pediatrics 3
OT 620. School Based Practice 2
OT 630. Evidence Based Practice 3
OT 645. Level I Fieldwork Two 1
OT 691. Occupational Therapy Tutorial Group II 1

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Spring: Year Two Credit Hours
OT 640. Occupational Therapy Intervention Throughout Adulthood 4
OT 651. Community and Health Practice in Occupational Therapy 4
OT 655. Level I Fieldwork Three 1
OT 692. Occupational Therapy Tutorial Group III 1

  10

 

Summer: Year Two Credit Hours
OT 663. Policy Analysis and Systems of Service Provision 3
OT 665. Level II Fieldwork One (12 week placement) 6

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Fall: Year Three Credit Hours
OT 675. Level II Fieldwork Two (12 week placement) 6
OT 680. Independent Study 3

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Note: Level II fieldwork must be completed within 24 months of completion of didactic course work.

 

Students would receive a master's of occupational therapy degree at December commencement once they conclude all academic and clinical course work.

 

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Course Offerings

 

Occupational Therapy

 

OT 510. Therapeutic Interaction.

3 credits.

This course focuses on the therapeutic process, small group dynamics, professional interactions, cultural sensitivity, and client-practitioner relationships. Topics include professional socialization, communication skills, and exploration of self within the context of personal and professional attitudes, values, and beliefs. Prerequisite: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or by permission of the program director.

 

OT 520. Occupational Development Through the Lifespan.

3 credits.

Occupational development from infancy to old age comprises the content. The specific interactions of the human and the environment in fostering physical, social, emotional, cognitive, moral and psychological growth are covered. The acquisition of values, roles, habits, temporal adaptations and interests during each stage of life are explored. Prerequisite: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or by permission of the program director.

 

OT 530. Human Occupation and the Foundations of the Profession.

3 credits.

Occupation as a fundamental human behavior is explored. The conceptual basis of occupational engagement including time, tool use, environmental press, activity analysis, grading, approaches to change and other foundation concepts are linked to occupational science. How these coalesce into a professional focus and a profession completes the content. Prerequisite: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or by permission of the program director.

 

OT 538. Administrative Functions for OTs.

3 credits.

This course provides an introduction to the management functions, tasks, roles and responsibilities as they are carried out in health and human service organizations. Discussion of emerging issues impacting health care practitioners is provided. Supervisory issues specific to the occupational therapist will be explored. Prerequisite: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or by permission of the program director.

 

OT 540. The Occupational Therapy Process.

3 credits.

The occupational therapy process is taught. Types, purposes and methods of assessment are taught as the initial and defining stop in the therapeutic process. Problem setting, client centered goal development, intervention and appropriate termination of services are covered. Documentation of the process is also included. Prerequisite: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or by permission of the program director.

 

OT 555. Level I Fieldwork One.

1 credit.

This course provides an opportunity for the student to gain clinical experience serving clients with psychosocial conditions in the areas of education, health or human services. This clinical experience is designed to enrich didactic course work through directed observation and participation in selected aspects of the occupational therapy process. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 560. Sensorimotor Foundations of Occupation.

3 credits.

The foundations of sensory processing and motor response allow the human to engage in purposeful and meaningful occupations. The important components of movement and behavior provide the underlying construct for much of occupational engagement. Normal and abnormal sensorimotor processing is presented with particular emphasis on how dysfunctions in these areas impact occupational engagement. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 561. Therapeutic Media in Occupational Therapy.

2 credits.

The use of therapeutic media has had a profound influence on the practice of occupational therapy. This course will analyze the historical, theoretical and contemporary use of therapeutic media and how it is utilized in intervention across client populations of all ages. Methods of adaptation and compensatory strategy effectively utilized to complete tasks will be examined. Contextual issues regarding media use pertaining to physical, cultural, personal and social factors will be discussed. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 580. Occupational Dysfunction-Cause and Impact.

3 credits.

Reasons for occupational dysfunction in the areas of development, trauma, disease, degenerative and environmental conditions are examined in relation to their specific pathology and their effect on human occupational performance. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 585. Psychosocial Perspectives in Occupational Therapy Practice.

3 credits.

This course will provide an overview of psychosocial conditions that impact client function in the areas of occupation, performance skills and performance patterns. Occupational therapy assessment and intervention from an individual and group treatment standpoint will be examined as it contributes to the interdisciplinary process. A historical overview of occupational therapy in behavioral health service provision will be covered that will review traditional and contemporary treatment and provider settings. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 590. Foundations of Research in Occupational Therapy.

3 credits.

The core research course introduces the student to the reasons, types and processes of research. Exposure to critical review of published research, specific emphasis on evidence based practice and the use of research in clinical decision-making is emphasized. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum or permission of the program director.

 

OT 591. Occupational Therapy Tutorial Group I.

1 credit.

