The mission of the University's MOT program is to graduate a diverse population of practitioners who have the skills necessary to analyze human occupation and to implement science-driven and evidence-based interventions that promote quality of life for the clients whom they serve. The graduates will contribute to their profession and to a global society through their competence, ethical standards and professionalism.
Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health and rehabilitation profession that is anticipated to grow rapidly into the next century. Occupational therapists provide services to individuals of all ages who have physical, developmental, emotional and/or social deficits. Because of these conditions, individuals need specialized assistance in learning functional skills, which enable them to live independent, productive and satisfying lives. This degree program utilizes state-of-the-art campus facilities with innovative technology to deliver a student-centered curriculum.
An occupational therapist selects therapeutic procedures that are meaningful to the individual receiving treatment and are designed to achieve improved functional outcomes. For example:
- A premature infant who needs feeding reflexes stimulated
- An 8-year-old child who has trouble coordinating handwriting
- An individual who has had a stroke, has the use of only one hand, and needs help to be independent with daily activities
- The elderly person who wants to remain at home but needs her kitchen adapted so meals can be prepared safely and independently
- Adapting the work environment to help someone maintain their job
Occupational Therapists practice in public and private schools, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, hand therapy clinics, home health agencies, and in private practice.
The Institute of Occupational Therapy offers a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) as a first professional degree to those candidates who have completed a bachelor's degree and the required prerequisite courses.
The MOT program is 6 trimesters, or 2 years in length. Upon graduation, students are prepared to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) licensure exam necessary to practice Occupational Therapy. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice. State licenses are usually based on this NBCOT certification. A felony charge and or conviction may effect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or to attain state licensure.
The University’s pioneering efforts in Physical and Occupational Therapy education brought distance education and its associated technologies to our degree and non-degree programs. By using distance education, we are able to bring education anytime, anywhere and to supplement all programs with the ability to review and study online. Our students, even when on clinical affiliation, continue to receive instruction from the University through our distance education platform.
We strive to offer the highest quality classroom instruction and online courses while taking pride in making the entire educational experience accessible and interactive for students. This blended learning approach allows our students to have a vast range of learning techniques at their fingertips. All online courses were developed with an in-depth understanding of the educational needs of our students, how they will best retain the information provided to them and the ease of accessibility to key university support services and staff to offer assistance along the way. Our lab classes are taught in a hands-on setting, while some portions of the course content are presented through a variety of interactive distance activities and augmented by in-class discussions.
- Small class ratios promoting development of close relationships with both faculty and peers.
- An interdisciplinary educational curriculum where occupational & physical therapy students take classes and work together as commonly practiced in clinical settings.
- Well-educated and experienced faculty who are attuned to student needs.
- Multiple admissions per year - Fall, Spring, and Summer trimesters.
- Both St. Augustine and San Marcos are ideal for student life with excellent recreational and cultural activities.
- The total number of graduates who passed the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination as first-time new graduate test takers in 2010–2012 was 147 out of 163, which is a pass rate of 90%. During that 3-year time period, the program had 175 graduates.