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The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) requires programs to name curricular threads that provide the foundation and structure to the curricular design.  Threads represent skills or areas of knowledge that are developed throughout the curriculum.  The threads are woven throughout the curriculum and together support the mission and philosophy of the program. Each thread is addressed by courses progressively with increasing complexity as students move through the curriculum.  Each thread is tied to an overall learning objective.

Program Requirements Quarter Hours
Degree Requirements 102
Total hours required 102

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will facilitate change to transform conditions necessary for access, inclusion, and social justice within health, educational, and community settings for diverse, vulnerable and underestimated individuals, groups, and populations.\\n
  • Students will demonstrate and communicate the distinct value and quality outcomes of culturally relevant occupation-based interventions across practice settings to improve health and participation for persons, groups, and communities.
  • Students will demonstrate a strong sense of identity as an occupational therapist and their role across settings and on interprofessional teams.
  • Students will evaluate, apply, and create evidence to provide and demonstrate effective occupational therapy evaluation, intervention, and outcomes rooted in real life situations.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program offers a balanced curriculum grounded in the Vincentian mission to prepare future Occupational Therapists with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to provide OT services to children and adults with various developmental, physical, cognitive, and psychological conditions across different practice settings. Course elements are designed to provide students with the knowledge base pertinent to the field, while simultaneously fostering the critical thinking, problem solving, and self-confidence that contribute to effective independent clinical practice. All required courses for the MSOT program will be new courses designed to meet the requirements set forth by the ACOTE. The proposed curriculum includes both didactic and clinical requirements for graduation.

Course Title Quarter Hours
OT 411THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY4
OT 421INTER-PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION AND TEAMS2
OT 431NEURO PROCESSING FOR OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE4
OT 441MOVEMENT AND FUNCTION FOR OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE4
OT 451POSITIONING AND TECHNOLOGY TO ENABLE OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE4
OT 461MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP ACROSS SETTINGS4
OT 412DISABILITY STUDIES2
OT 422OCCUPATIONAL JUSTICE2
OT 432ETHICS AND ADVOCACY4
OT 442THINKING IN SYSTEMS2
OT 452COMMUNITY PRACTICE WITH GROUPS AND POPULATIONS4
OT 413MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING 13
OT 414MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING II4
OT 423OT PROCESS WITH CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS I3
OT 424OT PROCESS WITH CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS II4
OT 415EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE I4
OT 425EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE II4
OT 435SCHOLARLY INQUIRY4
OT 445EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE PROJECT READY4
OT 455EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE PROJECT4
OT 471PRACTICE READY FOR FIELDWORK AND BEYOND2
OT 416LEVEL I FIELDWORK A: MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING1
OT 426LEVEL I FIELDWORK B: CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS1
OT 436LEVEL I FIELDWORK C: ADULTS & AGING1
OT 417LEVEL II FIELDWORK A8
OT 427LEVEL II FIELDWORK B8
OT 433OT PROCESS WITH ADULTS I4
OT 434OT PROCESS WITH ADULTS II3
OT 453OLDER ADULTS & AGING4

The MSOT program is a continuous, full-time program of study that spans eight quarters, or 24 months from admission to graduation. Graduates will take the National Board Certified Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam, a national assessment of discipline specific content knowledge, and then be eligible to apply for state licensure.

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) Program Mission

The Master or Science in Occupational Therapy (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 the dignity of 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.

MSOT Program Vision: To be nationally known as an inclusive and innovative occupational therapy program rich in diverse ways of knowing and learning, graduating transformative leaders ready to make the world a better place.

MSOT Program Promise: The DePaul MSOT program commits to deliver an exceptional community engaged curriculum in which students will feel challenged, capable, and supported by dedicated faculty so that students are motivated and prepared to promote equity and justice for occupational participation that contribute to the health and well-being of communities.

Outcomes for DePaul MSOT Program Graduates

  • Students will facilitate change to transform conditions necessary for access, inclusion, and social justice within health, educational, and community settings for diverse, vulnerable and underestimated individuals, groups, and populations.  
  • Students will demonstrate and communicate the distinct value and quality outcomes of culturally relevant occupation-based interventions across practice settings to improve health and participation for persons, groups, and communities.     
  • Students will demonstrate a strong sense of identity as an occupational therapist and their role across settings and on inter-professional teams.
  • Students will evaluate, apply, and create evidence to provide and demonstrate effective occupational therapy evaluation, intervention, and outcomes rooted in real life situations.

