Occupational Therapy Student Handbook, OTD Program
Introduction to the Occupational Therapy Handbook
Welcome to the Occupational Therapy Program at New York Tech
Congratulations on your acceptance into the New York Institute of Technology's Occupational Therapy Doctoral (OTD) Program! We are pleased that you have chosen occupational therapy as your profession. It is an exciting time to begin your graduate academic career, which will provide you with what you need to enter into the OT profession. We welcome you to an exciting future career.
This student handbook was developed to provide you with specific information related to the Occupational Therapy Program. On the following pages, you will find essential information needed to assist you in your successful completion of this program. The Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Student Handbook is a supplement to your New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Catalogs (available from the Office of Student Services [Admissions Office] and online): the NYIT Student Handbook, the NYIT Student Code of Conduct (available from the Office of Student Development), and the Academic Catalog. However, it provides pertinent information regarding your professional education.
Please keep this student handbook in a secure place as you will be required to refer to it throughout your academic and clinical education and training at NYIT. It is recommended that you print out this handbook and obtain a three-ring binder to secure its pages. It is highly recommended that you save this student handbook on your desktop, laptop, cloud-based storage, or on a flash drive.
Please note that you are expected to be aware of all the content in this handbook and abide by the policies and procedures throughout your time in the Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program. During the summer orientation session, you will be asked to acknowledge receiving this handbook in writing. Please make sure you read all the pages of this handbook and understand the content in its entirety.
Introduction to the Handbook
This handbook complements the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Catalogs and serves as an introduction to essential information needed in order to succeed in the professional program. It contains information about the faculty (with telephone numbers and email addresses), the practice of occupational therapy, the academic program, including the mission, philosophy and graduation requirements, the Department of Occupational Therapy Advisory Board, student rights and responsibilities, professional organizations, the portfolio, professional development and the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics. In short, it is a reference tool to be consulted during the entire course of study. A separate Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual is also provided and provides important information about this crucial aspect of your professional and clinical training. These documents all are of assistance in making the transition from the classroom to occupational therapy practice. The student is responsible for all of the information contained in these documents. Details are subject to change. Students will be notified if changes occur.
The answers to many questions are in the college graduate and undergraduate catalogs, including information about admissions, financial aid, course and grade requirements; (note: grade requirements differ for occupational therapy students from those for students in other majors), registration, enrollment, tuition and fees, physical facilities (including information about the three NYIT campuses), libraries, maps and travel directions and the academic calendar. You can also access the NYIT website for information, including updates on school closings, etc.
The basic college core courses, sciences, and liberal arts are covered during the preparatory phase of the program, or for the post-baccalaureate student, in undergraduate work. In the professional phase, the student is immersed in the study of the literature of occupational therapy theory and practice, as well as numerous laboratory classes to develop the skills needed for the required fieldwork. (Please refer to the NYIT Department of Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual for detailed information about the fieldwork experiences.)
This handbook is designed to assist you during your time in the program, and it includes information about academic policies specific to professional development, student responsibilities, and services. However, it is not intended to replace institutional NYIT policy documents or personal contact with the advisor who is available by appointment. All Department of Occupational Therapy faculty members can be reached by telephone at the Department number: 516.686.1058.
Greetings from the Dean
On behalf of my colleagues in the School of Health Professions, Welcome. This handbook provides you with guidance on your academic journey as you embark on a career as an occupational therapist. The material within this document contains curriculum guidelines, course sequences, and information that you will need to navigate your way through your studies at the New York Institute of Technology.
The history of occupational therapy at NYIT is relatively short. In 1996, the first class of 40 bachelor's students began their studies in Occupational Therapy. By 2003, the profession had grown, and with greater academic rigor, a master's degree was required. The faculty and leadership team are constantly reviewing academic standards and advances in the field. From 2020, we are now allowed to offer the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) that has received approval from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®).
