Curriculum Design

Western Michigan University’s Department of Occupational Therapy entry-level doctoral curriculum design is framed by the three pillars of the university—learner centered, discovery driven, and globally engaged. The curriculum design incorporates the vision of the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), “to lead transformative education, practice and research” with the mission of the Department of Occupational Therapy, “to prepare occupational therapist as leaders and advocates who will improve the well-being and quality of life for diverse populations.”  

The envisioned graduates of our program will demonstrate professional reasoning by incorporating occupation-focused and evidence-based practice that recognizes the uniqueness of each individual and explicitly demonstrates the distinct value of occupational therapy. These five qualities are the curricular threads that will be incorporated and assessed throughout the Occupational Therapy (OT) program.

University pillars are incorporated into the OT Curriculum in the following ways:  learner centered in the resiliency thread, discovery driven into the professional reasoning thread, and globally engaged in the uniqueness of each individual thread. The CHHS vision is woven into the curricular threads of professional reasoning, occupation-focused practice.   

The list of curricular threads was created and OT PROUD became the mnemonic to help share the message:

  • Develop PROFESSIONAL REASONING skills through scholarly exploration and reflection.
  • Support RESILIENCY in themselves and their clients at the individual, family, community, and population levels.
  • Utilize evidence-based, OCCUPATION-FOCUSED PRACTICE to support participation throughout the lifespan.
  • Recognize how the UNIQUENESS OF EACH INDIVIDUAL impacts all facets of their occupational engagement.          
  • Explain the DISTINCT VALUE of occupational therapy to clients, to team members, and to community members.