Feb 24, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog/Handbook (Fall) 
2023-2024 University Catalog/Handbook (Fall) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy, Flex OTD

Occupational therapy is a health and rehabilitation profession. Occupational therapists provide services to individuals of all ages who have physical, developmental, emotional, and/or social deficits. Occupational therapists practice in public and private schools, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, hand therapy clinics, home health agencies, and in private practice.

USAHS offers an alternative path to the OTD degree through the Flex OTD program. This program combines online education and weekend labs on campus in an entry-level program designed for the student who is unable to attend classes on campus during the week per the residential schedule.

The Flex model represents an expansion of the entry-level OTD campus-based program currently in place at the USAHS. The campus-based and flex paths share a common mission and curriculum while the delivery format, length of program, and number of credits per term differs. The Flex program prerequisites, admission requirements, academic calendar, and policies are the same as the campus-based program.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University’s Flex OTD program is to graduate occupational therapy practitioners with the doctoral skills necessary to analyze human occupation and to implement science-driven and evidence-based interventions that promote quality of life for the clients who they will serve. The OTD graduates will contribute to their profession and to a global society through their competence, ethical standards, and professionalism. Upon successful completion of the OTD program, graduates will demonstrate preparation beyond the generalist level in practice, theory and research skills, leadership, advocacy, and program development.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Flex OTD program, graduates will demonstrate the ability to

  • design strategies consistent with being a reflective practitioner when developing personal and professional goals;
  • Integrate competencies in effective interprofessional, intraprofessional, and community stakeholder collaborations;
  • design and implement programs and interventions that address occupational barriers through effective clinical reasoning;
  • demonstrate effective verbal and written communication of occupational therapy services and in dissemination of Doctoral Capstone project;
  • model principles of inclusive, ethical, and professional behaviors;
  • demonstrate leadership skills needed for effective advocacy and for the advancement of the profession;
  • produce evidence-informed information that contributes to the advancement of occupational therapy;
  • synthesize information including multiple models and theories to determine appropriate assessment and intervention strategies for individuals and populations;
  • apply knowledge from theory and practice in the planning and implementation of occupational therapy services in current and emerging areas of practice;
  • integrate global perspectives of occupational therapy in intervention approaches;
  • disseminate scholarly findings to impact the future practice of occupational therapy.

Program Prerequisites

Please see Admissions, Records, and Registration for prerequisites and application information. 

Delivery of Coursework

The Flex OTD program is 117 credits and is offered over 11* trimesters. More than 50% of the coursework is delivered online to the student. The online courses consist of web-based text with extensive graphics, videos, and audio clips. There are opportunities provided for faculty-to-student and student-to-student synchronous and asynchronous interactive collaboration. Assessment of online learning outcomes includes a wide variety of evaluation tools depending on the course outcomes, such as (1) regular quizzes completed online, (2) graded bulletin board assignments, (3) case reports, (4) group projects, (5) research papers, and (6) article critiques.

In courses with a lab component, students come together for up to 16 hours of laboratory classes per selected weekends during a 15-week trimester. The lab sessions provide an avenue for teaching activities not well suited for online delivery, such as the hands-on learning that is vital to occupational therapy education, as well as oral presentations, lab practical testing, and socialization activities. Additionally, students may have to make arrangements for online exams at other times, which may include non-lab weekends.

Students in the Flex program complete two full-time fieldwork experiences that are 12-weeks each in length in the second half of the program. Generally, this portion of the curriculum is completed with full-time attendance by the Flex OTD student, although alternate arrangements can be made when this is not possible. Flex OTD students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork within 24 months following completion of all prior didactic portions of the program. Students must complete an individual 14-week capstone experience within 18 months following completion of the remaining didactic portion of the program. The doctoral capstone experience must be started after completion of all coursework and Level II fieldwork as well as completion of preparatory activities defined in 2018 ACOTE OTD Standard D.1.3.

The University reserves the right to delay the start of the cohort by one trimester to combine with the following group.

For further information about accreditation contact: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929, phone (301) 652-AOTA, www.acoteonline.org.

Standard Occupational Classification codes for which program is intended to prepare graduates: Occupational Therapist (29-1122); Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary (25-1071)

*The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences will continue to provide instructional and academic support services to students enrolled in the Dallas Flex OTD program who choose to remain in the 12-trimester curriculum instead of transitioning to the updated 11-trimester curriculum (effective January 1, 2022). The University will provide reasonable time for enrolled students to complete their program of study in accordance with its Leave of Absence (LOA), Withdrawal, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), Continuous Enrollment, and other applicable academic policies.

California OT Licensure

As of the date of publication of the catalog/handbook, in order to be eligible for professional licensure as an Occupational Therapist in California, Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) or Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program graduates must hold a degree from an accredited Occupational Therapy program. MOT/OTD graduates that are applying for licensure in the state of California are required to submit the CA application for OT licensure, application fee, Proof of Passing Exam from the NBCOT and submit an official transcript showing MOT or OTD degree to the California Board of Occupational Therapy.

Washington State Residents

The Flex OTD program satisfies the educational requirements for licensure in Washington state.