Tutorial I is a small group case-based discussion seminar, facilitated by a clinical tutor who is an occupational therapist. Students research and discuss clinical cases related to content that is integrated from all courses that semester in the occupational studies concentration. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum or permission of the program director.

 

OT 600. Assistive Technology in Occupational Therapy Practice.

3 credits.

The focus of this course is to provide an overview of the selection and use of assistive technology in rehabilitation to improve client function. High and low technology devices will be examined that apply to clients across the life span. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum or permission of the program director.

 

OT 610. Occupational Therapy Intervention in Pediatrics.

3 credits.

Designed to provide an overview of occupational therapy in pediatrics, this course emphasizes the child and their family in context of environment and culture. The effect of disability on occupational development and performance frames the clinical reasoning used in decision making. Assessment, intervention planning and implementation, including intervention techniques, from a variety of theoretical perspective will be explored. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 620. School Based Practice.

2 credits.

An overview of occupational services provided under the individuals with Disabilities Education Act frames the content of this course. Understanding the school as an institution with a mission and culture, working in teams and supporting educational objectives and achievement is stressed. The early intervention programs as designed under IDEA are included. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the program or permission of the program director.

 

OT 630. Evidence Based Practice.

3 credits.

Evidence based practice is considered to be the foundation and standard regarding clinical performance in the health and medical fields. This course introduces the student to the methodology of evidence-based research and its applicability to occupational therapy. The content of this course builds on knowledge gained in the introductory research course (OT 590). Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum or permission of the program director.

 

OT 640. Occupational Therapy Intervention Throughout Adulthood.

4 credits.
This course will explore the role of the occupational therapist in providing services to clients in early, middle and later adulthood. Functional performance relating to areas of occupation, performance skills, performance patterns, contexts, activity demands and client factors will be analyzed. Theoretical approaches and evidence based intervention strategies will be examined. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 645. Level I Fieldwork Two.

1 credit.

The focus of this course provides an opportunity for the student to gain clinical experience serving pediatric and adolescent clients in the areas of education, health and human services. This clinical experience is designed to enrich didactic course work through directed observation and participation in selected aspects of the occupational therapy process. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 651. Community and Health Practice in Occupational Therapy.

4 credits.

As a result of the continued emphasis on health promotion and prevention, it is important for the occupational therapist to be cognizant of community health and human service agencies and how they serve the needs of individuals with special needs. This course will expose the student to community based models of service provision and provide interaction with local agencies. A proposal for and occupational therapy based program will be developed and the process for securing external funding (that can serve as a fiscal resource for practice) will be examined. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 655. Level I Fieldwork Three.

1 credit.

This course provides an opportunity for the students to gain clinical experience serving clients with orthopedic or neurological conditions in the areas of education, health or human services. This clinical experience is designed to enrich didactic course work through directed observation in selected aspects of the occupational therapy process. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 663. Policy Analysis and Systems of Service Provision.

3 credits.

Federal, state, and local laws and regulations related to health and human services are identified and their impact on occupational therapy practice is examined. Particular emphasis is placed on access to services, systems of services and payment for services. The role of advocacy in change is emphasized. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum or permission of the program director.

 

OT 665. Level II Fieldwork One.

6 credits.

This supervised 12-week fieldwork external affiliation provides in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services on-site at a hospital, community agency or human service setting. Students demonstrate an ability to evaluate, treat, document and discharge clients. Professionalism, clinical reasoning skills and communication with clients, significant others and professional colleagues are enhanced. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 675. Level II Fieldwork Two.

6 credits.

Students participate in a second 12-week in-depth supervised fieldwork affiliation in a different practice setting such as a hospital, community agency or human service settings. Students demonstrate increased independence in evaluating, treating, documenting and discharging clients. Professionalism, clinical reasoning and communication skills are further enhanced. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum, or permission of the program director.

 

OT 680. Independent Study in Occupational Therapy.

3 credits.

This course provides an opportunity for the student to explore theoretical, clinical and evidence based practice concepts related to experience gained from both didactic and fieldwork education in greater breadth and depth. Exploration and dissemination of current health and human services professional literature will be emphasized as students examine the efficacy of traditional and contemporary practice approaches. Prerequisites: Admission to the occupational therapy program and successful completion of all previous courses in the curriculum or permission of the program director.

 

OT 691. Occupational Therapy Tutorial Group II.

1 credit.

This tutorial course is a continuance of the small group case-based discussion seminar process facilitated by a clinical tutor who is an occupational therapist. Students research and discuss clinical cases related to content that is integrated from all courses that semester in the occupational therapy program. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of all previous program course work or permission of the program director.

 

OT 692. Occupational Therapy Tutorial Group III.

1 credit.

This tutorial course is a continuance of the small group case-based discussion seminar process facilitated by a clinical tutor who is an occupational therapist. Students research and discuss clinical cases related to content that is integrated from all courses that semester in the occupational therapy program. Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of all previous program course work or permission of the program director.

 

 

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