You are responsible for the material in this handbook, and you should refer to all NYIT documents related to your program when there are questions. Your professors and clinical advisors have your best interests at heart. Their expectations are that you excel in your studies and get the best experiences while you are with us. I hope that you take time to enjoy the benefits associated with your campus and placements to get the best education that we offer. Stay healthy and engaged. Study hard, but also do things beyond academics in order to maintain a well-balanced life.
We pride ourselves on being student-centered. There are opportunities to interact with other members of the campus, especially those that are involved in inter-professional education. If you have difficulties, contact your advisor, your professor, your chair or me. If additional health support is needed, you could reach out to our Academic Medical Center in the Riland building or our Counseling and Wellness Center in the Student Activity Center. Enjoy your time at NYIT. I wish you great success now and in the future. I may be personally contacted at 516.686.3802 or by email at email@example.com.
Gordon J. Schmidt, Ph.D., FACSM
Dean and Professor
Welcome from the Chair, Assistant Chair and Program Director
It is our great pleasure to welcome you to the New York Institute of Technology Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program. The faculty are honored that you have chosen our fine institution in your pursuit of a career in occupational therapy. Some of you may have experienced hardship and personal challenges in your effort to get into this and other occupational therapy programs. You will continue to be challenged by our program. The new challenges will be offset by a caring and dedicated faculty and staff and the enduring friendships you are about to make in our program.
In the coming years, our nationally recognized faculty will work diligently in preparing you to not only become a competent entry-level occupational therapist but to become prominent members of the occupational therapy community. Our faculty has created a comprehensive, well-designed curriculum packed with opportunities that will enrich and broaden your understanding of occupational therapy theory and practice.
This program has two main components: academic learning and fieldwork training. In the didactic portion of the program, you enroll in classes where you learn the basic theoretical, medical, and clinical foundations of occupational therapy. The fieldwork training portion of the program allows you to apply and transfer the knowledge acquired in classroom experiences to various practice areas. You will learn to take an action-oriented approach to evidence-based decision-making, problem-solving, and clinical reasoning. As you advance as a graduate student in the health professions, you will soon understand the importance of acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to be conscientious and worthy practitioners. As occupational therapy practitioners, we hold a fundamental belief in advancing health and wellness, protecting those who are marginalized, alienated, and deprived of valued occupations, and ensuring that individuals find meaning and purpose in their daily occupations.
Remember...your future clients, their families, and our alumni count on you being the next "Doer, Maker, Innovator, Inventor, and Healer." We look forward to getting to know you and are thankful that you chose NYIT as a home.
Alexander Lopez, JD, OT/L FAOTA
Chairperson and Associate Professor
Melanie Austin, MPA, OTD, OTR/L
Assistant Chair and Associate Professor
Pamela Karp, EdD, OTR/L, CHT
Program Director and Assistant Professor
Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure Notice
The occupational therapy program at New York Institute of Technology was initially granted full accreditation by the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) on April 28, 2012, and reaccredited by that agency for seven years in academic year 2011–2012 to 2018–2019. In 2019, the program received an extension on their accreditation as they prepared for the new entry-level doctoral program. The program is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to grant a Combined B.S. degree in Life Science and M.S. degree in Occupational Therapy, or direct admission to the M.S. degree in Occupational Therapy. In 2020, the OTD program will undergo the re-accreditation process.
Accreditation by ACOTE of an academic program is essential for graduates in order to be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam. The results of this examination are used by most states, including New York, in considering an applicant for licensure to practice. Detailed information is available on their websites: ACOTE and NBCOT.
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) can be contacted at the American Occupational Therapy Association: P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, Maryland 20824-1220; 301.652.2682, firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Certification Examination Requirements
The National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) administers the certification examination for graduates of accredited programs in occupational therapy. Upon completion of all graduation requirements, the student may be eligible to sit for the certification examination administrated by the NBCOT. The results of this examination, along with specific criteria, are used by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as well as by most other states to determine eligibility for licensure.
