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Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Application now open for Fall 2024. All admitted students into our first cohort will receive a $1000 scholarship for their first term of admission. Priority review is April 1st!

WOU OTD Open House 

  • Saturday, March 2nd, 1-3 pm (In-Person: WOU Salem Campus)
  • Wednesday, March 13th, 5:30-6:30 pm (Virtual: Zoom)

Welcome to Western Oregon University’s Occupational Therapy Program!

As founding program director, I’m very excited to announce that we will be the first occupational therapy program to be located within Oregon’s public university system and are planning to welcome our inaugural cohort in fall 2024. We are currently in the applicant phase of accreditation with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and plan to submit our candidacy application by the end of 2023. We look forward to welcoming students to the WOU Salem campus, where the Occupational Therapy Program will be located. Updates on our progress toward accreditation and welcoming our first class will be regularly posted on this website.

Occupational Therapists use everyday activities (occupations) to help people and groups to do the things they want to do, need to do, and/or are expected to do in order to live life to the fullest. Occupational Therapy practice balances art and science to provide assessments and interventions that are evidence-based, holistic, and context driven. More information about careers in occupational therapy can be found at the American Occupational Therapy Association website: About Occupational Therapy.

Program Status

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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. The program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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. 

Program Details

Overview

Designed for:

The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program at WOU is the first public doctoral-level occupational therapy (OT) program in Oregon and is designed to prepare students to balance the art and science of OT practice as entry-level therapists. Occupational therapists work with individuals, groups, and organizations to promote health and wellness across the age span so that everyone can strive to live life to the fullest.  Occupational therapy practitioners use occupations (meaningful activities) to support individuals in doing the things they want to do, need to do, and are expected to do in daily life.

To start, you need:

  • Evidence of completion of a four-year baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution as defined by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars, with a cumulative B average (equivalent 3.00 on a U.S. 4.00 grading scale) on the most recent baccalaureate degree. If the applicant’s cumulative GPA is below 3.00, but a calculation using the last 90 quarter credits (60-semester credits) of graded course work is 3.0 or higher, the latter will be used as the basis for admission.
  • Transcripts and/or academic records submitted through OTCAS from all institutions attended.
    • Successful Completion of the following prerequisites with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 within the past 10 years:
      • Natural Sciences (12 semester or 16 quarter hours minimum)[Courses at WOU that satisfy the requirements]
        • General Biology (3 semesters or 4 quarter hours)[BI102 or BI21]
        • Human Anatomy & Physiology with labs (9 semester or 12 quarter hours)[BI234, BI235, BI236]
      • Psychology (9 semester or 12 quarter hours) )[Courses at WOU that satisfy the requirements]
        • General Psychology – introductory and abnormal psychology (6 semester or 8 quarter hours)[Psy201, Psy450]
        • Developmental Psychology – human lifespan (3 semester or 4 quarter hours)[Psy311]
      • Humanities (9 semester or 12 quarter hours minimum)
        • Courses may come from the following: anthropology, art history or appreciation, community health, criminal justice, cultural geography, ethnic studies, exercise science, gerontology, human sexuality, literature, marriage/family, music, personal health, philosophy, psychology (in addition to psychology requirement), religion, social science, social work, sociology, theatre, women’s studies
      • Statistics (3 semester or 4 quarter hours)
        • Courses may come from the following: psychology, sociology, anthropology, math
      • Writing (3 semester or 4 quarter hours)
        • Courses may include professional writing, writing for the sciences, expository writing, or intensive writing
      • Medical Terminology (One sequence or course) )[Courses at WOU that satisfy the requirements]
        • May be taken for credit, P/NP, or certificate [Gero120]

Begin your Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program:

  • Fall 2024

Finishing will take:

  • 147 quarter credits
  • Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3.
  • Doctoral Capstone Experience and Project

    Where you will take classes:

    • Most classes will take place in-person on the WOU:Salem campus
    • Some classes will utilize a hybrid format
    • 3rd year didactic courses may be online
    • Final doctoral capstone presentations will be in-person the week leading up to graduation

    Technology you will need:

    • Reliable computer with high-speed internet connection
    • Microsoft Office software (student version is sufficient)
    • Video conferencing capability (e.g. Zoom)
    • The Occupational Therapy Doctorate program includes a limited number of hybrid courses.  Students must be proficient in the use of web-conferencing software (e.g. Zoom), Microsoft Office, GoogleApps, and online course management programs (e.g. Canvas).

