Doctorate in Occupational Therapy

https://www.whitworth.edu/cms/academics/occupational-therapy-doctorate/

The entry-level Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Whitworth University will prepare compassionate health science professionals in a new, state-of-the-art building that contains simulation classes and labs that resemble an actual clinical environment. The hands-on clinical classes will be integrated with other health and human service graduate classes to facilitate development and enculturation among professional behaviors. Whitworth's OT graduates will be prepared to engage in interprofessional cooperation in health science education, research and service, particularly to the underserved populations of the region. 

Students benefit from: 

  • Hands-on clinical experience
  • Exceptional clinical site placement partnerships
  • Collaboration with multiple disciplines
  • A state-of-the-art health science building that houses a motion analysis research lab, exercise physiology labs, simulation labs and more

Mission Statement

The entry-level Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Whitworth University provides innovative, creative, holistic and interprofessional mind-and-heart education to develop and empower ethically competent and transformational leaders in occupational therapy and healthcare. Guided by and committed to faith integration, reciprocal therapeutic relationships and an understanding of the potency of daily life activities, the program prepares practice scholars who use best scientific evidence to be catalysts for change, advocates for occupational justice and servants of humanity.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop as holistic, ethically competent healthcare professionals through Whitworth’s mind-and-heart curriculum, which integrates learning with students’ faith or worldviews.
  • Students will be prepared to become transformative leaders within the occupational therapy profession and healthcare industry. 
  • Students will practice with a deep understanding of how the ability to perform daily activities influences patients’ self-identity, optimal performance, participation in society, health and well-being.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Completion of, or enrollment in, prerequisite courses (listed below). Completion of the prerequisite courses within the last 10 years with a grade “B” or better is essential to a strong application. These courses will be foundational to success as an OTD student.
  • An overall grade-point average indicating successful academic performance (generally 3.0 or higher).
  • Official transcripts: Applicants must arrange for OTCAS to receive an official transcript from each college and university from which you earned a degree (bachelor's or higher) in the United States and Canada.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): The GRE is required. Applicants must arrange for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send official scores (current, last five years) through OTCAS. Whitworth's institution code is 3137.
  • References: Applicants must arrange for three (3) references to be submitted electronically through OTCAS. Each evaluator will be contacted using an email address provided to OTCAS by the applicant. References must come from academic or professional individuals; letters from friends or family members will not be considered. Please include one academic reference, one professional or volunteer reference, and one personal reference from a church or community leader. 
  • CV/résumé: A CV/résumé listing academic and professional experiences.
  • Cover letter: Please compose a letter of introduction to introduce yourself and answer why you wish to come to Whitworth University to complete your occupational therapy doctoral degree. 
  • Observation hours: Observation opportunities are strongly recommended but not required at this time, due to the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare industry.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): If English is not the applicant's first (primary) language, official TOEFL scores must be submitted to gradadmissions@whitworth.edu.
  • Submit OTCAS and Whitworth University application fees. The Whitworth University supplemental application fee of $50 must be paid online using this payment form before the OTCAS application will be reviewed.

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite coursework includes at minimum:

  • 14 credits in natural sciences, including:
    • Introductory biology (BI 140 and BI 140L) 
    • Introductory physics or kinesiology (PS 151, PS 130 or PS 131)
    • Anatomy & physiology, with lab (HS 220 and HS 221)
  • 12 credits in social sciences, including:
    • Introduction to psychology (PY 101) 
    • Developmental psychology (PY 210) 
    • Psychopathology or abnormal psychology (PY 358)
    • Introduction to sociology or cultural anthropology (SO 120 or SO 200) 
  • Three (3) credits in statistics (PY 201 or MA 256)
  • Three (3) credits in professional writing (EL 211) 
  • Nine (9) credits – one course each – in performing arts (art, dance, film, music, theatre or creative writing), humanities (ethics, gender studies, history, languages, literature, philosophy, religion or theology), and wellness (fitness, wellness or nutrition)
  • One (1) credit in medical terminology (HS 185)

Note: Whitworth course numbers listed meet prerequisite requirements. Credit requirements are defined as semester credits (1 quarter credit = 0.667 semester credit).

