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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Occupational Therapy Program

Masters Degree Program – Mission & Philosophy

Mission Statement & Program Goals

The program's mission is to educate competent entry-level occupational therapists who will be prepared to practice in an urban environment.

Program goals are to:

  • Provide students with the knowledge, theories, and skills required for competent, evidence-based practice;
  • Provide students with a challenging, yet supportive, environment for learning;
  • Provide opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty, peers, and clinicians, and professionals in related disciplines;
  • Provide opportunities to understand multiple perspectives about occupational therapy services, including insights from clients and families;
  • Provide extensive clinical and community experiences, well integrated with the academic coursework, which prepare students to practice in urban communities with diverse populations;
  • Foster a sense of responsibility, professionalism and commitment to life-long learning.

Statement of Philosophy

Our philosophy is that OT education is a socialization process. This view distinguishes our professional curriculum from traditional academic degree programs. Students participate in a socialization process to develop specific skills, values, and attitudes that constitute membership in their new profession which build on the previous values and experiences they bring to the program. The ultimate goal of this active, enculturation process is that students develop strong identities as occupational therapists, with a commitment to ethical, evidence-based practice that best serves the needs of their clients while reflecting core principles of the AOTA's OT Practice Framework.

This curriculum is designed to provide opportunities for students to collaborate with one another and the various faculty and clinical role models to enhance their professional development., as well as to participate in clinical experiences in the community designed to enhance their understanding of clients' perspectives. We believe that our students' future effectiveness as OT's is dependent upon providing a balance between explicit instruction, exemplary role models, opportunities for implicit learning, and experiences that help students develop reflective reasoning skills.