    What you will learn:

    Students will learn the skills necessary to become outstanding entry-level occupational therapy practitioners across the diverse settings and contexts where occupational therapists work.  Students will become skilled in analyzing and applying scientific evidence through artful interventions to support participation and occupational performance for all.

    Learning outcomes:

    Students will:

    1. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to be excellent, generalist, entry-level occupational therapists
    2. Understand the importance of promoting health throughout the lifespan using meaningful occupations
    3. Apply skilled application of occupational therapy theories to evaluate clients and develop appropriate interventions using occupations to improve functional performance and quality of life for those served
    4. Create a life-long learning plan
    5. Provide services through a lens of cultural humility that promotes equitable care while accepting diverse perspectives and promoting inclusion for all
    6. Demonstrate an awareness of emerging areas of practice and the significance of community-based services
    7. Be prepared to become leaders and agents of change, empowering therapists and clients alike
    8. Collaborate with clients, professionals, and others through clear, effective, and empathetic communication

    Application Requirements

    Deadlines and key dates:

    • You may apply to start the program fall 2024
      • Applications open: November 2023
      • Priority application deadline: April 1, 2024
      • Notifications of acceptance: Beginning April 2024

    Completed applications received after the priority deadline may be considered until the cohort is full or be placed on a waitlist. Apply beginning in November!

    Detailed application requirements

    Application materials required for WOU Graduate admission:

      Process: You will be notified via email regarding the acceptance status of your complete application.

        Curriculum

        Curriculum Overview [Curriculum Grid]

        The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program prepares graduates to work with individuals, groups, and populations who are affected by physical, cognitive, psychosocial, mental, developmental, and/or learning challenges, as well as adverse environmental conditions, to maximize their occupational functioning and maintain optimum health through a planned mix of acquired skills, performance motivation, environmental adaptations, assistive technologies, and physical agents. Occupational Therapy education includes instruction in the basic medical sciences, psychology, sociology, client assessment and evaluation, standardized and non-standardized tests and measurements, assistive and rehabilitative technologies, ergonomics, environmental health, special education, vocational counseling, health education and promotion, health advocacy, and professional standards and ethics.

        The OTD program is a three-year professional doctorate degree that will prepare students for careers as occupational therapists and faculty in Occupational Therapy programs. The program is built upon a foundation of human occupation, lifespan development, mental health, anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, and neuroscience that supports evaluation and assessment, applied research, intervention and rehabilitation, clinical practice, and advocacy. The program will meet all national accreditation requirements as prescribed by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).  The sixty-one learning outcomes required of all ACOTE accredited programs will be delivered over 11 terms, including 24 weeks of Level II Clinical Fieldwork and a 14 week Doctoral Capstone Experience.

        FAQs

        Is there a specific degree required for entry? No, any four-year baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent) from regionally accredited institution as defined by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars is acceptable.

        What’s the deadline for completing my baccalaureate degree and pre-requisite courses? The majority of pre-requisite courses should be completed by the end of the spring term prior to entering the program.  A small number of pre-requisite courses may be completed summer term before entry, but documentation of successful completion must be submitted prior to beginning the program.  Acceptance into the program will be contingent upon successful completion of all pre-requisites prior to the start of the fall entry term.

        How recently must pre-requisite courses be taken? Pre-requisite courses must be completed within the 10-year period leading up to entry to the program.

        Can I transfer in credits from another occupational therapy school? The WOU OT program is not able to accept credits from another occupational therapy school as a substitute for required coursework.

        Are observation or service hours required for application? You are highly encouraged to shadow occupational therapy practitioners in a variety of settings prior to application but it is not absolutely required. Observation hours may be considered during the application review process for candidates who are similarly qualified.

