PhilaU’s OT program is set apart from other university’s OT programs because of its hybrid delivery system that includes both face-to-face and distance learning methods, its distinctive curriculum that incorporates innovation through collaboration, and by its opportunities for faculty and E-mentoring support. Read on to learn more about the PhilaU OT program.
OT students at PhilaU attend graduate OT classes on eight weekends each semester (Fridays and Saturdays). Generally on-campus weekends are scheduled two times per month. During off-campus weekends students complete projects and other learning activities through distance technology.
Perhaps the most distinctive element of the PhilaU program is its focus on innovation through collaboration. PhilaU OT students regularly collaborate not only with other OT students, but students from a variety of programs throughout the University, current OT professionals and various other interdisciplinary industry professionals.
Over several semesters, students are guided through the process of innovation by working alongside their design, textile, fashion, and architecture peers to create assistive devices, adaptive clothing, and livable environments to support a person’s full participation. As a result of interdisciplinary projects, OT students learn the role of advocate and help their colleagues to better understand issues related to the world of individuals living with disabilities. These experiences support the development of advocacy skills both for the profession and individual clients.
To learn about one collaborative project between Occupational Therapy and Industrial Design students, watch the video below.
As part of our emphasis on professional development, the OT program established an electronic mentoring program that connects students with OT professionals. This voluntary internet-based program helps students to build their professional networks and access outside advice and perspectives.
Students have the option to choose their own mentors or can be paired with practicing OTs who align with their needs. Through the electronic mentoring program students are exposed to the world of OT practice, and can begin building a strong network before they even leave school.
"I have enjoyed the relationships that have been built online, and believe in this type of venue for students to have other perspectives towards their assignments, as well as to assist in their new professional roles as caregiver/ healer." - Bart Weitzman, mentor
Project – Practice Platforms
At the core of the PhilaU program is the perspective that the goal of occupational therapy is to assist individuals to participate as fully as possible in all the occupations that are important to them, regardless of their health condition or developmental status.
At the start of the first semester, OT students identify a client with whom they will work throughout the program. Students complete client-based assignments each semester and develop a relationship that is both supportive and educational. These as well as other activities embedded in coursework provide the content for students to build their portfolios and generate their unique practice platforms. Students integrate OT concepts with their experiences, and defend their practice platforms in a culminating capstone presentation.