Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program Educational Goals


ot students ot students
Alumni Laird Rasmussen and Tiffany Gasser
practice use of assistive device
in the OTD daily living lab.
Alumni Lisa Moore and Paige Lichtenburg
practiced an assessment technique
with Professor Thomas.

The program’s educational goals relate to the elements of Practice, Advocacy, Research, and Autonomous Decision Making.  Graduates will be able to:


  1. Compare, contrast and evaluate models of practice and integrate them with the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework
  2. Examine the interactions between occupations, client factors, performance skills, performance patterns, and contexts and environments.
  3. Describe the relationship between human development and occupation from a life span perspective.
  4. Distinguish the relationships between wellness and occupation, identify at risk populations and implement occupation-based interventions to enhance wellness and prevent disease.
  5. Investigate and grade the demands of an occupation, reflecting the specific body structures, body functions, performance skills, and performance patterns that are required to successfully engage in occupation. 
  6. Interpret screening, assessment, and occupational profile data to evaluate clients’ occupational performance.
  7. Interpret evaluation results to diagnose problems related to occupational performance and participation. 
  8. Illustrate collaboration with clients to develop individualized goals for occupational performance and implement interventions to achieve them. 
  9. Practice occupational therapy services consistent with clients’ needs and context, including reassessment and discharge.
  10. Show how to effectively communicate and educate via written, oral, and nonverbal means, with clients, family members, significant others, team members, and the community at large.
  11. Demonstrate therapeutic use of self, including personality, insights, perceptions, and judgments, as part of the therapeutic process.
  12. Show how to effectively and professionally document all aspects of the occupational therapy process.
  13. Recognize and apply codes, guidelines, polices, and standards of practice put forth by AOTA and regulatory bodies. 
  14. Apply accepted Practice Standards regarding supervision of and collaboration with occupational therapy assistants.


  1. Evaluate and judge the relevance of current socio-political, legal, economic, international, geographic, demographic, and health disparity issues and trends, including as they affect occupational therapy practice.
  2. Justify, design, and engage in initiatives that meet society’s occupational needs within existing organizations and through new, entrepreneurial services and programs (e.g., private practice) to move the profession of occupational therapy forward as an integral discipline in health care, human services, and education.
  3. Apply principles of management, administration, and supervision (e.g., COTAs, students, other rehabilitation personnel, volunteers) into a personal framework for directing and developing occupational therapy services, personnel, and programs.
  4. Choose, design, and implement teaching/learning experiences for a variety of audiences.
  5. Practice in collaborative interprofessional practice to improve service delivery in complex systems and organizations.
  6. Demonstrate advocacy efforts for clients and the profession to influence practice, legislation, policies, and reimbursement funding. 


  1. Use principles of research design to describe, analyze, critique, and interpret research protocols and articles relevant to the field of occupational therapy.
  2. Interpret research findings to enhance their practice and promote research in the profession at multiple levels including collaboration with independent researchers.
  3. Produce and disseminate guided, individualized, scholarly projects.
  4. Identify specific ways that occupational therapists can contribute to occupational therapy research, including initiation of research, collaboration in research, participation in advanced studies, application for grants, and support of research as a member of the profession of occupational therapy.
  5. Explain, apply, and demonstrate professional ethics as they are pertinent to laws and institutional policies that govern client confidentiality and rights of research participants. 


  1. Recognize and accept personal responsibility for life-long learning, professional behavior, and demeanor through reflective practice.
  2. Develop skill in seeking out information (e.g., library resources, electronic media, internet searches) to compile evidence in support of practice, advocacy, and research.
  3. Show leadership skills and guide the profession by disseminating research, conducting presentations, and assuming leadership and mentorship roles, including fieldwork education.




Last Updated: 2/22/21