        When does the entry-level OTD program start? The program starts one cohort per year in the fall term (late September).

        Is the program on semesters or terms? Terms (generally 10 weeks of classes plus a finals week).

        How is the program structured? We follow a cohort model so that students will start and progress through the program as a group. Once beginning the program, you will be in classes or clinical experience year-round for a total of 11-terms.  The first two years will be primarily in person, predominantly at the WOU:Salem campus, while the third year will be primarily clinical experiences (Level II Fieldwork and Doctoral Capstone Experience) with some supporting online courses.

        Can I attend part-time? At this point we are not offering part-time enrollment; however we are exploring the possibility of offering part-time enrollment at some point in the future.

        Do students get summers off? No, the program goes year-round with regular breaks between terms.

        How big are the cohorts? The first cohort will enroll approximately 30 students with the number gradually increasing each year until we reach a target of 40 students per cohort.

        Faculty

        KRISTIN NXUMALO

        Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy
        nxumalok@wou.edu

        HALLEY READ

        Occupational Therapy Doctoral Capstone Coordinator, Occupational Therapy
        readh@wou.edu | TODD HALL(TODD) 103

        SEAN ROUSH

        Director of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy
        503-751-4054 | roushs@wou.edu | TODD 104

        AMY STEWART

        Administrative Program Assistant, Occupational Therapy
        503-751-4121 | stewarta@wou.edu | TODD 105

        RONNIE TAYLOR

        Assistant Professor,
        taylorrg@wou.edu

        STACEY VIEYRA-BRAENDLE

        Occupational Therapy Academic Fieldwork Coordinator , Occupational Therapy
        vieyrabraendles@wou.edu

        Mission, Vision, Philosophy

        OT Mission:

        To produce socially conscious and evidence-informed OT practitioners that utilize the power of occupation to promote the health and well-being of people and their communities in our region and the larger world.

        OT Vision:

        We envision a world where everyone has access to and the ability to participate in meaningful occupations that support health and well-being.

        WOU OTD will achieve this vision by:

        • Diversifying the profession of OT to increase access to occupational opportunities for historically underserved and minoritized persons in our communities locally, nationally, and globally.
        • Cultivating student success by supporting the inclusion of, and respect for all learners, faculty, and staff while embracing the diversity of experience and thought present throughout our world.
        • Producing resilient and innovative leaders who integrate the art and science of occupational therapy.

        OT Philosophy:

        The philosophy of Western Oregon University is reflective of the Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy (AOTA, 2017) and is grounded in the belief that access to and the ability to engage in meaningful occupation is central to the health and well-being of all individuals, groups, and populations.  At the heart of the Occupational Therapy Program at Western Oregon University is an unwavering commitment to an educational journey that seamlessly integrates purpose, practice, and pragmatism. Our philosophy is rooted in the conviction that impactful education nurtures critical thinking, humility, and collaborative exploration. Through rigorous academic training, we equip students with the solid theoretical foundation to grasp human occupation, health, and well-being, as well as the clinical skills to effectively work with humans across the lifespan. Experiential learning transforms this knowledge into practical wisdom, cultivating empathy and collaboration with diverse individuals. Our philosophy underscores community engagement and advocacy for social justice, expanding the horizons of occupational therapy beyond clinical confines. By harmonizing purpose, practice, and pragmatism, we drive our mission to cultivate practitioners who ardently champion social and occupational justice, ushering valuable contributions to both the field of occupational therapy and society at large.

        OT Philosophy of teaching and learning:

        We believe that an OTD program should be developmental (Ringsted 2011) and subject-centered (Hooper et al, 2020), such that foundational knowledge and skills grow over time around the core subject of occupation. As students move through the program they will experience a  pragmatic curriculum designed to be universally accessible to diverse learners that provides the foundational knowledge and skills of OT in the 1st year, then integrates those skills and knowledge to translate them to practice settings in the 2nd year, and culminates in a 3rd year wherein students demonstrate their mastery of the art and science of occupational therapy through fieldwork and their capstone project. Using a social reform perspective (Pratt, 1998) our curriculum facilitates constant reflection, reconstruction, and critical analysis of dominant views in OT practice, on occupation, of occupational justice, and on occupational engagement. Lastly, The WOU OTD curriculum is future-based (Young, 1999) such that graduates are able to navigate an ever-changing healthcare landscape and society all the while promoting occupational justice and access to occupational engagement that promotes health and well-being.