Requirements to Apply for the NBCOT Exam
Once the student is cleared for graduation, s/he may apply for a temporary license to practice (see , below). For detailed information on the NBCOT Certification Exam application process, consult the NBCOT website, and/or Appendix A.
Students are eligible to apply to NBCOT upon satisfactory completion of all academic and clinical education requirements. The following are required:
- Satisfactory completion of all required courses.
- Satisfactory graduation requirement (see below under Graduation Requirement)
- Filing of a completed NBCOT application
- Submitting the Academic Verification Form (AVF)
In order to practice as an occupational therapist, a person must be licensed by the state in which s/he practices. Licensure laws vary from state to state; therefore, it is the student's responsibility to familiarize him/herself with the licensure requirements in the state s/he plans to practice.
Licensure to practice occupational therapy in New York State is granted by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), which reviews the applicant's: 1) academic credentials (i.e. college must certify that the student has satisfactorily completed all college requirements for the degree), 2) performance on the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) Certification Examination (see National Certification Examination Requirements, above), and 3) personal qualifications. NYSED reviews applicant's personal qualifications through a series of questions that help determine whether the applicant is of good moral character, e.g. "Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony or misdemeanor) in any state or country?" and "Have you ever been charged with a crime (felony or misdemeanor) in any state or country, the disposition of which was other than by acquittal or dismissal?" A "yes" answer requires a complete explanation, including copies of any court records.
Note: Applicants to the School of Health Professions should be aware that certain legal issues and/or convictions may preclude a student from being accepted by clerkships, internships and/or fieldwork and impact the student's ability to successfully complete the program and achieve certification and/or licensure.
Introduction to Program Foundations
The mission of New York Institute of Technology's (NYIT) Occupational Therapy Program is to prepare students to become self-directed professionals, innovative problem-solvers, and critical thinkers who base the practice of occupational therapy on evidence and science. Our students have the skills necessary to facilitate inclusive participation in meaningful occupations across diverse populations, communities, and global societies.
NYIT's Occupational Therapy Programs's vision is to become a widely recognized institution that prepares students to be influential leaders within the field of occupational therapy. Our graduates will effectively utilize evidence, technology, and science to translate knowledge into clinical practice to meet the continually changing occupational needs of local, national, and global societies. Our graduates will be the next generation of inter-disciplinary, intra-disciplinary, and multi-disciplinary practitioners, research leaders, and inspirational educators in the profession.
NYIT's Department of Occupational Therapy faculty are committed to delivering and continuing to build a graduate program curriculum that fosters the ACOTE Philosophy of Occupational Therapy Education within a community of occupation-based learning. The curriculum:
- Rests on the belief that humans are complex and occupational beings who are always evolving through change and adaptation.
- Is guided by moral principles and respect for others in responding to societal needs.
- Engages students, faculty and the greater community in interactive dialogue.
- Addresses the broad areas of the humanities, behavioral and life sciences.
- Includes didactic occupational therapy professional courses and clinical experiences that are grounded in the constructs of occupation and occupational performance.
Through these means, OTD occupational therapy students are prepared to become entry-level, evidence-based generalists who practice ethically and with compassion.
The Practice of Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy is the art and science of helping people perform the day-to-day activities that are important and meaningful to their health and wellbeing through the engagement in valued occupations. Occupation, in occupational therapy, is defined by Wilcock and Townsend, as cited in Schell, Gillen, and Scaffa, (2014) "...to mean all the things that people want, need, or have to do whether of a physical, mental, social, sexual, political, or spiritual nature..."
The occupational therapist uses oral and written communication skills, the understanding of human growth and development, family dynamics, cultural influences, and organizational/managerial/financial strategies. A therapist may select and/or design and construct devices that assist the client in the performance of activities or which protect or replace a body part, and train the client in the use of the device. Positioning, environmental adaptations (home, work, community, school, organization, and population), and the provision of technology and/or equipment are also part of the occupational therapist's role.
