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Vision and Mission

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

Mission Statement

To prepare entry-level occupational therapy practitioners to provide services to diverse urban populations utilizing evidence-based education, fieldwork, and community experiences. Graduates will be prepared to grow as passionately engaged learners, growing in intellectual potential, contributing, and participating in the profession through direct service delivery, management of service delivery and research.

Educational Goals

  1. Students demonstrate clinical competencies for entry-level occupational therapy practice.
  2. Students demonstrate clinical competencies for entry-level practice measured by scores on the AOTA Fieldwork Level II Performance Evaluation.
  3. Students demonstrate knowledge and skills to engage in scholarly activity.

Program Philosophy

The York Mission, in the language and form of an educational philosophy state:

"York college enriches lives and enables students to grow as passionately engaged learners with confidence to realize their intellectual and human potential as individuals and global citizens." The Occupational Therapy Program mission is consistent with the York College Mission, in that these two lines of thought emphasize the complexity and dynamic nature of human beings as they learn and develop. Humans interact in varied environments through participation in occupations. Dynamic participation in learning enables individuals to develop the necessary intellectual potential and skills for maturation and self-actualization.

The occupational therapy faculty believes that education is a collaborative process, engaging students as active participants. Faculty provides contexts and learning experiences that are supported by meaningful activities and didactic instruction. The outcome of this education process is a graduate who can synthesize their clinical and academic experiences to become goal-directed, self-reflective, confident general entry-level therapists. York College OT graduates go on to improve the lives of individuals, and the communities they live in with occupational therapy services.

Our goals for our graduates are consistent with both the York College Values and the AOTA Vision. We see our graduates as they go out into the workforce as culturally diverse critical thinkers who can address the needs of a diverse population. In addition, they will continue to engage in ongoing learning, to improve their skills, and contribute to the growth of the profession in practice and/or research in their communities, regionally, nationally and globally.

The Occupational Therapy Program Philosophy and Curriculum seeks to prepare students to:

  • Be active learners who utilize analysis and synthesis for critical thinking.
  • Have strong professional oral and written communication skills to successfully engage with clients, colleagues, families, and communities.
  • Evaluate and apply research findings for evidence-based occupational therapy practice.
  • Engage in lifelong learning.
  • Develop strong ethical values and practices as occupational therapy practitioners.
  • Contribute to the occupational therapy profession and advocate for the profession, our clients, families and communities.
  • Be role models who demonstrate a commitment to the college, community and the profession.

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; effective 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. The 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.

Evaluation. Evaluation includes selecting appropriate methods and measures to screen and evaluate individual clients, client populations, environments, and communities for the purpose of identifying occupational problems and potential resolutions. Evaluation also involves the appropriate administration and interpretation of selected tools and methods of assessment, including but not limited to observation, standardized testing and interviews.  Evaluation includes measurement and documentation of change.

Intervention. Intervention includes the selection (based on activity analysis) and implementation of preparatory methods (e.g., sensory enrichment, instruction, orthotics), purposeful activities (e.g., practices, rehearses), and occupation-based tasks (e.g., prepares lunch, completes job application) which are meaningful to the client and consistent with the client's goals. Intervention can also include consultation, education and advocacy.

Outcomes. Outcomes for the individual client must be based on appropriate, reliable and valid measures. Outcomes can also focus on a population, or organization. Outcomes most commonly address occupational performance, participation, quality of life, as well as occupational justice. 

AOTA Commission on Practice. (2014). Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd ed., AJOT, March/April 2014, Volume 68 (Supplement 1) S1-S48.

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