         Curricular Threads and Program Outcomes

        • The power of occupation
          • Work with individuals across the lifespan and in various contexts to harness the transformative nature of engaging in occupations (meaningful activities) that promote health, well-being, and participation in purposeful life roles.
        • Weaving the art and science of occupational therapy
          • Utilize the unique blend of theoretical knowledge, clinical skills, creativity, and human connection to help people achieve meaningful and purposeful lives.
        • Community health and social change.
          • Understand what creates healthy communities, how environments and contexts shape health and well-being, and how to act as social change agents alongside the communities we serve.
        • Critical and innovative thinking for practice and scholarship
          • Think outside the box to engage in thoughtful analysis, problem-solving, and creative solutions within the context of occupational therapy practice. Continuously reflect on practice and the unique needs of individuals, groups, and populations.
        • Steward leadership and occupational justice
          • Adopt roles that extend beyond traditional clinical practice to become advocates, facilitators, and supporters of positive change within the profession and society at large. Work to advance the field, promote ethical practice, and ensure that the principles of occupational justice are upheld.

        News

        Halley Read: Building pathways for Western’s future Occupational Therapists

        Pictured starting from left: Halley Read, Ph.D., OTR/L, Katie O’Day President, OTAO

        MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University’s Halley Read Ph.D., OTR/L, doctoral capstone coordinator for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program, was recently the recipient of the Occupational Therapy Association of Oregon (OTAO) President’s Award.

        This award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the occupational therapy profession through their formal roles within the association or through other efforts. Read’s recognition stems from her exceptional advocacy and legislative policy support work, as well as her direct collaboration with and mentorship of OTAO’s current president.

        Read also served as an ambassador for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), playing a pivotal role in promoting OT in Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers. Additionally, she served as the Oregon Representative for AOTA’s Representative Assembly, effectively addressing the concerns and interests of OT professionals at both the state and federal levels. These combined efforts have been instrumental in advocating for OT professionals.

        “It’s important for people to know that the OTD program isn’t just a new program to Western. It’s a team filled with remarkable people who are ready to support future OTD students and their profession,” says Read. “We value using our OT clinical training to create better access and pathways for our students and not limiting it to just clinical experience, but also the role of OT professionals in legislative change to shape the future of the profession.”

        Posted by Brittany Kima, January 11, 2024

        Designed for:

        The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program at WOU is the first public doctoral-level occupational therapy (OT) program in Oregon and is designed to prepare students to balance the art and science of OT practice as entry-level therapists. Occupational therapists work with individuals, groups, and organizations to promote health and wellness across the age span so that everyone can strive to live life to the fullest.  Occupational therapy practitioners use occupations (meaningful activities) to support individuals in doing the things they want to do, need to do, and are expected to do in daily life.

        To start, you need:

