Curriculum Outline and Course Descriptions

In your investigations, you will find that programs are sometimes organized by lifespan categories such as pediatrics, adults, and older adults. Sometimes programs are organized by sub-specialties of the field such as orthopedics, neuro, hands, and wellness. You will also see programs structured by settings such as school-based practice, community-based practice, medical model practice. Rather than sub-specialties or lifespan, the Duke OTD program of study is organized according to the enduring ideas of the profession. These are the threads that run throughout all practice areas.

In year one, you will learn why occupation is considered a mechanism of health and various models that guide expert thinking about occupation. Learning will range from the geopolitical factors that influence occupation all the way down to specific body functions that can influence occupation. Then you will learn ways that occupation can be disrupted by events such as acquired disability, stigma, bullying, life transitions, natural disasters, and poorly designed environments. Throughout the entire program of study, you will learn how expert occupational therapists think about, talk to people about, watch people doing occupations, how they analyze what they hear and see, and how they collaborate with clients to create goals. You learn the skills expert occupational therapists use to enable access and participation in occupation. These skills include coaching, adapting, consulting, educating, and designing. Taken together, the skills you learn in Year One constitute the occupational therapy process.

In year two, you learn how expert occupational therapists use the occupational therapy process to impact occupation through interventions targeting groups, organizations, and communities. These skills include creating education programs, conducting program evaluations, designing programs, conducting research. Also in Year Two, you have opportunity to customize your program of study through Advanced Practice Courses and Electives.

Year three includes your culminating practices experiences. These include two 12-week Level II Fieldwork experiences and one 14-week Capstone experience.

Course Descriptions

OTD 500 Occupation as a Mechanism of Health
Students explore what it means to understand themselves, others, and human health from an occupational perspective. They analyze the factors that influence how people engage in and experience occupations, the everyday activities of life. Students begin to consider how to help optimize people’s health by improving their engagement in meaningful life occupations. Students explain the relationships between what people do and health determinants.  3 Credits 
 
OTD 501 Occupation, Occupational Therapy, & Care Systems I (7 weeks)
In part I of this 2-part series, students examine occupational therapy's history--its core concepts, key players, and societal conditions that shaped the profession over time-- with particular attention to contemporary understandings of occupational therapy and how to advance those understandings through occupation-based practice. 2 Credits

OTD 502 Occupational Science (7 weeks)
Students examine the science by which some knowledge of occupation is generated, including the evolution of occupational science, the core phenomena of interest to the science, the research questions explored, the methodological approaches and the levels of investigation most targeted in the science, as well as the contributions of occupational science to occupational therapy and other fields. 2 Credits

OTD 504 Enabling Occupation Skills I
In Part 1 of this 4-part series students practice ten key skills for enabling occupation: adapting, advocating, coaching, collaborating, consulting, coordinating, designing/building, educating, engaging, and specializing. Part I explores the meaning of client-centered enablement focused on occupation. 3 Credits

OTD 505 Assembling, Creating, & Translating Knowledge I
Across this 2-part series, students design, implement and disseminate a research project. In part I, students select an area of research at the intersections of Diversity, Occupation, & Health. They conduct a literature review, establish research questions, and select qualitative and quantitative methods appropriate to the research questions. Data collection will begin in Part I and conclude in Part II. 3 Credits

OTD 506 Formation for Service I
This course is Part I of a series that occurs across the curriculum. Formation refers to developing the groundwork for professional identity as an occupational therapist. Developing a professional identity means intentionally forming in oneself the ways of engaging with self, others, and the world that are distinctive to being an occupational therapist. Through the series, students establish the alignment between who they are, their vocation, and occupational therapy’s distinct knowledge and contributions. In Part I, students clarify values, beliefs, assumptions, and strengths. They hone skills to carefully observe, listen to, and support others in group and team contexts. They explore philosophical reflections on occupational therapy, critiques of the field, and accounts of the professional identities and formation stories of occupational therapists. 2 Credits 

