Inclusive pedagogy informs the basis of the MSOT program at DePaul that is designed to foster a sense of belonging, authenticity, and community among students, teachers and community partners. At DePaul, inclusive pedagogy is achieved through intentionally designed dynamic learning processes of reflection, collaboration, action, and transformation. Additionally, the curriculum is based on two inextricably linked fundamental concepts that inform the curriculum design: Occupation-Centered and Community-Engaged. DePaul students will learn to understand people as occupational beings, the impact of occupational challenges on their lives and how to use occupation to collaborate with individuals, families, communities, and populations to maximize people’s dignity and ability to participate in meaningful life situations. Students will be engaged in learning with and from community partners that builds upon their ability to listen to the voices of the community, think critically, question one’s own assumptions, live with ambiguity, communicate effectively, build relationships, demonstrate empathy, respond in culturally responsive ways, and act ethically.
The MSOT program is guided by the Catholic Vincentian tradition which draws on diversity as a source of learning and understanding; nurtures an inclusive and welcoming community; and calls for action for the collective good. The mission of the MSOT program is to prepare occupational therapists to be effective and responsive agents of change addressing the diverse and most urgent needs of the Chicago community and beyond with a special concern for those who have historically been and currently are underestimated by society. Grounded in occupation and evidence, students will become life-long learners ready to practice social responsibility and work for the collective good of society.