        • Evidence of completion of a four-year baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution as defined by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars, with a cumulative B average (equivalent 3.00 on a U.S. 4.00 grading scale) on the most recent baccalaureate degree. If the applicant’s cumulative GPA is below 3.00, but a calculation using the last 90 quarter credits (60-semester credits) of graded course work is 3.0 or higher, the latter will be used as the basis for admission.
        • Transcripts and/or academic records submitted through OTCAS from all institutions attended.
          • Successful Completion of the following prerequisites with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 within the past 10 years:
            • Natural Sciences (12 semester or 16 quarter hours minimum)[Courses at WOU that satisfy the requirements]
              • General Biology (3 semesters or 4 quarter hours)[BI102 or BI21]
              • Human Anatomy & Physiology with labs (9 semester or 12 quarter hours)[BI234, BI235, BI236]
            • Psychology (9 semester or 12 quarter hours) )[Courses at WOU that satisfy the requirements]
              • General Psychology – introductory and abnormal psychology (6 semester or 8 quarter hours)[Psy201, Psy450]
              • Developmental Psychology – human lifespan (3 semester or 4 quarter hours)[Psy311]
            • Humanities (9 semester or 12 quarter hours minimum)
              • Courses may come from the following: anthropology, art history or appreciation, community health, criminal justice, cultural geography, ethnic studies, exercise science, gerontology, human sexuality, literature, marriage/family, music, personal health, philosophy, psychology (in addition to psychology requirement), religion, social science, social work, sociology, theatre, women’s studies
            • Statistics (3 semester or 4 quarter hours)
              • Courses may come from the following: psychology, sociology, anthropology, math
            • Writing (3 semester or 4 quarter hours)
              • Courses may include professional writing, writing for the sciences, expository writing, or intensive writing
            • Medical Terminology (One sequence or course) )[Courses at WOU that satisfy the requirements]
              • May be taken for credit, P/NP, or certificate [Gero120]

        Begin your Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program:

        • Fall 2024

        Finishing will take:

        • 147 quarter credits
        • Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3.
        • Doctoral Capstone Experience and Project

          Where you will take classes:

          • Most classes will take place in-person on the WOU:Salem campus
          • Some classes will utilize a hybrid format
          • 3rd year didactic courses may be online
          • Final doctoral capstone presentations will be in person the week leading up to graduation

          Technology you will need:

          • Reliable computer with high-speed internet connection
          • Microsoft Office software (student version is sufficient)
          • Video conferencing capability (e.g. Zoom)
          • The Occupational Therapy Doctorate program includes a limited number of hybrid courses.  Students must be proficient in the use of web-conferencing software (e.g. Zoom), Microsoft Office, GoogleApps, and online course management programs (e.g. Canvas).

          What you will learn:

          Students will learn the skills necessary to become outstanding entry-level occupational therapy practitioners across the diverse settings and contexts where occupational therapists work.  Students will become skilled in analyzing and applying scientific evidence through artful interventions to support participation and occupational performance for all.

          Learning outcomes:

          Students will:

          1. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to be excellent, generalist, entry-level occupational therapists
          2. Understand the importance of promoting health throughout the lifespan using meaningful occupations
          3. Apply skilled application of occupational therapy theories to evaluate clients and develop appropriate interventions using occupations to improve functional performance and quality of life for those served
          4. Create a life-long learning plan
          5. Provide services through a lens of cultural humility that promotes equitable care while accepting diverse perspectives and promoting inclusion for all
          6. Demonstrate an awareness of emerging areas of practice and the significance of community-based services
          7. Be prepared to become leaders and agents of change, empowering therapists and clients alike
          8. Collaborate with clients, professionals, and others through clear, effective, and empathetic communication

          Deadlines and key dates:

          • You may apply to start the program fall 2024
            • Applications open: November 2023
            • Priority application deadline: April 1, 2024
            • Notifications of acceptance: Beginning April 2024

          Completed applications received after the priority deadline may be considered until the cohort is full or be placed on a waitlist. Apply beginning in November!

          Detailed application requirements

          Application materials required for WOU Graduate admission:

            Process: You will be notified via email regarding the acceptance status of your complete application.

              Curriculum Overview [Curriculum Grid]

              The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program prepares graduates to work with individuals, groups, and populations who are affected by physical, cognitive, psychosocial, mental, developmental, and/or learning challenges, as well as adverse environmental conditions, to maximize their occupational functioning and maintain optimum health through a planned mix of acquired skills, performance motivation, environmental adaptations, assistive technologies, and physical agents. Occupational Therapy education includes instruction in the basic medical sciences, psychology, sociology, client assessment and evaluation, standardized and non-standardized tests and measurements, assistive and rehabilitative technologies, ergonomics, environmental health, special education, vocational counseling, health education and promotion, health advocacy, and professional standards and ethics.

