The occupational therapist is the professional-level practitioner who provides services that include evaluating, developing, improving, sustaining, or restoring skills in ADL, IADL, work, school, play, leisure, and social participation as well as lifestyle redesign.
USI students complete the Bachelor of Science followed by the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) in a curriculum design known in the occupational therapy profession as a combined BS/MSOT curriculum. USI students must complete the requirements of both degrees to be eligible to take the national certification examination.
At USI, students interested in occupational therapy are classified as pre-occupational therapy (PROT) majors until they successfully complete the selection process required for entry into the combined BS/MSOT curriculum. PROT students spend the first two years taking prerequisite courses essentially, University Core Curriculum courses that provide a broad foundation of science, social science, and humanities. Students complete the selection process to the combined BS/MSOT curriculum between the fall and spring semesters of their second year. Students who are admitted to the program are reclassified as occupational therapy majors and enter the combined BS/MSOT curriculum.
Once students enter into the combined BS/MSOT curriculum, courses begin in the fall semester. In the third and fourth years, students complete the professional component of the combined BS/MSOT curriculum, an integrated didactic and clinical educational program. Third and fourth year courses take place on campus except for two 40-hour weeks of practicum experiences at clinical sites.
The fifth year, which begins in the first summer session following the baccalaureate degree, consists of the MSOT curriculum which prepares students for practice as generalists in the occupational therapy profession. Again, didactic and clinical education are integrated into the curriculum. Students participate in various courses including 24 weeks of full-time level II fieldwork defined as participating in occupational therapy practice while being supervised by a currently licensed or credentialed occupational therapist. Additionally, students perform a 120-hour specialized role internship in their particular area of interest as an educator, researcher, administrator, consultant, or clinician.
The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, PO Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301/652-2682.Graduates of this program will be eligible to sit for the Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist Registered® administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). Most states require additional credentialing in order to practice; however, state credentials are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination.