Title

Undergraduate Programs in Occupational Science: An Innovative Disciplinary Trend

Start Time

18-10-2013 3:40 PM

End Time

18-10-2013 5:10 PM

Session Type

Panel

Abstract

The intent of occupational science was to produce knowledge of occupation to support occupational therapy practice and doctorally-prepared academics to staff university departments (Clark et al, 1991; Yerxa, 1991, 1995, 1998; Yerxa et al, 1989). The emergence of undergraduate degree programs in occupational science, primarily as degrees preparatory to occupational therapy entry programs, was not anticipated. This panel offers overviews of this trend across six occupational science undergraduate programs. Discussion will address how undergraduate degrees do or do not contribute to the science, as well as the successes, challenges, and pedagogy inherent in offering these programs.

Eastern Kentucky University

The Eastern Kentucky University Occupational Science Baccalaureate Program was established in 2002. The Department’s mission emphasizes essential links between occupational science and occupational therapy to insure best-practice services and leadership. Program admission is competitive. The curriculum model includes active learning, integrative seminars, and portfolio creation. Themes of occupation, reasoning, diversity, communication, and professional identity provide a framework for student outcomes.

Ithaca College

The program’s mission is to prepare competent, skilled, and ethical occupational therapists. It began in 1995, called “Occupational Science” in parallel with a physical therapy “Clinical Science” program. The addition of two new courses in 2007 emphasized the importance of occupational science to occupational therapy. Liberal arts courses comprise the first two years of the curriculum. The final two years reflect discipline-specific courses, including occupational therapy for children and adults.

Keuka College

Keuka College OT is committed to client centered, evidence-based knowledge for practitioners. The program was developed in 1988 in a rural location and currently enrolls 230 students. Curriculum themes are: people as occupational beings, leadership, and practice. The occupational theme begins with principles in occupational science, progresses through medical and community-based practice, and concludes with a capstone course of Occupation across the Lifespan and a scholarly project.

Saint Louis University

Grounded in understanding and applying the power of occupation, Saint Louis University’s Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy furthers education, research, and service to enhance health and well-being for individuals, communities, and societies. First implemented in 2002, the Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science now graduates over 50 students annually. Six core courses across two semesters address occupation relative to lifespan development, contextual and personal considerations, wellness, lived experiences, and global justice.

St. Catherine University

Occupational science serves as the foundation for the Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OSOT) curriculum and our understanding of occupational therapy practice. The Bachelor in Occupational Science began in 2001. Students could graduate with a Bachelor in OS or go on for a dual degree with a BSOS and an MAOT. In 2009 St. Kate’s phased out the stand alone BSOS degree, but kept it as a part of the dual degree program.

Touro University Nevada (TUN)/Nevada State College (NSC)

The partnership between TUN and NSC lasted from 2007 to 2011. Graduates are prepared to assume positions within the health and human service fields as well as to pursue education in health fields. Eligible NSC students may apply to TUN with matriculation by 2015. The occupational science courses are currently on a teach-out status through Spring of 2015. At NSC, students take 60 general education credits in order to enter the BSOS curriculum. In the occupational science curriculum, there are 12 credits of specified OS courses. Accepted students matriculate with 90 credits to TUN. Following the completion of the first two semesters at TUN (30 credits), NSC awards the BSOS degree.

References

Clark, F., Parham, D., Carlson, M. E., Frank, G., Jackson, J., Pierce, D., . . . Zemke, R. (1991). Occupational science: Academic innovation in the service of occupational therapy's future. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 45, 300-310. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.4.300

Yerxa, E. (1991). Occupational therapy: An endangered species or an academic discipline in the 21st century? American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 45, 680-685. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.8.680

Yerxa, E. (1995). Nationally speaking: Who is the keeper of occupational therapy’s practice and knowledge? American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 49, 295-299. doi:10.5014/ajot.49.4.295

Yerxa, E. (1998). Occupation: The keystone of a curriculum for a self-defined profession. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 52, 365-372. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.5.365

Yerxa, E., Clark, F., Frank, G., Jackson, J., Parham, D., Pierce, D., Stein, C., & Zemke, R. (1989). An introduction to occupational science, a foundation for occupational therapy in the 21st century. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 6, 1-18.

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Oct 18th, 3:40 PM Oct 18th, 5:10 PM

Undergraduate Programs in Occupational Science: An Innovative Disciplinary Trend

The intent of occupational science was to produce knowledge of occupation to support occupational therapy practice and doctorally-prepared academics to staff university departments (Clark et al, 1991; Yerxa, 1991, 1995, 1998; Yerxa et al, 1989). The emergence of undergraduate degree programs in occupational science, primarily as degrees preparatory to occupational therapy entry programs, was not anticipated. This panel offers overviews of this trend across six occupational science undergraduate programs. Discussion will address how undergraduate degrees do or do not contribute to the science, as well as the successes, challenges, and pedagogy inherent in offering these programs.

Eastern Kentucky University

The Eastern Kentucky University Occupational Science Baccalaureate Program was established in 2002. The Department’s mission emphasizes essential links between occupational science and occupational therapy to insure best-practice services and leadership. Program admission is competitive. The curriculum model includes active learning, integrative seminars, and portfolio creation. Themes of occupation, reasoning, diversity, communication, and professional identity provide a framework for student outcomes.

Ithaca College

The program’s mission is to prepare competent, skilled, and ethical occupational therapists. It began in 1995, called “Occupational Science” in parallel with a physical therapy “Clinical Science” program. The addition of two new courses in 2007 emphasized the importance of occupational science to occupational therapy. Liberal arts courses comprise the first two years of the curriculum. The final two years reflect discipline-specific courses, including occupational therapy for children and adults.

Keuka College

Keuka College OT is committed to client centered, evidence-based knowledge for practitioners. The program was developed in 1988 in a rural location and currently enrolls 230 students. Curriculum themes are: people as occupational beings, leadership, and practice. The occupational theme begins with principles in occupational science, progresses through medical and community-based practice, and concludes with a capstone course of Occupation across the Lifespan and a scholarly project.

Saint Louis University

Grounded in understanding and applying the power of occupation, Saint Louis University’s Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy furthers education, research, and service to enhance health and well-being for individuals, communities, and societies. First implemented in 2002, the Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science now graduates over 50 students annually. Six core courses across two semesters address occupation relative to lifespan development, contextual and personal considerations, wellness, lived experiences, and global justice.

St. Catherine University

Occupational science serves as the foundation for the Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OSOT) curriculum and our understanding of occupational therapy practice. The Bachelor in Occupational Science began in 2001. Students could graduate with a Bachelor in OS or go on for a dual degree with a BSOS and an MAOT. In 2009 St. Kate’s phased out the stand alone BSOS degree, but kept it as a part of the dual degree program.

Touro University Nevada (TUN)/Nevada State College (NSC)

The partnership between TUN and NSC lasted from 2007 to 2011. Graduates are prepared to assume positions within the health and human service fields as well as to pursue education in health fields. Eligible NSC students may apply to TUN with matriculation by 2015. The occupational science courses are currently on a teach-out status through Spring of 2015. At NSC, students take 60 general education credits in order to enter the BSOS curriculum. In the occupational science curriculum, there are 12 credits of specified OS courses. Accepted students matriculate with 90 credits to TUN. Following the completion of the first two semesters at TUN (30 credits), NSC awards the BSOS degree.