              The OTD program is a three-year professional doctorate degree that will prepare students for careers as occupational therapists and faculty in Occupational Therapy programs. The program is built upon a foundation of human occupation, lifespan development, mental health, anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, and neuroscience that supports evaluation and assessment, applied research, intervention and rehabilitation, clinical practice, and advocacy. The program will meet all national accreditation requirements as prescribed by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).  The sixty-one learning outcomes required of all ACOTE accredited programs will be delivered over 11 terms, including 24 weeks of Level II Clinical Fieldwork and a 14 week Doctoral Capstone Experience.

              Is there a specific degree required for entry? No, any four-year baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent) from regionally accredited institution as defined by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars is acceptable.

              What’s the deadline for completing my baccalaureate degree and pre-requisite courses? The majority of pre-requisite courses should be completed by the end of the spring term prior to entering the program.  A small number of pre-requisite courses may be completed summer term before entry, but documentation of successful completion must be submitted prior to beginning the program.  Acceptance into the program will be contingent upon successful completion of all pre-requisites prior to the start of the fall entry term.

              How recently must pre-requisite courses be taken? Pre-requisite courses must be completed within the 10-year period leading up to entry to the program.

              Can I transfer in credits from another occupational therapy school? The WOU OT program is not able to accept credits from another occupational therapy school as a substitute for required coursework.

              Are observation or service hours required for application? You are highly encouraged to shadow occupational therapy practitioners in a variety of settings prior to application but it is not absolutely required. Observation hours may be considered during the application review process for candidates who are similarly qualified.

              When does the entry-level OTD program start? The program starts one cohort per year in the fall term (late September).

              Is the program on semesters or terms? Terms (generally 10 weeks of classes plus a finals week).

              How is the program structured? We follow a cohort model so that students will start and progress through the program as a group. Once beginning the program, you will be in classes or clinical experience year-round for a total of 11-terms.  The first two years will be primarily in person, predominantly at the WOU:Salem campus, while the third year will be primarily clinical experiences (Level II Fieldwork and Doctoral Capstone Experience) with some supporting online courses.

              Can I attend part-time? At this point we are not offering part-time enrollment; however we are exploring the possibility of offering part-time enrollment at some point in the future.

              Do students get summers off? No, the program goes year-round with regular breaks between terms.

              How big are the cohorts? The first cohort will enroll approximately 30 students with the number gradually increasing each year until we reach a target of 40 students per cohort.

              KRISTIN NXUMALO

              Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy
              nxumalok@wou.edu

              HALLEY READ

              Occupational Therapy Doctoral Capstone Coordinator, Occupational Therapy
              readh@wou.edu | TODD HALL(TODD) 103

              SEAN ROUSH

              Director of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy
              503-751-4054 | roushs@wou.edu | TODD 104

              AMY STEWART

              Administrative Program Assistant, Occupational Therapy
              503-751-4121 | stewarta@wou.edu | TODD 105

              RONNIE TAYLOR

              Assistant Professor,
              taylorrg@wou.edu

              STACEY VIEYRA-BRAENDLE

              Occupational Therapy Academic Fieldwork Coordinator , Occupational Therapy
              vieyrabraendles@wou.edu

              OT Mission:

              To produce socially conscious and evidence-informed OT practitioners that utilize the power of occupation to promote the health and well-being of people and their communities in our region and the larger world.

              OT Vision:

              We envision a world where everyone has access to and the ability to participate in meaningful occupations that support health and well-being.

              WOU OTD will achieve this vision by:

              • Diversifying the profession of OT to increase access to occupational opportunities for historically underserved and minoritized persons in our communities locally, nationally, and globally.
              • Cultivating student success by supporting the inclusion of, and respect for all learners, faculty, and staff while embracing the diversity of experience and thought present throughout our world.
              • Producing resilient and innovative leaders who integrate the art and science of occupational therapy.