Accreditation

The entry-level occupational therapy master's degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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.


The program must 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 this 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. Students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork within 12 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.

Graduation Requirements

A well-balanced, unified, and complete program of study is required, including evidence of successful achievement of both academic and clinical skill development. The program utilizes a cohort model, suggesting that all students move through the curriculum at a similar rate. The Master of Occupational Therapy degree requires successful completion of 102 graduate credits.

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • A minimum of a C in all courses (students may not repeat more than two courses and no course may be repeated more than once).
  • Successful completion of 24 weeks of supervised Level II Fieldwork
  • Completion of all requirements within five years of initial matriculation

Student Probation and Dismissal

Probation
A graduate student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater to remain in good standing. A student failing to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. If the cumulative GPA is raised to at least 3.00 at the end of the next academic quarter, the student is no longer on probation. If the cumulative GPA has not risen to 3.00 at the end of the next academic quarter, the student will be dismissed from the program.  A student may be placed on probation a total of two times.  If their GPA falls below a 3.00 a third time, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Repeating a Course
If a student receives a grade of less than C, the student will be required to repeat the course. Up to two courses can be repeated one time each. Repeating a course most likely will delay a student’s ability to progress in the curriculum. Students who do not achieve a C or higher in the repeated course will be dismissed from the program.

Dismissal
Students may petition for re-entry into the OT program to the Program Director.  It is recommended that the student meet with their advisor prior to submitting a petition for re-admittance into the program.  The advisor may help the student prepare their petition. The petition should address why the student believes they will be successful in the program and any changes or steps they have taken to increase their likelihood for success.  The OT faculty will meet to discuss the petition and respond to the petition in one of four ways:

  1. request more information from the student
  2. accept the petition in full
  3. accept the petition with modifications
  4. reject the petition

Students can be re-admitted into the OT program one time.  If a readmitted student is dismissed a second time, they are not allowed to petition for re-entry.

Complaints and Grievances

DePaul University emphasizes the development of a full range of human capabilities and appreciation of higher education as a means to engage cultural, social, religious, and ethical values in service to others.

In support of this mission, DePaul University is committed to treating every member of its community with dignity, justice and respect fostering a positive learning environment and providing quality service.  It is important for students to know how to address concerns and issues that may be contrary to this commitment.

Complaints or concerns that a policy or procedure has been incorrectly or unfairly applied can often be resolved through an initial conversation with the staff, faculty member or department where the issue originated and his/her supervisor if necessary.
DePaul has established a number of policies and procedures for responding to particular types of concerns. Contact information for these policies and procedures can be found below:

  • Concerns about grades are addressed through the University's Grade Challenge policy. Detailed information is available in the Academic Handbook section of the University Catalog.
  • Concerns about academic integrity are addressed through the Academic Integrity policy and process. Detailed information is available on the Academic Integrity website.
  • Concerns related to student conduct are addressed through the Code of Student Responsibility, and the Student Conduct Process. Detailed information is available in the Academic Handbook section of the University Catalog.
  • Concerns about discrimination or harassment on the basis of a variety of protected characteristics are addressed by the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity through the Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Procedures
  • Concerns based on sexual violence, sexual harassment, or other sex discrimination (Title IX) are addressed through the DePaul's Title IX Coordinator located in the Office of Institutional Diversity. Detailed information is available on the Office of Public Safety website or in the Code of Student Responsibility section of the University Catalog.
  • Concerns about the confidentiality of education records (FERPA-Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), are addressed through the Office of the University Registrar.

Concerns about academic issues relating to faculty or staff can often be resolved through an initial conversation with the faculty, staff member or student employee involved in the situation.  Therefore, students with academic complaints or concerns should address the issue following the steps indicated below:

  1. The issue should first be discussed with the faculty or staff member.
  2. If this does not resolve the issue the student should then discuss the issue with the department chairperson or program director for faculty issues or the individual’s supervisor for staff. If you are unsure of the appropriate college contact, please see below for a directory of College and College Dean’s Offices.
  3. If the issue is still not resolved, the student should then discuss the matter with the Office of the Dean of the faculty member’s college for faculty issues or the department supervisor for staff issues.
  4. If the issue is still not resolved, the student may discuss the issue with the Office of the Provost.

