Department of Occupational Therapy

Transforming lives through occupation, service, and advocacy.

Through the therapeutic use of everyday activities or occupations, occupational therapists help people across the lifespan—from infancy through older adults—to participate in the things they want and need to do. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Our practice settings are diverse—ranging from hospital settings, to school systems, to behavioral health clinics, to outpatient clinics, to community sites with at-risk youth and survivors of domestic violence.

Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client's home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a wholistic perspective focusing on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.

Following the mission of this University, students immerse themselves in community, exploring emerging areas of practice in some of the following areas: aging, at-risk youth, domestic violence settings, lifestyle medicine, obesity, and trauma-exposed children.

Opportunities

Occupational therapy is an exciting field with its broad population areas and diverse settings. The American Occupational Therapy Association has identified eight areas of focus: children and youth; evidence-based practice; health and wellness; mental health; productive aging; rehabilitation, disability, and participation; work and industry.

Occupational therapy fosters entrepreneurship that promotes health and wellness and meaningful occupational participation. Occupational therapists are moving into areas such as health promotion, obesity, telehealth, and domestic violence.

Professional associations

Students are eligible for membership in the American Occupational Therapy Association and Occupational Therapy Association of California, two organizations that foster development and improvement of service and education. Students are encouraged to become members, read the journal, and attend local professional meetings. The national association address is: American Occupational Therapy Association, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. Web site: <http://www.aota.org>; telephone: 800/729-2682. The state association address is: Occupational Therapy Association of California, P.O. Box 276567, Sacramento, CA 95827-6567. Web site: <http://www.otaconline.org>; telephone: 888/686-3225.

  • Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.)
  • Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.)

Chair

Liane H. Hewitt

Primary faculty

Stacey B. Cunningham

Jessica N. De Brun

Liane H. Hewitt

Heather A. Javaherian-Dysinger

Dragana Krpalek

Julie D. Kugel

Yvette M. Paquin

Sharon L. Pavlovich

Karen S. Pendleton

Douglas R. Rakoski

Heather A. Roese

Arezou Salamat

Clinical faculty

Beth Aune

Luella M. Grangaard

Danielle J. Meglio

Harold T. Neuendorff

Diana Su-Erickson

Christine M. Wietlisbach

Associated faculty

Noha Salim Daher

Bonnie J. Forrester

Eric G. Johnson

Bradford D. Martin

Grenith J. Zimmerman

Courses

OCTH 501. Professional Foundations I. 3 Units.

Foundational understanding of the philosophical and historical underpinnings of the occupational therapy profession, and the unique role and therapeutic use of occupation across multiple settings. Introduces the professional paradigms of frames of reference, professional organizations, and occupation in health and society. Initiates the process of therapeutic use of self as a reflective professional.

OCTH 502. Professional Foundations II: Human Occupation. 3 Units.

Develops an understanding of how occupation, embedded in a diverse social-cultural context, is shaped and changed throughout the human lifespan. Examines the concept of occupation, as defined in occupational therapy and occupational science, in the context of its historical relationship to human adaptation and health. Explores social participation through individual and group occupations.
Prerequisite: OCTH 501.

OCTH 503. Professional Foundations III. 1 Unit.

Explores occupational science as a foundation for understanding the form, function, and meaning of occupation to inform intervention and guide research for health promotion and wellness. Includes basic elements of grant writing, and opportunity to create a mock grant proposal for innovative program development.

OCTH 504. Professional Foundations IV. 2 Units.

Introduces leadership and management with roles and responsibilities specific to occupational therapy practice. Explores standards of practice, supervision, and advocacy options for populations and the profession.

OCTH 505. Occupation-Based Activity Analysis. 3 Units.

Analyzes activities in all areas of occupations based on dynamic interaction of client factors, performance skills, performance patterns, and contexts. Includes in-depth understanding of the kinesiology components of joint mobility, stability, tone, and power. Relates activity demands to their influence on performance in occupations. Applies concepts to grading and adapting activities and occupations.
Prerequisite: AHCJ 512.

OCTH 506. Functional Neuroscience. 3 Units.

Provides a foundational understanding of neuroscience—including anatomy and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems, neurological conditions related to anatomical structure and function, and relationship of the nervous system to engagement in occupation.
Prerequisite: AHCJ 512.

OCTH 507. Trends in Neuroscience. 2 Units.

Explores current research and practice trends in neuroscience for enhancing understanding of occupational engagement as it relates to health and well-being.
Prerequisite: OCTH 506.

OCTH 508. Splinting. 1 Unit.

Design and fabrication of splints, with reference to various populations across the lifespan. Emphasizes safety precautions and monitoring.
Prerequisite: OCTH 505.

OCTH 509. Design and Technology. 2 Units.