              OT Philosophy:

              The philosophy of Western Oregon University is reflective of the Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy (AOTA, 2017) and is grounded in the belief that access to and the ability to engage in meaningful occupation is central to the health and well-being of all individuals, groups, and populations.  At the heart of the Occupational Therapy Program at Western Oregon University is an unwavering commitment to an educational journey that seamlessly integrates purpose, practice, and pragmatism. Our philosophy is rooted in the conviction that impactful education nurtures critical thinking, humility, and collaborative exploration. Through rigorous academic training, we equip students with the solid theoretical foundation to grasp human occupation, health, and well-being, as well as the clinical skills to effectively work with humans across the lifespan. Experiential learning transforms this knowledge into practical wisdom, cultivating empathy and collaboration with diverse individuals. Our philosophy underscores community engagement and advocacy for social justice, expanding the horizons of occupational therapy beyond clinical confines. By harmonizing purpose, practice, and pragmatism, we drive our mission to cultivate practitioners who ardently champion social and occupational justice, ushering valuable contributions to both the field of occupational therapy and society at large.

              OT Philosophy of teaching and learning:

              We believe that an OTD program should be developmental (Ringsted 2011) and subject-centered (Hooper et al, 2020), such that foundational knowledge and skills grow over time around the core subject of occupation. As students move through the program they will experience a  pragmatic curriculum designed to be universally accessible to diverse learners that provides the foundational knowledge and skills of OT in the 1st year, then integrates those skills and knowledge to translate them to practice settings in the 2nd year, and culminates in a 3rd year wherein students demonstrate their mastery of the art and science of occupational therapy through fieldwork and their capstone project. Using a social reform perspective (Pratt, 1998) our curriculum facilitates constant reflection, reconstruction, and critical analysis of dominant views in OT practice, on occupation, of occupational justice, and on occupational engagement. Lastly, The WOU OTD curriculum is future-based (Young, 1999) such that graduates are able to navigate an ever-changing healthcare landscape and society all the while promoting occupational justice and access to occupational engagement that promotes health and well-being.

               Curricular Threads and Program Outcomes

              • The power of occupation
                • Work with individuals across the lifespan and in various contexts to harness the transformative nature of engaging in occupations (meaningful activities) that promote health, well-being, and participation in purposeful life roles.
              • Weaving the art and science of occupational therapy
                • Utilize the unique blend of theoretical knowledge, clinical skills, creativity, and human connection to help people achieve meaningful and purposeful lives.
              • Community health and social change.
                • Understand what creates healthy communities, how environments and contexts shape health and well-being, and how to act as social change agents alongside the communities we serve.
              • Critical and innovative thinking for practice and scholarship
                • Think outside the box to engage in thoughtful analysis, problem-solving, and creative solutions within the context of occupational therapy practice. Continuously reflect on practice and the unique needs of individuals, groups, and populations.
              • Steward leadership and occupational justice
                • Adopt roles that extend beyond traditional clinical practice to become advocates, facilitators, and supporters of positive change within the profession and society at large. Work to advance the field, promote ethical practice, and ensure that the principles of occupational justice are upheld.

              Halley Read: Building pathways for Western’s future Occupational Therapists

              Pictured starting from left: Halley Read, Ph.D., OTR/L, Katie O’Day President, OTAO

              MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University’s Halley Read Ph.D., OTR/L, doctoral capstone coordinator for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program, was recently the recipient of the Occupational Therapy Association of Oregon (OTAO) President’s Award.

              This award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the occupational therapy profession through their formal roles within the association or through other efforts. Read’s recognition stems from her exceptional advocacy and legislative policy support work, as well as her direct collaboration with and mentorship of OTAO’s current president.

              Read also served as an ambassador for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), playing a pivotal role in promoting OT in Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers. Additionally, she served as the Oregon Representative for AOTA’s Representative Assembly, effectively addressing the concerns and interests of OT professionals at both the state and federal levels. These combined efforts have been instrumental in advocating for OT professionals.

              “It’s important for people to know that the OTD program isn’t just a new program to Western. It’s a team filled with remarkable people who are ready to support future OTD students and their profession,” says Read. “We value using our OT clinical training to create better access and pathways for our students and not limiting it to just clinical experience, but also the role of OT professionals in legislative change to shape the future of the profession.”

              Posted by Brittany Kima, January 11, 2024

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