Whitworth University’s OTD Program Admissions Committee reserves the right to assess applicant qualifications on a case-by-case basis and adjust appropriate admission criteria when warranted by special circumstances.

Transfer Credit Policy

We allow transfer of credits on a case-by-case basis – up to 13 credits in the occupational therapy curriculum. Students may transfer from another accredited masters or doctoral program. Previous work experience will not result in credits being awarded. A customized degree plan will be developed for each transfer student by the admissions committee. 

Progression of Students in the OTD Program

Once enrolled, students will complete nine semesters of OTD specific coursework – a combination of didactic, fieldwork, and capstone project and experience prior to graduation. The program spans 36 months and requires completion of 112 semester course credits. Students who experience a hardship may matriculate through the program within 48 months. This plan corresponds with what other OTD programs across the United States require for degree completion. Upon completion of their degrees, students will be eligible to sit for the NBCOT exam.  

Accreditation Status

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at:

6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929

ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. Gregory Wintz, Ph.D. OTRL/L, has accepted the position as founding program director.

The program must be granted Candidacy Status, have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the NBCOT exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. At this time there is no guarantee Whitworth University will be granted candidacy status or be approved to admit students. This program has been reviewed as a substantive change by our institutional accreditor, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and is included in our institutional accreditation status.

Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as an individual 14-week capstone experience within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Standard D.1.3.

