The graduate program in occupational therapy here at Sacred Heart University is extremely innovative in its curriculum design, in its approach to learning and in its responsiveness to societal and demographic trends as well as to the changes in the profession's clinical practice arenas.
Sacred Heart University, located in Fairfield, Connecticut, offers an entry-level, master's degree program in occupational therapy (MSOT). This graduate program is for people with a bachelor's degree in a field other than occupational therapy. The program prepares students to master entry-level clinical practice skills and develop beginning-level skills in leadership and research in occupational therapy (OT).
- Sacred Heart University was the first entry level, graduate occupational therapy program in the state of Connecticut to meet the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education's (ACOTE) new mandate that all entry-level occupational therapy education programs move to a post baccalaureate degree.
- The design is highly unique, with a curriculum that utilizes a systems and developmental approach, and strongly reflects a philosophy of humanism, service to others and community-based
Dr. Jody Bortone, chair of the Occupational Therapy Department, & Professor Heather Miller Kuhaneck took the first year master of science in occupational therapy students on a field trip to KidAbilities, an outpatient occupational therapy clinic that specializes in Ayres Sensory Integration
- The curriculum utilizes a problem-based learning (PBL). PBL incorporates small group tutorials led by expert faculty members, designed to bridge course content with practice by having students actively engage in the clinical reasoning process through case studies.
- The program emphasizes research, and allows students to develop their skills in a progressive sequence throughout the curriculum, under the guidance of experienced faculty and clinicians.
- It actively prepares students to develop proactive and entrepreneurial skills in marketing occupational therapy services and program development in new practice areas. Faculty/student/clinician collaborations and mentorships are structured into the program to facilitate this unique undertaking.
- The MSOT curriculum incorporates fieldwork and community-based practice opportunities where students actively use clinical reasoning in the design of assessment, intervention and follow up strategies based on evidence, leadership, supervision and management, research and entrepreneurship.
- Students are provided with a strong educational background to address the physical, cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual needs of their clients in order to design occupation based interventions which enable clients to participate in their own living environments of work, school, play, home, society and community.
- We meet with students each semester to receive feedback about the program and track student outcomes upon graduation. For information on progression, retention, graduation rates and NBCOT pass rates, please see our program effectiveness data.