Introduces a broad spectrum of assistive technology to address the gap in occupational performance by examination and assessment of theoretical and societal issues, population and policy trends, scientific advances, environmental constraints, and funding opportunities. Includes case studies and hands-on use of assistive technology to facilitate evaluation, basic design, and resource coordination of technological devices to meet a variety of client and population needs. Explores principles of universal design and public policy that support engagement in the home and community environments.

OCTH 510. Functional Kinesiology. 1 Unit.

Applies anatomical and mechanical fundamentals of human motion to conduct muscle testing and goniometry. Emphasizes upper extremity. AHCJ 510.

OCTH 511. Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Orthopedic. 4 Units.

Common orthopedic and rheumatological disorders, and the implications for participation in occupations across the lifespan. Introduces safety issues surrounding these disorders, as well as the influence of contexts.
Prerequisite: AHCJ 510; OCTH 510.

OCTH 512. Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Neuroscience. 4 Units.

Reviews common neurological disorders and the implications for participation in occupations across the lifespan. Examines guiding theories and evidence-based practice. Introduces safety issues surrounding these disorders, as well as the influence of contexts.
Prerequisite: OCTH 506.

OCTH 514. Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Behavioral Health. 4 Units.

Examines common disorders and guiding theories related to behavioral health and the implications for participation in occupations across the lifespan. Explores roles and how occupations and roles are related, resulting in healthy emotional connections and occupational participation. Discusses safety issues surrounding these disorders, as well as the influence of context.

OCTH 515. Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Infants, Children, Youth. 4 Units.

Reviews common disorders and conditions, along with implications for participation in occupations for infants, children, and youth from individual and family perspectives. Examines guiding theories, evidence-based practice, federal laws, and policies related to these populations. Introduces safety issues surrounding these disorders, as well as the influence of contexts.

OCTH 516. Conditions in Occupational Therapy: General Medicine. 4 Units.

Reviews common general medicine disorders and the implications for participation in occupations across the lifespan in both traditional and nontraditional settings. Examines guiding theories and evidence-based practice. Introduces safety issues and standard protocols surrounding these disorders, as well as the influence of contexts.
Prerequisite: OCTH 510.

OCTH 517. Introduction to Physical Agent Modalities. 1 Unit.

Prepares the student for use of physical agent modalities with differential diagnoses in multiple practice settings. Discusses treatment goals and use of physical agent modalities within practice guidelines, assesses common practice techniques, explores regulations and safety, and reviews the process for obtaining advanced practice certification in physical agent modalities.

OCTH 521. Analysis and Intervention I: Orthopedic. 3 Units.

Assesses common orthopedic conditions, including safe transfer techniques; as well as training in the use of adaptive equipment. Treatment planning emphasizes evaluation findings and safety considerations of the client's condition and contexts.

OCTH 522. Analysis and Intervention: Behavioral Health. 3 Units.

Introduces assessments for common behavioral health diagnoses. Emphasizes designing and coordinating occupation-based and client-centered interventions. Demonstrates ability to facilitate groups, and implements de-escalation strategies. Applies wholistic approach in working with clients to promote health and participation in a variety of contexts.

OCTH 523. Analysis and Intervention: Neuroscience. 3 Units.

Introduces assessment of clients with common neurological disorders—including cognitive, visual/perceptual, balance, and coordination skills; as well as the condition's impact on participation in occupations. Demonstrates ability to safely transfer clients; and provides training in the adaptation of tools, techniques, and environment. Emphasizes treatment planning based on the synthesis of evaluation findings and safety considerations of the client?s condition and contexts.
Prerequisite: OCTH 506.

OCTH 524. Analysis and Intervention: Infants, Children, Youth. 3 Units.

Introduction to assessments for common diagnoses and conditions of infants, children, and youth. Emphasizes designing and coordinating evidence-based, client-centered interventions. Design and coordinate groups, and family-centered care. Applies wholistic approach in working with clients to promote health and participation in a variety of contexts.

OCTH 527. Analysis and Intervention: General Medicine. 3 Units.

Student synthesizes evaluation and assessments to develop intervention plans for clients with general medicine conditions, and to promote participation in occupations. Student demonstrates ability to safely transfer clients and to provide patient and family training; as well as ability to adapt tools, techniques, and environment.

OCTH 531. Sensorimotor I. 2 Units.

Includes current rehabilitation trends and best practice relevant to adult neurological rehabilitation. Emphasizes sensorimotor approaches to rehabilitation, CIMT, NDT, PNF, Rood, Brunnstrom, and clinical decision making. Integrates neurologic and orthopedic rehabilitation strategies through activities of daily living.
Prerequisite: OCTH 506.

OCTH 532. Sensorimotor II. 2 Units.