The occupational therapy student learns how to analyze activities into their component parts and modify and grade activities to meet the needs of the client. Students have the opportunity to gain skills in the areas of group dynamics, problem-solving, clinical reasoning, occupation, activity and task analysis, assistive technology, and physical modalities, while developing therapeutic use of self. The student will learn how to improve the lives of clients, using clinical reasoning guided by evidence-based practice, i.e., best-practice as guided by evidence produced through rigorous research.
Professional accountability is critical to ensure competence and is achieved through accreditation, certification, licensure and supervision. Occupational therapists are guided in their work by the profession's Code of Ethics (see Appendix B) and are committed to a lifetime of continued professional education.
Program and Curriculum Philosophy
Occupation and Humanity
Human beings are innately motivated to choose and participate in meaningful, purposeful activities across different contexts. The program philosophy aligns with the belief that human functionality reflects the balance between body functions/structure, activity, participation, and contextual factors (WHO, 2001).
The NYIT Occupational Therapy Program values the overarching idea that meaningful occupation, embedded within a client-centered approach, is the foundation upon which the program transmits professional knowledge to occupational therapy students. Students learn the concepts of being client-centered practitioners guided by the foundations of humanism, inclusion, diversity, meaningfulness, and cultural competence. The occupation-based practice is another core thread that serves to strengthen the fundamental dichotomy between person and occupation. Person and occupations are innately connected with context.
It is difficult to understand human behavior and occupational performance in isolation of virtual, temporal, physical, socio-political, and cultural contexts in which one performs (Dunn, Brown, and McGuigan, 1994). In addition, based on the Philosophy of Occupational Therapy Education (AJOT 2014), occupational therapy is "influenced by emerging knowledge and technologies" (p. 1). This philosophy guides the program curricular thread of evidence-based practice and the unique contributions to science and technology of NYIT. The curriculum infuses theoretical knowledge, technology, research analysis, experiential opportunities, and clinical application. Lastly, the culmination the curriculum is clinical reasoning. Students apply a variety of ethical and scientific principles to engage in problem-based and active learning experiences. Being innovative and pragmatic practitioner requires exploration of creative solutions with evidence-based substantiation.
Philosophy of Learning: How students learn
Fink has defined significant learning as the interactive process by which the learner undergoes change (2013). The philosophy of occupational therapy education, as articulated by the American Occupational Therapy Association, conveys the belief that learning is an active, diverse, and collaborative continuum, which occurs throughout professional life (AOTA, 2014). We believe that students are occupational beings who are motivated to cultivate lasting intrinsic change as a product of the learning experiences they are exposed to. These experiences begin with the didactic program curriculum and continue throughout the students' clinical and professional lives.
Fink's Taxonomy (2013) undergirds the process by which students in our program engage in the active and participatory process of significant learning. The taxonomy is illustrated as six interrelated components. These components are used to illustrate the program's educational environment and philosophy of learning:
- Learning How to Learn: The faculty are committed to nurturing students in their evolution as self-directed learners.
- Foundational Knowledge: Occupational therapy education begins with a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge and science. This forms the basis for creative problem-solving and critical inquiry.
- Application: Students develop the skillset needed to formulate appropriate questions, seek out relevant information, think critically, and engage in applying foundational knowledge to these processes. Caring: Learning experiences in the program are intended to motivate students intrinsically. Intrinsic motivation facilitates significant and lasting learning.
- Human Dimension: Significant learning is not limited to external knowledge. Students also learn about themselves through the process of continuous self-reflection so that they can begin to envision themselves within the broader social world. This perspective is critical to developing cultural awareness and enabling positive engagement with communities and populations
- Integration: Significant learning is achieved when students make connections between didactic understanding and the lived experience of the clients to whom they serve. Collaborative learning experiences are designed to address the interrelated components described holistically.