The Dean of Students Office is a central location to which students can turn with problems they have been unable to resolve. The Dean of Students Office hears student concerns and helps students understand their options for resolving the concerns and/or locating appropriate services: http://offices.depaul.edu/student-affairs/about/departments/Pages/dos.aspx.

In addition, the University Ombudsperson is available to provide consultation about conflict resolution, to clarify policies and procedures, and to help find the right person or department to respond to questions.  Students may also always choose to report concerns or misconduct through the University's confidential reporting mechanisms: 877.236.8390 or https://compliance.depaul.edu/hotline/index.asp

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions offering online education to provide contact information for students to file complaints with its accreditor and state agencies. Contact information for DePaul’s regional accreditor (the Higher Learning Commission), programmatic/specialized accreditor and state agencies is available in the Handbook section of the University Catalog.

Procedure to File a Complaint with ACOTE

If all processes within DePaul University have been exhausted, a student may file a complaint with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The student must provide evidence that they have followed the DePaul University’s complaint or grievance policy and made reasonable efforts to resolve the issue. Comments or complaints about the program may be made by writing to the ACOTE Chairperson, c/o the AOTA Accreditation Department. The complaint must be submitted as an attachment to an email addressed to accred@aota.org and must include a signed complaint form, “Complaint Against a Program Subject to ACOTE Accreditation.

A complaint against an educational program must: a. describe the nature of the complaint and the related accreditation standards or accreditation policies or procedures that the complainant believes are not being met by the program, including any evidence or documents that might substantiate the complaint; b. provide documentation that the complainant has followed the academic program’s complaint or grievance policy and made reasonable efforts to resolve the complaint, or alternatively information that demonstrates such efforts would be unavailing; and c. be signed by the complainant. (The confidentiality of the complaining party is protected by AOTA Accreditation staff unless release of identity has been authorized, or disclosure is required by legal action.) The ACOTE Standards can be downloaded from:  https://www.aota.org/~/media/Corporate/Files/EducationCareers/Accredit/StandardsReview/2018-ACOTE-Standards-Interpretive-Guide.pdf.

Withdrawals

Withdrawals
A student who withdraws from an occupational therapy course while in good standing cannot progress in the sequenced curriculum until that course has been successfully completed. Exceptions may be identified in consultation with the Program Director, the course faculty, and the student’s academic advisor. A student who withdraws from an OT course who is ‘not in good standing’ (with a grade of less than C or on probation) at the time of withdrawal, will be referred to the Program Director. The Program Director and academic advisor will review the student’s past and current performance and elicit recommendations from the course faculty. The course faculty, academic advisor, and Program Director will meet to establish a contract for academic improvement. The contract will be shared with and signed by the student. Such students may not progress in the sequenced curriculum until the course has been retaken and successfully completed.

A student may withdraw from an OT course ‘not in good standing’ (with a grade of less than C) only once during their program of study. A second such withdrawal will result in dismissal from the program. A student who has a grade of less than C at mid-quarter may be placed on contract for an intervention plan by the instructor. The student must satisfactorily fulfill all course and contract requirements by the end of the quarter of contract initiation in order to progress in the program. A student currently enrolled in a degree program in which revisions are approved while their studies are in progress may elect to formally adopt the revised requirements.
Requesting a Leave of Absence
Students who need to interrupt their studies for personal, health or other reasons may request a leave of absence for up to one full year. The request should be made to the Program Director. Depending on circumstances and estimated length of absence, the Program Director or student’s academic advisor may recommend additional action to complete the request process.

Returning from a Leave of Absence
Students who wish to return to the program following a leave of absence will need to submit a written request for resuming coursework to the Program Director. It is the student’s responsibility to send a copy of such request to the Program Director and the student’s faculty advisor. This written request should demonstrate the resolution of the extenuating circumstances contributing to the original need to leave the Occupational Therapy Program. This request for reinstatement must be made no less than 6 weeks prior to resuming the OT course sequence. Students will be notified in writing regarding the decision concerning their reentry to the program.

Time Limitation  
The MS degree in occupational therapy is designed to be completed in eight quarters. The maximum time to complete this degree, including up to a 12-month approved leave of absence, is five years from first quarter of enrollment.

Complete Handbook

The text above represents key sections of the complete Student Handbook for the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy.  The complete handbook may be accessed through the program's website.