Explores sensorimotor theory, assessment, and intervention to enable understanding and implementation of sensory-based therapies. Provides skill sets used by occupational therapy practitioners to promote roles and participation in areas of occupation such as activities of daily living, play, sleep, and education.

OCTH 544. Advanced Occupational Therapy History. 3 Units.

Provides the student with an extensive understanding of the history of occupational therapy by critically reviewing historical incidents, the history of occupational therapy and societal theories and practices, political conditions, and historical incidents. Facilitates the student's ability to enact advocacy and to better understand future projections in the field.

OCTH 545. Current Trends in Occupational Therapy Practice. 3 Units.

Provides an overview of current trends in the field of occupational therapy and health care. Topics may include issues related to health-care funding, policy, emerging practice areas, and health disparities.

OCTH 551. Occupation and Wellness. 2 Units.

Provides the student with an understanding of the connections among occupation, occupational therapy practice, and wellness by critically investigating research and theoretical perspectives. Leads to a better understanding of the uniqueness of an occupational perspective of health and its relationship to daily living.

OCTH 552. Professional Transition. 3 Units.

Provides the student with an opportunity to explore a variety of topics relevant to transitioning into occupational therapy professional practice. Preparation for national certification examination.

OCTH 560. Occupational Therapy Advocacy and Leadership. 3 Units.

Introduces business for occupational therapy practitioners, including financial statements and budgetary processes, marketing, management, and consultation. Emphasizes the use of strategic planning for decision-making processes of program development, productivity, and accountability. Introduces roles and responsibilities of leadership; and explores standards of practice, supervision, and advocacy options for populations and the profession.

OCTH 570. Critical Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice I. 1 Unit.

Defines evidence-based practice (EBP) and its relevance to occupational therapy practice and professional growth. Describes steps to complete EBP and discusses common statistical methods used in occupational therapy research. Includes philosophical approaches to scientific inquiry, range of research designs, roles of variables, and ethics.

OCTH 574. Critical Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice II. 3 Units.

Student develops and implements a scholarly research proposal by systematically identifying and investigating a problem, issue, or question of relevance to occupational therapy practice. Emphasizes writing skills and critical analysis in preparation of literature review, purpose, conceptual framework, proposed methodology, and data analysis for the Institutional Review Board proposal.

OCTH 575. Critical Inquiry and Evidence-based Practice III. 2 Units.

Student finalizes research proposal and implements a scholarly research project by systematically engaging in data collection, data management, and data analysis. Incorporates research ethics.

OCTH 576. Critical Inquiry and Evidence-based Practice IV. 2 Units.

Student implements a scholarly research proposal by systematically analyzing data relevant to occupational therapy practice. Emphasizes synthesis of findings and writing scholarly paper.

OCTH 598. Occupational Therapy Advanced Specialty Tracks. 1-3 Units.

Presents in-depth practice application in an area of occupational therapy. Opportunity to pursue various topics related to current trends. Develops advanced clinical skills, where appropriate.

OCTH 600. Occupational Science and Health Promotion. 3 Units.

Explores occupational science as an academic discipline and how it supports occupational therapy's role in health promotion. Utilizes theoretical perspectives and research to analyze and understand occupation's relationship to lifestyle, health, well-being, and prevention.

OCTH 601. Spirit of Diverse Abilities I. 3 Units.

Examines perspectives in order to view and understand the disability experience and the role of spirituality and occupational justice in practice. Emphasizes theoretical approaches. Discusses role of occupational therapy in social justice.

OCTH 602. Spirit of Diverse Abilities II. 3 Units.

Explores and discusses the experience of disability and occupational injustice. Explores and applies these concepts in relation to the profession of occupational therapy and the greater society. Students explore issues such as homelessness, diversity, disparity, and ethics.
Prerequisite: OCTH 601.

OCTH 604. Health, Society, and Participation. 3 Units.

Incorporates health and participation to integrate the individual, community, and greater society. Students engage in grant searching and grant writing. Discusses logic models and program. Emphasizes participatory research; program development; needs assessment; healing environments; social justice issues; global issues; World Health Organization; International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health; AIDS; culture; and mission work in relation to the profession of occupational therapy.

OCTH 605. Education for Health Professionals. 3 Units.

Explores the philosophical foundations of knowledge and learning theory. Prepares health professionals for the roles and expectations of education in academic and practice settings. Discusses instructional design, media, student assessment, teaching skills, course development, mentoring, and curriculum design.

OCTH 606. Leadership for Health Professionals. 3 Units.

Explores leadership theory, administrative characteristics and strategies, professionalism, team facilitation, clinical reasoning, ethics, and advocacy. Students participate in legislative process and analyze international issues and social justice in relation to professional practice.

