OT Program Information

Program Philosophy

Curriculum Strands
Professional Integrity: professional ethics, conduct, communication, and leadership.
Health & Social Justice: diversity, wellness, ethics, and service learning
Systematic Inquiry: clinical reasoning, technology, research, and evidence-based practice.
Partnership & Collaboration: client-centered practice, collaboration with OTAs and other health professionals, and service learning

The faculty members of the Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Southern Indiana hold the following beliefs about the person, occupational therapy, and education. These beliefs are congruent with the mission of the University of Southern Indiana and serve as the foundation for the curriculum and selection of instructional methods and practices.

Each individual is a unique, active, and complex being of worth and dignity. Human behavior consists of a dynamic interaction among the individual, the environment, and the demands of occupation. The individual is holistic in nature and consideration must be given to performance skills, patterns, and areas of occupation that expand across a variety of contexts. For each person, engagement in occupation is a unique interplay of client factors, activity demands, and performance patterns. Occupational engagement of the individual may be interrupted at any time throughout the lifespan by biological, psychosocial, spiritual, or environmental factors.

Occupational therapy is the art and science of enhancing an individual’s overall occupational performance by facilitating the development or learning of essential performance skills, by diminishing or correcting pathology which reduces occupational engagement, or by promoting and maintaining wellness or balance in areas of occupation. The term occupation is used to indicate the individual’s purposeful use of attention, interest, energy, and time to engage and participate in daily life. Since the primary focus of the profession is the enhancement of occupational engagement, occupational therapy practitioners are concerned with factors that promote, influence, or enhance occupational performance as well as with those factors that serve as barriers or impediments to the individual’s ability to function across the lifespan. The OT Program at USI considers client-centered care and holistic practice critical components to occupational therapy. With this in mind, frames of reference emphasizing such perspectives are influential models for our program. The Person-Environment-Occupation Model (PEO) (Law et al., 1996), the Ecology of Human Performance (EHP) (Dunn, Brown & McGuigan, 1994) and the Model for Human Occupation (MOHO) (Kielhofner, 1995) each recognize the importance of considering the person, contextual factors or environment, and the role of occupation in daily life. These three components are interdependent and require equal consideration in effective occupational therapy practice.

Education directs and facilitates learning, which is valued as a lifelong process promoting competence and scholarship. Learning is the active, continuous process of gaining new knowledge and skills to bring about actual or potential changes in the way of viewing the world. New learning (a function of motivation and readiness) builds on previous levels of knowledge and experience. Learning is facilitated when activities are goal directed, purposeful, and meaningful for the learner. The faculty guide, direct, facilitate, and evaluate learners while encouraging self direction and development of intellectual curiosity, creativity, clinical reasoning, self reflection, and awareness of community involvement. Learning is best achieved in an atmosphere in which individual dignity is respected and a commitment to excellence exists. The development of higher order cognitive skills is enhanced by a liberal arts educational foundation and by the careful selection of teaching strategies and learning assignments within the occupational therapy curriculum. Graduates will be prepared as entry level practitioners in an ever changing health care delivery system.

Dunn, W., Brown, C., & McGuigan, A. (1994). The ecology of human performance: A framework for considering the effect of context. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 48, 595-607.
Kielhofner, G. (1995). A model of human occupation: Theory and Application (2nd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins.
Law, M., Cooper, B., Strong, S., Stewart, D., Rigby, P., & Letts, L., (1996). The person-environment-occupation model: A transactive approach to occupational performance. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 63, 9-23.