Four curriculum themes were developed to operationalize the mission and reflect current perspectives in health care, as presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). These themes are as follows.
This theme reflects the profession's focus on occupation. In this usage, occupation refers to the normal activities that we engage in every day, and which have both a purpose or goal and a uniquely personal meaning to each individual. Development of this perspective requires that therapists look at daily activities and how they reflect life goals and personal perspective of independence.
This theme is consistent with the OT Program's desire to create reflective practitioners. Critical reasoning and independent learning are necessary for new health care practitioners to survive in a rapidly changing, increasingly technological health care delivery system and culturally diverse society.
This theme speaks to the importance of both conceptual and technical competence in the delivery of health care. Graduates of health care programs must provide safe, creative intervention that is based on evidence of effectiveness as shown in the health care research.
This theme addresses the belief that the role of professionals is to use their knowledge and skills in service to society first and foremost. It also addresses the need for professionals to be actively involved in the support of their professions.
The four curriculum themes form the bedrock of the OT Program's goals which reflect new health care directions, new directions for the profession, and accepted professional education theory and practice.
This two-year program in occupational therapy is a revision of a highly successful longer curriculum that has produced graduates with excellent skills, who are serving in the Midwest and other parts of the country. We anticipate that this revised version of the program will be equally successful and well-received by the West Michigan community.