Courses

OTD 701 Intro to Occupation & Occupation Therapy onal Therap2
This course explores the historical foundation of occupational therapy including the tenants of occupational science development, evolution, and contributions of theorists within the profession and healthcare. Students will be introduced to the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, which defines the practice domain and process of occupational therapy. Students will engage in interprofessional practice activities with a focus on interprofessional role awareness and development, collaboration on patient care, and team decision-making.
OTD 702 Applied Anat & Kin for Occupation Perfor Anatomy Lecture & Lab6
This course will provide a comprehensive examination of functional human anatomy, biomechanics, and kinesiology of the musculoskeletal, osteological, articular, nervous, and vascular system as it pertains to human capacity and clinical practice. Specific emphasis will be placed on the role of anatomical structures in relation to common pathologies seen in current clinical practice and application of anatomical knowledge to movement analysis. The course provides prerequisite learning to application of assessment procedures, data collection, interpretation, and planning for therapeutic interventions in occupational therapy practice. The course will run in parallel with GHS 700L: Interprofessional Human Anatomy Lab where students will collaborate in dissection of human cadaver materials with Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student colleagues.
OTD 704 Theories and Models of Practice in Occupational Therapy3
This course examines the process of theory development and analysis of selected practice models, and helps students understand frames of reference for application to occupational therapy evaluation and intervention. Students will discover the application and importance of occupational therapy practice models and frames of reference to practice, as well as explore innovative developments, ongoing research, and continuous advancement of the profession.
OTD 705 Activity Analysis2
This course provides the foundational knowledge and skills to combine the analysis of occupational performance and therapeutic activity to positively intervene with persons who are experiencing some dysfunction in occupational performance.
OTD 706 Assessment in Occupational Therapy2
This course provides students with foundational knowledge and skills in the administration of standardized and non-standardized screening and assessment tools. Students will critically evaluate published assessment tools including standards for test development, evaluation, use and form conclusions about the merits of the assessments. Students will engage with an interprofessional team explain assessment findings, interpretation, reasoning for developing future intervention plans.
OTD 710 Doctoral Experience & Capstone- Introduction1
This course represents the first step and introduction to the Doctoral Capstone Experience and Project's process and expectations. Students will complete a guided exploration of potential topics for their capstone project, learn to use foundational skills of searching the literature using electronic databases, and use of bibliographic software. Students will be introduced to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process application procedures, and will initiate the development an e-portfolio to promote self-reflection on personal learning and professional growth over the duration of the program.
OTD 711 Therapeutic Use of Self & Community2
This course is designed to develop professional communication skills and behaviors with an emphasis on a) intentional use of self, b) motivational interviewing, c) group process and facilitation, d) interpersonal communication, e) community building, and f) reflective evaluation process used for building interpersonal communication skills. The student will learn to develop and implement therapeutic relationships that support and enhance occupation. The learning activities will assist the student in understanding the dynamics of the client-centered therapy, functional groups, and therapeutic communities that facilitate occupational performance.
OTD 712 Evidence Based Practice3
This course provides the foundational knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to make independent judgments about the validity of clinical research and to implement evidence-based practice. This course will focus on the concepts and process of evidence-based practice with an emphasis on identifying practice problems, formulating questions based on practice problems, identifying relevant evidence, evaluating evidence, implementing useful findings, and evaluating outcomes. Students will learn to critically appraise research studies including the interpretation of data, statistics, and results reported in the scientific literature as related to occupational therapy practice.
OTD 713 Interprofessional Applied Clinical Neurology Lecture & Lab3
Designed to give students an interprofessional, collaborative experience, this course will focus on a comprehensive examination of neurological functions, processes, and analysis of system relationships applied to the human capacity and function. Students will have the opportunity to dissect and observe anatomical nervous system, ventricular system and meninges, blood supply, sensory and motor systems, reflex pathways, and sequelae of lesions of the nervous system. Emphasis will be placed on the role of clinical assessment of neurological conditions and clinical case analysis of frequently observed in common neurological conditions.
OTD 715 Theory & Practice in Mental Health4
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to perform occupational therapy evaluations and intervention strategies for children, adolescents and adults experiencing psychosocial problems and mental illness to promote participation in daily life activities. Students will apply knowledge and skills from behavioral science, theory, evidence-based practice, principles of wellness and psych-rehabilitation to the care of clients with occupational performance deficits affecting participation and engagement in occupations and community.
OTD 716 Theory & Practice in Physical Disabilities4
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to perform occupational therapy evaluations on adults experiencing physical disabilities and to provide intervention strategies that promote participation in daily life activities. Students will gain an understanding of theory, practice models, and frames of reference guiding occupational therapy practice. They will apply evidence-based practice skills needed to address orthopedic, cardiopulmonary, and sensorimotor issues affecting participation and engagement in occupations and societal roles.
OTD 719 Level I Community Fieldwork Disabilities1
