May 08, 2021  
College Catalog 2018-2019 
College Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Occupational Therapy

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Humbert (Chair), Achenbach, Dennehy, Ericksen, Fox, Hample, Martin, Panchik, Potter, Salvadia, Steadman, Waltermire

For more information, please visit the Department’s website or check your course syllabi, which are available through the course instructor or at the High Library.

Definition of Occupational Therapy Practice for the AOTA Model Practice Act

The practice of Occupational Therapy means the therapeutic use of occupations, including everyday life activities with individuals, groups, populations, or organizations to support participation, performance, and function in roles and situations in home, school, workplace, community, and other settings. Occupational Therapy services are provided for habilitation, rehabilitation, and the promotion of health and wellness to those who have or are at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or participation restriction. Occupational Therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory-perceptual, and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts and environments to support engagement in occupations that affect physical and mental health, well-being, and quality of life.

The rapidly changing and dynamic nature of contemporary health and human services delivery systems requires the occupational therapist to possess basic skills as a direct care provider, consultant, educator, manager, researcher, and advocate for the profession and the consumer (ACOTE, 2011). The student in occupational therapy undertakes a program that integrates the humanities and the behavioral and physical sciences with professional study. The primary objective is to prepare the student as a generalist practitioner who is qualified for employment in hospitals, community agencies, schools, rehabilitation centers, extended-care facilities, and related human service agencies.

Degree Program

Elizabethtown College offers a combined BS/MS Occupational Therapy program that requires five years of academic study, including one summer, and six months of clinical fieldwork. The program awards both a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences  and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy .


To educate students to become clinical scholars in occupational therapy to make a difference in the lives of people locally and globally.

Curriculum Threads

Professional development. Educating students to become highly qualified practitioners who actively contribute to the profession through service and leadership and who value the ethos of professionalism and the ethics of lifelong learning.

Critical, innovative, and reflective thinking. Emphasizing the understanding of human occupations across cultural and social groups and as they relate to the therapeutic process and healthy well-being. Occupational Therapy courses bridge the understanding gap between occupational performance and liberal arts learning through case studies, discussion, and active learning.

Service and justice. Emphasizing the right that all individuals have to maintain a healthy balance of meaningful occupations. This involves helping others to participate in meaningful and balanced occupations and includes recognizing the need for multicultural awareness and international understanding as a prerequisite for occupational therapy practice. International and service experiences enable our students to interact effectively in culturally diverse practice settings. Service-learning and civic engagement are valued components of our program.

Integration of scholarship and practice. Educating practitioners who are able to engage in reflective practice based on clinical reasoning; who have a solid foundation of skills and knowledge; who demonstrate a thorough understanding of research and its relation to evidence-based practice.

Liberal arts education in relation to health and occupation. Emphasizing the role of the liberal arts education in developing personal character, critical thinking, ethical problem solving, communication, and the ability to think broadly and holistic about the profession of occupational therapy in the 21st century. Occupational therapy at Elizabethtown College has a proud tradition of educating students for a professional discipline in a liberal arts environment.

Honors in the Discipline

The Department of Occupational Therapy supports many opportunities for students and academic recognition. The Department participates in the College Honors in the Discipline Program. Bachelor of Science students are notified of Honors eligibility during the junior year. Students with an Occupational Therapy grade point average of 3.75 or higher are also considered candidates for the national occupational therapy honor society, Pi Theta Epsilon.

Level II Fieldwork

Fieldwork provides the student with the opportunity to apply clinical skills in occupational therapy practice settings. Fieldwork experiences occur after the completion of all didactic coursework and usually occurs in the spring and summer semesters. Elizabethtown College has established relations with more than 300 clinical sites locally and throughout the United States. The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator matches students with appropriate settings based primarily on the student career goals, student learning needs, and geographical considerations. Additional expenses for living and housing often are incurred as students complete Level II Fieldwork assignments. Individual fieldwork sites also may require students to meet health requirements (e.g., TB test, current immunizations, etc.), participate in training for Universal Precautions, and pass criminal and child safety background checks. Students must achieve a score of “Pass” from clinical supervisors in order to be eligible to attain the Master of Science degree. Students are required to complete 24 weeks of full-time fieldwork or its equivalent of Level II fieldwork within 12 months of completing graduate coursework.

Professional Accreditation

The Occupational Therapy program has maintained a fully-accredited status since 1976 by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The organization can be contacted at ACOTE, c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), Box 31220, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449; (phone) 301-652-2682; (fax) 301-652-1417;

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