OCTH 631. Capstone Planning. 2 Units.

Students design their capstone project with guidance from the primary course instructor. Emphasizes identification of a focus area, objectives, goals, outcomes, on-site mentor, faculty mentor, and time frame.

OCTH 632. Capstone I: Introduction to Theory & Research. 2 Units.

Introduces theoretical foundations and designs for research. Emphasizes skills necessary to plan and develop an independent research study. Grant-writing instruction for funding of capstone projects.

OCTH 633. Capstone Proposal: IRB or Program Development. 4 Units.

Online, interactive course work precedes and follows on-site intensive. Emphasizes reflective discussions of research interests and experiences, planning, conceptual framework, proposed methodology, and data analysis. Student chooses to develop research proposal or program development capstone. Research proposal option requires completing Institutional Review Board (IRB) training and successfully submitting proposal to the IRB. Program development option requires designing a detailed proposal for implementation.

OCTH 634. Capstone II. 3 Units.

Continues the capstone project. Students complete a needs assessment and program development, data collection, data management techniques, and introduction to various data analysis strategies. Individual projects and activities vary.

OCTH 635. Capstone III. 4 Units.

Implements capstone approved in OCTH 634. Critical discussion of experiences and problem solving with classmates.

OCTH 636. Capstone IV. 4 Units.

Completes implementation aspects of capstone. Initiates preparation of a manuscript and participation in online critical discussions with classmates.

OCTH 637. Professional Publication and Dissemination. 4 Units.

A culmination course in which students reflect on their capstone experiences and complete their program development. Students prepare a professional manuscript to be submitted for publication. Critical discussion with peers regarding knowledge transference to impact individuals, society, the profession, and clinical practice.

OCTH 699. Directed Study. 2,3 Units.

Student pursues an area of special interest under the direction of the faculty advisor. Topic must be approved by the occupational therapy department.

OCTH 701. Service Learning Seminar. 1 Unit.

Includes philosophy of service, learning by experience, reflection, and civic engagement. Provides opportunity for students to apply critical thinking skills, team-based learning, and information learned in didactic course work to collaborate with the community and address client and community needs.

OCTH 702. Service Learning I. 1,3 Unit.

Service learning experiences that utilize active learning strategies involving students in reflection, sustainability, and civic engagement. Encourages collaboration with community partners in order to address needs of the community. Develops critical thinking and team-based learning skills. Current students register for 1 unit. Students beginning in the summer of 2016 must register for 3 units.

OCTH 703. Service Learning II. 1,3 Unit.

Service learning experiences that utilize active learning strategies involving students in reflection, sustainability, and civic engagement. Encourages collaboration with community partners in order to address needs of the community. Develops critical thinking and team-based learning skills. Current students register for 1 unit. Students beginning in the summer of 2016 register for 3 units.

OCTH 704. Service Learning III. 2,3 Units.

Service learning experiences that utilize strategies that involve students in experience, reflection, sustainability, and civic engagement. Emphasizes needs assessment. Encourages collaboration with community partners and addresses needs of the community through the development of service learning projects. Develops critical thinking and team-based learning skills. Current students register for 2 units. Students enrolling in the summer of 2017 must register for 3 units.

OCTH 705. Service Learning IV. 2,3 Units.

Service learning experiences that utilize active learning strategies involving student in reflection, sustainability, and civic engagement. Encourages collaboration with community partners in order to address needs of the community. Develops critical thinking and team-based learning skills. Current students register for 2 units. Students enrolling in the autumn of 2017 must register for 3 units.

OCTH 711. Level I Fieldwork 1. 2 Units.

Observation and supervised interaction in clinical and/or community-based programs to introduce students to fieldwork experience, apply knowledge to practice, and develop understanding of the needs of clients.

OCTH 712. Level I Fieldwork 2. 2 Units.

Observation and supervised interaction in clinical and/or community-based programs to introduce students to fieldwork experience, apply knowledge to practice, and develop understanding of the needs of clients.

OCTH 713. Level I Fieldwork 3. 2 Units.

Supervised interaction in a school-based setting to allow student to apply knowledge to practice, and to develop understanding of client needs.

OCTH 721. Level II Fieldwork Experience 1. 8 Units.

A twelve-week (forty hours/week) supervised fieldwork experience in clinical and/or community-based programs. Emphasizes assessment, planning, treatment, problem solving, administration, and professionalism. Successful completion necessary before student is eligible to take the certification examination.

OCTH 722. Level II Fieldwork Experience 2. 8 Units.

A twelve-week (forty hours/week) supervised fieldwork experience in clinical and/or community-based programs. Emphasizes assessment, planning, treatment, problem solving, administration, and professionalism. Successful completion necessary before student is eligible to take the certification examination.