This is the first level I fieldwork placement within the entry-level occupational therapy doctoral program emphasizing the occupational therapy process related to assessment, treatment or prevention with a variety populations and settings. Students will become socialized to the profession, develop professional skills and attitudes, display adherence to ethical standards set forth by the profession, and represent Whitworth's values to the community. Level I fieldwork requirements expose the student to a variety of experience in traditional, non-traditional and emerging areas of practice. The requirements of fieldwork may be met through any individual or combination of the following: clinical setting, simulation experiences, faculty practice, faculty-led experiences or community-based or campus- based programs/services. Students?will engage in interprofessional?practice?activities with a focus on interprofessional role awareness and development, collaboration on patient care, and team decision-making.
OTD 720 Doctoral Experience & Capstone: Literature Review2
This course represents the second step of the Doctoral Capstone Experience and Project sequence. Students will identify a capstone topic, develop a literature review, develop individualized specific goals and objectives, and collaborate with faculty capstone advisor to investigate potential sites and community mentors for completion of their capstone experience internship.
OTD 721 Cultural Responsiveness and Occupation3
This course supports learner acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes of identifying and applying mutual reciprocity and valuing necessary personal and professional transformation through which each will refine cultural agility. Students will develop active strategies, a reflective evaluation process used for building interpersonal communication skills, individualized tools of communication, and approaches to link personal growth to professionalism. Students apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to becoming culturally responsive in the development of the therapeutic relationships. Student will explore differences, mutually valuing clients knowledge and expertise in occupations, with the specific values, norms, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors associated with multicultural perspectives of individuals and groups. Students will recognize the unique cultural identity of each individual and group in their daily life activities called occupations. Cultural responsiveness is about reciprocity and mutuality. The process involves exploring differences, being open to valuing clients knowledge and expertise, and recognizing the unique cultural identity of each individual client (Munoz, 2007).
OTD 729 Level I International/Cultural Responsive Community Fieldwork1
This is an international or culturally responsive level I community fieldwork within the entry-level occupational therapy doctoral program the occupational therapy process related to assessment, treatment or prevention with a variety populations and settings with an emphasis on the student exploring a culture different from their own either internationally, within the United States or on campus. Cultures explored may include (but not are limited to) ethnic groups, underserved populations, nationalities, religions, etc. and will contribute the ongoing development of the student's cultural awareness and cultural humility. . Students will become socialized to the profession, develop professional skills and attitudes, display adherence to ethical standards set forth by the profession, and represent Whitworth's values to the to the community within a culture outside of the student's own culture Level I fieldwork requirements expose the student to a variety of experience in traditional, non-traditional and emerging areas of practice. The requirements of fieldwork may be met through any individual or combination of the following: clinical setting, simulation experiences, faculty practice, faculty-led experiences or community-based or campus- based programs/services
OTD 801 Applied Leadership and Ethics3
This course provides an in-depth examination of leadership principles and theories frequently encountered within the healthcare environment. The course facilitates self-reflection and identification of personal leadership style and develops within the student and an understanding of leadership within organizations. Students will gain insight into expanding their leadership roles within the health care workplace.
OTD 802 Program Evaluation and Development3
This course introduces students to the principles of program development and evaluation and its applications. Students will make recommendations regarding program development and improvement through the design and application of summative and formative evaluations of health and human services. Then, students collect and analyze data, determine strengths and weaknesses of various services and document results.
OTD 805 Theory & Practice With Neurological Conditions4
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to perform occupational therapy evaluations with adults experiencing neurological disabilities and to provide intervention strategies that promote participation in daily life activities. Students will gain an understanding of theory, practice models, and frames of reference guiding occupational therapy practice. Students will apply knowledge and skills from neurological sciences, theory, evidence-based practice, principles of motor learning and neurorehabilitation to the care of clients with occupational performance deficits affecting participation and engagement in occupations and societal roles.
OTD 806 Theory & Practice With Community3
This course provides the foundational knowledge and skills to develop programs and services in community settings where persons, groups, and populations seek to promote, maintain, or regain occupational performance. Students will apply health and wellness strategies to work with organizations and populations in the community as they strive toward occupational justice. Engagement in the community practice project enables students to practice skills of management, leadership, and program development in a real-life context to address societal needs through system consultation, policy development, program development, supervision, and education.
OTD 809 Level I Community Fieldwork1
This is the third level I fieldwork placement within the entry-level occupational therapy doctoral program emphasizing the occupational therapy process related to assessment, treatment or prevention with a variety populations and settings. Students will become socialized to the profession, develop professional skills and attitudes, display adherence to ethical standards set forth by the profession, and represent Whitworth's values to the community. Level I fieldwork requirements expose the student to a variety of experience in traditional, non-traditional and emerging areas of practice. The requirements of fieldwork may be met through any individual or combination of the following: clinical setting, simulation experiences, faculty practice, faculty-led experiences or community-based or campus- based programs/services.
OTD 810 Doctoral Experience & Capstone: Needs Analysis2
This course represents the third step of the Doctoral Capstone Experience and Project sequence. Students will analyze the capstone experience site needs related to a chosen topic using a variety of needs analysis methods of the target population, and will develop a logic model of the project. Students will finalize their Institutional Review Board (IRB) application with oversight from faculty advisor and develop IRB proposal.
OTD 811 Environment and Technology2
