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Through its innovative curricular design, the NSU's Occupational Therapy Department prepares students to go beyond entry-level practitioners through the program's vision and mission.

Vision Statement: The entry-level OTD program's vision is to lead the profession and community through its contributions in educational leadership, community and professional service, life-long learning, and scholarly endeavors.

Mission Statement:  The entry-level OTD program's mission is to prepare qualified students to become successful occupational therapy practitioners, managers, and leaders to lead the profession and community through its contributions in educational leadership, community, and professional service, life-long learning, scholarship, and research.

The Nova Southeastern University Occupational Therapy Department philosophy views occupation and occupational performance as core for organizing curriculum, community interactions, teaching/learning processes, and student outcomes for successful practice as occupational therapists. Occupation is a core construct of the curriculum. Defined as a complex process of doing, being and/or becoming, it provides a foundation, and primary focus for all matters associated with departmental functioning. The following statements further identify the critical aspects of occupation to the occupational therapy department.

  • Occupation as a product is the group of activities and tasks humans need, want and/or are obliged to do for participation in life
  • Occupation involves a continuing process of adaptation
  • Characteristics of occupation include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Basic human need
    • Determinant of health
    • Source of meaning
    • Source of purpose
    • Source of choice and control
    • Source of balance and satisfaction
    • Source of pleasure
    • Source of restoration
    • Source and means of adaptation
    • Means of productivity
    • Means of organizing time
    • Means of organizing materials and space
    • Therapeutic medium

Occupational therapy is a health profession that optimizes participation in life. We believe that occupational therapy -

  • integrates knowledge from the arts and sciences
  • provides a holistic and balanced perspective for practice to meet client needs
  • promotes well-being through engagement in occupation
  • incorporates client-centered assessment and intervention based on strengths, needs and goals, to facilitate occupational performance
  • Humans are unique in nature and influence their own occupational performance
  • Humans are considered open systems who are influenced and changed through interactions with the human and non-human environment
  • Humans have their own unique values, goals, desires, culture etc. which influence their occupational performance
  • Humans have the right to make personal choices, engage freely in society and self-determine their life path
  • Humans adapt their habits, routines and roles throughout their life course
  • A human beings' strengths and needs are an integral part of his/her meaningful occupations
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