OTD 507 Applied Practice Experience (APEx) IA
In this two-week experiential, students apply content from first semester coursework to simulated practice scenarios, followed by application to practice settings. 1 Credit

OTD 508 Occupational Transitions I
Students will become proficient in administering the OT process with clients whose occupations are in transition because of developmental and life course transitions. Students will apply the occupational therapy process to occupational transitions that occur throughout the life course. This course is part of a four-course series. As students move through the series, they must connect developmental transitions and the resulting impact on occupation to the whole situation of which the client is part.
3 Credits

OTD 509 Occupational Transitions II
Students apply the occupational therapy process to situations in which occupations are disrupted by issues in physical, social, cultural, and political environments. Attention is given to the use of technology and data to assess the impact of environmental disruptions on individuals, groups, communities, and populations and to design and implement environmental interventions. 3 Credits

OTD 510 Occupational Transitions III
Students apply the occupational therapy process to situations in which occupations are disrupted by personal and social issues such as occupational imbalance, life transitions, trauma, aging, or stress, among others. 3 Credits

OTD 511 Enabling Occupation Skills II
Students integrate content from each occupational disruption course to complete the occupational therapy process for individuals across the lifespan, from infancy to advanced old age. They also complete the occupational therapy process for communities and populations of children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. 3 Credits

OTD 512 Assembling, Creating, & Translating Knowledge II
Students complete the research project they began in Part I. They collect, analyze, interpret data, and discuss implications. Students present their work publicly at the end of the course. 3 Credits

OTD 513 Formation for Service II
Students explore the influences socio-cultural factors have on one's formation of self, in one's relationship to others, and as a professional. Students are formed for service as occupational therapists in this course by developing foundational skills to relate with diverse individuals and communities across tensions, conflicts, and differences. This course continues the focus from Formation for Service I on helping students explore their identity as well as the identities of their peers, clients, and other community members with openness, empathy, authenticity, and care. Professional behaviors are emphasized. 2 Credits

OTD 514 Applied Practice Experience (APEx) IB
In this two-week experiential, students apply content from second semester coursework to simulated practice scenarios, followed by application to practice settings. 1 Credit

OTD 515 Innovation and Everyday Leadership
Students analyze the informal ways people innovate and exert leadership on behalf of individuals, communities, populations, and the profession. Students examine their actions through an innovation and leadership lens to identify the ways in which they are everyday leaders. They examine their formal and informal leadership roles and discuss those roles in light of leadership and entrepreneurship theories. Students discover how to influence change in the profession by working with the governance and political processes of various professional organizations. 2 Credits

OTD 516 Teaching, Learning, and Change
Students discover learning theory and change theory at the foundation of occupational therapy's longstanding use of education as an intervention. Students create theory- and research-driven education plans that are centered on occupation for patients, clients, fieldwork students, academic students, and the public. 2 Credits

OTD 517 Enabling Occupation Skills III
Students integrate content from each co-occurring course through team-based learning. They demonstrate enabling occupation skills that are related to each co-occurring course and continue to conduct the occupational therapy process with individuals across the lifespan, from infancy to advanced old age, communities and populations. 2 Credits

OTD 518 Formation for Service III
Students are formed for service by becoming aware of systemic issues that promote health disparities and occupational disruptions and injustices. Students explore issues of power dynamics, occupational justice, therapeutic use of self, advocacy, and creating partnerships with individuals, groups, and communities to enable flourishing and greater access to and participation in occupation. 1 credit

OTD 519 Applied Practice Experience (APEx) IC
In this two-week experiential, students apply content from third semester coursework to simulated practice scenarios, followed by application to practice settings. 1 Credit

OTD 600 Needs Assessment and Programming to Support Occupation
Students discover methods for conducting needs assessments and designing programs in collaboration with organizations and agencies seeking to enhance services that improve people's access to and participation in occupation. They gain skills for demonstrating occupational therapy’s value and contributions to organizational metrics. 3 Credits