This course applies assistive technology augmentative communication devices and environmental modification to promote participation, communication, and health across the life span and in varied settings. Students integrate previous learning from the Occupational Therapy Theory & Practice course, specifically in the assessments, selection, design, and evaluation of high and low technology devices to support client engagement and participation in occupational performance areas.
OTD 812 Management of Health Care Services3
Students apply management strategies and techniques towards understanding operations and functions of healthcare service delivery toward a competitive advantage in the healthcare marketplace including process planning and analysis, personnel management, supply and logistics management, forecasting, scheduling approaches. Real-world simulations will require application of both operations and project management.
OTD 815 Theory & Practice With Older Adults4
This course provides in-depth knowledge and skills in the evaluation and intervention used in occupational therapy to promote participation in daily life activities with older adults. Students will apply knowledge and skills from neurological sciences, theory, evidence-based practice, principles of motor learning and neurorehabilitation to the care of clients with occupational performance deficits affecting participation and engagement in occupations and societal roles.
OTD 816 Theory & Practice With Children4
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to perform occupational therapy evaluations and intervention strategies for pediatric conditions to promote participation in daily life activities. Students will apply knowledge and skills from child development, motor control theory, evidence-based practice, principles of human development, engagement in occupations and societal roles.
OTD 819 Level I Community Fieldwork1
This is the final level I fieldwork community placement within the entry-level occupational therapy doctoral program emphasizing the occupational therapy process related to assessment, treatment or prevention with a variety populations and settings. Students will become socialized to the profession, develop professional skills and attitudes, display adherence to ethical standards set forth by the profession, and represent Whitworth's values to the community. Level I fieldwork requirements expose the student to a variety of experience in traditional, non-traditional and emerging areas of practice. The requirements of fieldwork may be met through any individual or combination of the following: clinical setting, simulation experiences, faculty practice, faculty-led experiences or community-based or campus- based programs/services.
OTD 820 Doctoral Experience & Capstone: Plan1
This course represents the final step of the Doctoral Capstone Experience and Project sequence. Students will develop a capstone project proposal in collaboration with faculty advisor which includes finalized identification of Capstone Experience Internship site and community mentor, finalized literature review, and detailed schedule for 14-week Capstone Experience.
OTD 829 Level II Community Fieldwork12
There are two 12 -week level II fieldwork placements required within the entry-level occupational therapy doctoral program, which will serve to prepare the student for professional practice as an entry-level occupational therapist (generalist). Level II fieldwork, under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, offers the student the opportunity to demonstrate application of theory to practice, use of clinical reasoning, and to practice skills they have acquired throughout their didactic preparation. The level II experience will expand upon skills learned through level I fieldwork by continuing to allow the student to socialize to the profession, allow for expression of developing professionalism, display adherence to ethical standards set forth by the profession and represent Whitworth's values to the community. Level II fieldwork requirements are meant to expose the student to a variety of practice settings and populations across the lifespan through experience in traditional, non-traditional and emerging areas of practice, while delivering professional services to clients understanding the potency of daily life activities, use of best scientific evidence, and
OTD 909 Level II Community Fieldwork1
There are two 12-week level II fieldwork placements required within the entry-level occupational therapy doctoral program, which will serve to prepare the student for professional practice as an entry-level occupational therapist (generalist). Level II fieldwork, under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, offers the student the opportunity to demonstrate application of theory to practice, use of clinical reasoning, and to practice skills they have acquired throughout their didactic preparation. The level II experience will expand upon skills learned through level I fieldwork by continuing to allow the student to socialize to the profession, allow for expression of developing professionalism, display adherence to ethical standards set forth by the profession and represent Whitworth's values to the community. Level II fieldwork requirements are meant to expose the student to a variety of practice settings and populations across the lifespan through experience in traditional, non-traditional and emerging areas of practice, while delivering professional services to clients understanding the potency of daily life activities, use of best scientific evidence, and client-centered practice toward optimal performance, participation, health, and well-being.
OTD 910 Doctoral Experience & Capstone: Implementation14
Students will complete a 14 week, individually mentored capstone experience that solidifies concepts learned throughout the entire OTD program and prepares for transition from student to practitioner. Students will work one-on-one with a faculty advisor and community mentor to gain advanced skills during in-depth exposure to one or more of the following areas: leadership, administration, clinical skills, program development, theory development, advocacy, or research. Students will design individualized objectives focusing on advanced skills and to outline responsibilities of the student, faculty advisor, and community mentor. The Doctoral Capstone Experience is closely tied to OTD 930: Capstone Project/Scholarship course in which the students create a scholarly manuscript and presentation based on experiences and knowledge gained from the Doctoral Capstone Experience. The Doctoral Capstone Coordinator will review time logs to ensure that students meet the criteria of no greater than 20% offsite hours, and will also review all objectives and community mentor qualifications to ensure standards are met for level of supervision and advanced skills. All sites will have a student affiliation agreement and individualized memorandum of agreement prior to start of the doctoral experiential internship.
OTD 930 Capstone Project/Scholarship4
After the completion of an individually mentored capstone experience, students will write a publishable manuscript, share results through an on-site presentation to colleagues, submit a Call for Papers to state or national venues, and prepare to disseminate the project through journal submission.