NYIT's Occupational Therapy curriculum is structured within a multi-layered frame in which our students gain foundational knowledge and learn how to engage in the process of occupational therapy (evaluation, assessment and targeting outcomes) across different practice areas (pediatrics, adult psychosocial and geriatrics; and adult physical dysfunction). Our curriculum will emphasize research, leadership, professional development, and the influence of context on health, wellness, and participation (AOTA, 2017). The trajectory of knowledge and experiences continue to increase in depth and complexity as the student moves through the curriculum, with courses designed to be progressive, relational, and interactive in nature and practice.
The structure of the curriculum is strengthened by five core threads:
- client-centered practice
- occupation-based practice
- evidence-based practice
- clinical reasoning
These threads are present in each course in a variety of forms (e.g., lectures, assignments, labs, service-learning, readings, and/or exams).
A client-centered practice (Tickle-Degnen, 2002) which emphasize the importance of humanism and meaningfulness of occupation for the diverse client, groups, and populations (OTPF, 2017). Client-centered practice includes understanding the socio-political context in healthcare on a local, national, and global level is essential to put all aspects of practice into context.
An occupation-based practice, which includes the importance of functioning and activity as identified as key aspects of the profession in the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process (AOTA, 2014). Occupation-based practice (Law, Polatajko, Baptiste, and Townsend, 1997)
Contexts drives occupational performance. Occupational performance is dependent on contextual choices, affordances, hindrances, opportunities and demands. Therefore, the curriculum recognizes the importance of understanding the contexts as a thread. It includes an understanding of diversity, and culture (Dunn, Brown, and McGuigan, 1994). These threads advance the students understanding and knowledge of "facilitating participation in meaningful occupations across a diverse and global society" in our program mission.
An evidence-based practice (Holm 2000; Curtin and Jaramazovic, 2001) clinical reasoning (Schell and Cervero, 1993; Schell and Schell, 2007), the use of technology in practice. These threads collectively prepare the students to be innovative problem-solvers who are evidence and science-drive. The evidence-based practice incorporates the importance of theory (Hinojosa, Kramer and Royeen, 2017) and research (Portnoy and Watkins, 2015; Taylor, 2017).
Clinical Reasoning includes all aspects of critical thinking and evidence-based decision-making to become thoughtful, evidence-based practitioners. Since technology is an integral part of our daily functioning, the use of technology is another supplementary thread that accentuates the curriculum design. It allows the students to explore and use technology in optimizing the client's occupational performance (Smith, 2017). These threads "prepare students to become innovative problem-solving practitioners, creative thinkers, and self-directed professionals whose practice is evidence-based, and science-driven" in our program mission.
Program Learning Objectives
Upon completion of the program, graduates will:
- Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the biological, physical, social, behavioral, and technological sciences as the foundation for the practice of occupational therapy. (Foundational Knowledge)
- Acquire entry-level competency in didactic and fieldwork education.
- Demonstrate the socio-political and cultural knowledge and skills to translate occupational therapy knowledge to the assessment, interventions, and evidence-based practice.
- Define, analyze, integrate, and apply therapeutic use of self and occupations in collaboration with clients and their families to facilitate functional independence, engagement, and participation, meaningful and role-relevant daily activities in a variety of inter-professional settings (Human Dimension Foundational Knowledge, Application, Integration, Caring, and Learning to Learn).
- Identify, select, and administer assessments that address physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and culturally relevant aspects of performance in different contexts based on client and family identified needs (Foundational Knowledge, Application, Integration, Human Dimension, Caring).