OTD 601 Occupation and Technology
Students discover and engage with digital health, including the electronic medical record, telehealth, virtual reality, wearables, and more. They frame technology use as an occupation and critically evaluate its relationships to health and well-being and their role in contributing to the design of devices to optimize successful engagement. Students identify when mainstream and assistive technology can improve access to and participation in occupation. 3 Credits

0TD 602 Occupation, Occupational Therapy, & Care Systems II
In part II of this series, students examine the U.S. medical and non-medical model systems. Students explore how these systems shape current occupational therapy practice and support emerging practices. Students examine reimbursement models and the roles of interprofessional colleagues. They learn theoretical models appropriate to different settings and gain skills for demonstrating occupational therapy’s value and contributions to organizational metrics. 2 credits

OTD 603 Enabling Occupation Skills IV
Students integrate content from each co-occurring course through team-based learning. They demonstrate enabling occupation skills that are related to each co-occurring course and continue to conduct the occupational therapy process with individuals across the lifespan, from infancy to advanced old age, communities, and populations. 3 Credits

OTD 604 Formation for Service IV
Students are empowered as ethical and authentic leaders in everyday situations. Throughout this course, students explore their own leadership skills and styles, participate in activities that form their capacity and skills to interact effectively with diverse groups of people to make meaningful occupational change. Students further develop approaches to manage conflict in professional settings with confidence, courage, and integrity, with fidelity to their professional identity as OTs and to the profession of OT as a whole. 2 Credits

OTD 606 Capstone Project 1
Students design and initiate a capstone project and experience in one of eight advanced areas of practice within occupational therapy: advocacy, research, policy, entrepreneurship, education, administration, program development, and theory development. 2 Credits

OTD 619 Applied Practice Experience (APEx) ID
In this two-week experiential, students apply content from fourth-semester coursework to simulated practice scenarios, followed by application to practice settings. 1 Credit

Advanced Practice Courses I-IV
This series of modules allows students to go deeper into an area of interest. They must enroll in 3 of the 4 modules. These will change based on the expertise of the faculty or practitioners offering an APC. Students have the option of substituting a 3-credit elective for the APC series or taking an elective in addition to the APC series. The elective should be related to the student’s capstone project and experience. 3 Credits Total

Advanced Practice Course: Customized Learning Project
Students who have completed a minimum of 20 hours of a pre-approved learning experience will synthesize and critically evaluate the experience and create a digital portfolio to capture the experience via Portfolium. They will assess the accomplishment of learning objectives and reflect on their personal development in relation to the project. 
 
Credit is determined by how extensive experience was and course completion.
20 hours = 1 credit
40 hours = 2 credits
60+ hours = 3 credits

Comprehensive Assessment and Management of Practice (CAMP) I–IV
These experiences offer students the opportunity to work with a specific population for 4-5 weeks. Students complete assessments, collaborate with community members as clients to determine their goals and challenges, generate an intervention plan, and implement and assess outcomes. It is our hope that these experiences will become interprofessional experiences with physical therapy and others. For example, a pair or team of occupational therapy and physical therapy students would work together with 1-3 children experiencing challenges at school or in the community, or occupational therapy and physical therapy students may work together with 1-3 adults who have neurologic conditions. Students must enroll in 3 of the 4 CAMP experiences. Each CAMP is 1 credit; 3 credits total.

Formation for Service V
Students are formed for service as OTs through the development of discrete professional skills, behaviors, and competencies. Students build on their skills in self-reflection and reflexivity to identify core areas for improving and expanding their own professional skills and competencies. Students focus on giving and receiving charitable and critical feedback as part of professional responsibility. 2 Credits

Capstone II
Students design and initiate a capstone project and experience in one of eight advanced areas of practice within occupational therapy: advocacy, research, policy, entrepreneurship, education, administration, program development, and theory development. 3 Credits

OTD Level II Fieldwork IIA
Students complete a 12-week full-time fieldwork experience. 12 Credits

Year 3 FALL
OTD Level II Fieldwork IIB
Students complete a 12-week full-time fieldwork experience. 12 Credits

Capstone Experience
Students complete a 14-week Capstone Experience. 12 Credits