Chatham University

Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Curriculum

The Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program is designed for occupational therapy clinicians and/or academicians who want to enhance their careers and be professional leaders. Students learn to apply evidence-based literature and bring practice to a heightened level of professional accountability, develop into a professional leader in areas of public policy, professional advocacy, and business management, gain additional theoretical knowledge and clinical competence, and practice concepts of educational theory and measurement as it relates to both clients and students. Each course is intricately connected to the professional student’s practice focus. Student growth is not simply academic; what is learned in “the classroom” can be applied directly to the student’s work setting. The student will grow into an advanced clinician. The professional student’s practice focus may be the setting in which they work, or may extend into the community or an emerging practice area.

Program Structure:
The online OTD program consists of ten (10) courses that are intricately connected to the professional student’s practice focus. The online learning experience is enhanced with two short required residencies at Chatham University in Pittsburgh.

Program Requirements

+ Degree Requirements

30 credits

OTD740 Occupational Science

Professional students examine landmark occupational science literature and apply learned concepts of human nature and meaningful occupation to observation exercises within their practice focus.

3
OTD741 Evidence-Based Practice

This course is designed to provide the experienced therapist with a systematic method to critically evaluate and integrate the results of current scientific literature into the clinical decision making process. Students will participate in discussions and practical exercises to articulate clinical questions that can be answered through sources of scientific evidence. Strategies for searching relevant data bases, appraising and evaluating sources of evidence will be presented.

3
OTD742 Advanced Practice Concepts and Skills

Students apply The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process (AJOT, 2002) and conceptual models most relevant for their practice focus to evaluation and intervention processes. Additionally, students redesign facility forms to reflect The OT Practice Framework’s language and concepts.

3
OTD750 Occupational Therapist as Entrepreneur

This course provides the professional student with the knowledge and skills necessary to market and manage an occupational therapy practice in either traditional or emerging healthcare systems. Students develop business plans and marketing strategies and research potential financing through grants or loans. Legal and ethical issues impacting practice are also examined.

3
OTD751 Capstone Project Design

Students continue to develop their ability to critically evaluate scientific evidence within their practice focus. Through a critical review of the literature, the professional student generates an evidence-based plan of assessment or intervention. This is linked to the Capstone Rotation (faculty approval).

3
OTD752 Education Theory and Technology

This course, through an examination of learning theories, provides the therapist with strategies to develop optimal learning experiences for their students, clients, caregivers, or employers. Coursework is applied directly in the professional student’s educational and/or clinical setting. Students gain skills in current technological tools used in the teaching-learning environment.

3
OTD760 Leadership and Professionalism

This course examines the meaning of leadership from both a personal and organizational perspective. Students explore leadership theories and styles and the meaning of professionalism through narratives of leaders and related literature. Through group discussion of leadership and professional issues, students reflect and on their own leadership strengths, as well as strategies for applying this knowledge in their professional lives.

3
OTD761 Proposal Development

This course provides the experienced therapist with the skills and resources necessary for developing competitive proposals, including an IRB proposal, a proposal for a professional presentation, and a proposal for a professional publication.Students will explore and evaluate presentation and publication opportunities, participate in practical exercises to understand human subject protection, understand responsibilities of outcome dissemination and develop a quality proposals to share the outcomes of their capstone project.

1
OTD766 Methods of Evaluation

Students learn to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching and therapeutic interventions. Methods for survey and test construction are examined and practiced with consumers of our services: students, clients, and/or caregivers.

3
OTD772 Capstone Implementation and Evaluation

The methods of evidence-based practice culminate in the professional student's design and implementation of an intervention within their clinical setting. Although an independent study, students network with faculty mentors, administrators, and other professionals to successfully engage in the evidence-based occupational therapy capstone project. Professional students apply concepts from previous courses as they evaluate the efficacy of their individual implemented programs and present their findings. Presentations are conducted on the Chatham University campus to the Master of occupational therapy Program's faculty, students, and area practitioners.

5

+ Bridge Program

Experienced Occupational Therapists who hold a Bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy but no Master's degree, have the option to bridge into Chatham's Bachelors-to-OTD program. Before entering the 16-month cohort, students will complete the following pre-requisites. All courses may be completed online at Chatham University:

OTH690 Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice for Occupational Therapists

Students acquire evidence based practice literature skills by learning to search data bases for peer reviewed occupational therapy literature and appraising the evidence in terms of a focused research question. Students acquire knowledge of principles needed to critically read peer reviewed evidence through instructor demonstration of evidence appraisal, online group discussions/critiques of research articles, and writing assignments that require the student to summarize and paraphrase salient information in professional language.

3
OTH695 Models of Practice in Occupational Therapy

This course presents occupation based models that guide the practice of occupational therapy. Students will analyze and compare selected models via assigned readings and group discussions. Students will become familiar with elements and characteristics, assessment tools and techniques, treatment planning and intervention strategies, and documentation formats associated with the models presented, and apply selected models to their professional practice.

3
ENG528 Academic Writing

Students develop the writing skills necessary for success in graduate school, including proper citations, time management, and the content and format for two types of research proposals. Students become proficient in the APA style and have the opportunity to resolve grammar and structure problems with the professor.

3
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Typical Program Schedule

OTD Cohort Sequence beginning in Fall Semesters

First Semester Second Semester Third Semester Fourth Semester
Fall 2015 Spring 2016 Summer 2016 Fall 2016
OTD742
7 weeks
OTD752
7 weeks
OTD740
7 weeks
OTD741
14 weeks
OTD751
14 weeks
OTD761
14 weeks
OTD772
14 weeks;
2-3 days On Site
OTD760
6 weeks online;
3 days On Site
OTD766
7 weeks
OTD750
7 weeks
 

OTD Cohort Sequence beginning in Spring Semesters

First Semester Second Semester Third Semester Fourth Semester
Spring 2016 Summer 2016 Fall 2016 Spring 2017
OTD742
7 weeks
OTD752
7 weeks
OTD740
7 weeks
OTD741
14 weeks
OTD751
14 weeks
OTD761
14 weeks
OTD772
14 weeks;
2-3 days On Site
OTD760
6 weeks online;
3 days On Site
OTD766
7 weeks
OTD750
7 weeks