Mission Statement, Educational Goals, Program Philosophy, Curriculum Design

This section describes the Mission Statement, Educational Goals, Program Philosophy and Curriculum Design of the Occupational Therapy Program at York College.

Mission Statement

To provide entry level professional skills in occupational therapy to a diverse urban population through evidence-based educational, fieldwork and community experiences. Graduates will be prepared to contribute to, and participate in the profession through direct service delivery, management of service delivery and research.

Educational Goals

The OT Program will prepare students to:

  • Be active learners who utilize analysis and synthesis for critical thinking. Students will become self-aware, innovative, able to handle ambiguity and conflict and develop creative problem solving skills.
  • Develop effective oral and written communication skills for collaborating with clients, colleagues, and families in a variety of contexts.
  • Identify evaluate and apply research that supports practice decisions.
  • Be life long learners who participate in and contribute to professional organizations and activities.
  • Develop sound ethical practices and behaviors as practitioners, consultants, educators, researchers and administrators.
  • Understand and intervene in social policies, communities, organizations, groups and individuals.
  • Be role models who demonstrate a commitment to the college, community and the profession.

Program Philosophy

In line with of The American Occupational Association’s Philosophy of Education (AOTA,2003) , the Occupational Therapy Program at York College emphasizes how human beings are dynamic and complex in nature. That human beings are constantly interacting in many different environments through their participation in occupations. These interactions occur in many different contexts and provide opportunities for growth throughout the lifespan. Active participation in occupations fosters adaptation and new learning, which in turn leads to further participation in meaningful occupations that enable human beings to develop the necessary skills for survival and self-actualization.


The occupational therapy faculty believes that learning is a collaborative process with students as active participants; the faculty will provide the varied contexts for learning experiences through both meaningful activities and didactic instruction. The students become increasingly self-directed in their movement through the program. Through the collaboration between faculty and students, students build upon prior academic knowledge, integrate new knowledge, learn clinical reasoning and how to become more self-reflective. The outcome of this process is a graduate who can synthesize their leaning and experiences from the program and go on to improve the lives of individuals who need occupational therapy services.

Our goals for our graduates are consistent with both the York Vision and the AOTA Vision in that we see our graduates as they go out into the workforce as critical thinkers who will continue to engage in ongoing learning, continue to improve their skills, contribute to the growth of the profession in practice and/or research in their communities, regionally and nationally.

Curriculum Design

The curriculum design of York College CUNY Occupational Therapy Program is based on the interaction of content knowledge concepts and occupational therapy process concepts. It is our belief that the interaction of these delineates the substance and the process of what occupational therapists know and do.  Furthermore, the matrix of these interactions serves as an organizer for the relationship between the courses in our curriculum and the content within them.  

Knowledge Concepts

Foundations.  Foundational knowledge includes introductory factual and conceptual knowledge related to client factors (e.g., body structures, body functions, values, beliefs), performance skills (e.g., sensory, motor, emotional, cognitive) and patterns (e.g., habits, routines), performance contexts and environments (e.g., cultural, personal, physical), activity demands (e.g., objects properties, space demands, social demands), areas of occupation (e.g., activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, work, education, play), ethics, social justice, clinical management and clinical research.

Skills.  Skills build on foundational knowledge, and include the acquisition and practice of cognitive operations necessary for problem identification and problem resolution, clinical reasoning, as well as  analysis of clinical and research data;  procedural skills necessary for analyzing and sequencing client task performance, administering assessments and interventions,  eliciting adaptive responses, implementing activities using effective strategies; affective skills necessary for engaging and enabling client collaboration in the occupational therapy process, receiving and responding to feedback, valuing perspectives of others, weighing ethical issues, and therapeutic use of self; motor skills necessary for assisting clients, constructing and adjusting client devices, administering assessments and interventions, and arranging and adapting the physical environment.  

Applications.  Applied knowledge includes the integration of foundational knowledge and skills, using multiple theoretical approaches (e.g., developmental, motor learning, cognitive-behavioral, prevention) for implementing the occupational therapy process for clients, populations and organizations using various service delivery models (e.g., consultation, rehabilitation, home health, outpatient, community health), with sensitivity for cultural contexts, and social justice.   Application also includes analysis and evaluation of client progress, new knowledge acquired from the research literature, and ethical issues associated with the occupational therapy process.

AOTA Commission on Practice. (2008). Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain & Process, 2nd ed., AJOT, 62, 625-683.

Anderson, L.W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.  New York: Longman

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