- Be prepared to connect and collaborate with clients and their families in the design and implement evidence and occupation-based intervention plans to facilitate active engagement and fulfillment of occupational roles. (Application, Integration, Human Dimensions, and Caring)
- Seek, analyze, reflect, and utilize evidence, technology, professional knowledge, and client values to engage in evidence-based practice (Foundational Knowledge, Caring, Human Dimensions, and Learning to Learn)
- Recognize, acknowledge, and apply ethical and clinical standards of research and professional service delivery (Foundational Knowledge, Huma Dimensions, and Caring)
- Demonstrate responsible professional behaviors and interpersonal skills that reflect the intrinsic and extrinsic qualities necessary to be a lifelong learner and provide occupational therapy services within a dynamic, inclusive, multi-cultural, and ever-changing healthcare environment (Foundational Knowledge, Application, Integration, Caring, Human Dimensions, and Learning to Learn).
- Develop critical, creative, and practical skills for designing and implementing proposals of research studies and communicate, report, or present research findings to professional and public audiences. Foundational Knowledge, Application, Integration, Human Dimension, Caring).
- Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of learning and comprehension in academic settings and be prepared to design and deliver instructional and teaching the material (Learning how to Learn).
- Be prepared to learn, work, and effectively collaborate with occupational therapy assistants or peers from other professions to provide the most effective client-centered care (Foundational Knowledge, Application, Integration, Human Dimension, and Caring).
- Learn to be an active, independent, and lifelong knowledge-seeker that serves and advocates societal needs and creates innovative solutions for clients, groups, and populations (Foundational Knowledge, Application, Integration, Human Dimension, and Caring).
NYIT Occupational Therapy Faculty and Staff
Alexander Lopez, JD, OT/L, FAOTA
Associate Professor and Chairperson
Melanie Austin, MPA, OTD, OTR/L
Associate Professor and Assistant Chairperson
Pamela Karp, EdD, OTR/L, CHT
Assistant Professor and Program Director
Antha Flood, MA, MS, SHRM-SCP
Christina Finn, EdD, OTR/L
Robert G. Gallagher, MBA, DC
Ellen Greer, Ph.D., OT/L, NCPsyA, LP
Ling Wan-Albert, OTD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
Biographies of Faculty and Staff
Alexander Lopez, JD, OT/L, FAOTA
Chairperson, Department of Occupational Therapy
- B.S. in Occupational Therapy, Kean University
- Juris Doctor, New England Law
Dr. Lopez received his Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Kean University (formerly Kean College) in 1997 and a Juris Doctor from New England Law in 2004. He is licensed to practice both occupational therapy and law in New York State. Dr. Lopez has devoted his life to serving marginalized and underserved communities. Dr. Lopez has engaged in several grassroots projects that serve at-risk youth and individuals with disabilities. In 2007, he developed PAR FORE, a gang prevention and health promotion program for adolescents. Since its inaugural year in 2007, PAR FORE has expanded to meet the needs of adolescents in at-risk communities in four states including New York, Nevada, Utah, and New Jersey. In 2013, Dr. Lopez started Inclusive Sports and Fitness, Inc. (ISF) a program designed to provide opportunities for children with special needs to have access to typical organized sports and fitness programs. Dr. Lopez created a model of intervention that utilizes best-evidence approaches in occupational therapy and neuroscience to facilitate the advancement of cognitive-behavioral, socio-emotional, sensory-motor performance.
Melanie Austin, DOT, MPA, OTR/L
Assistant Chair Community Relations, Department of Occupational Therapy
Faculty Athletics Representative, NYIT-NCAA
- B.S. in Occupational Therapy, NYIT
- M.P.A. in Health Policy and Management, Baruch College, CUNY
Post Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, Temple University Dr. Austin has 20 years of experience in behavioral health and community program development. Dr. Austin developed the behavioral health clinical OT program and Parent Center at Henry Street Settlement in NYC. Her research interests focus on healthy lifestyle behaviors and meaningful life success for youth, student-athletes, women, and underserved populations. She is the founder of community wellness and prevention programs for at-risk youth and women's empowerment. Dr. Austin is a former New York Tech Track & Field Athlete, NCAA All American and was inducted in the NYIT Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.
Pamela Karp, EdD, OTR/L, CHT
Program Director, Department of Occupational Therapy
- B.S. in Occupational Therapy, Stony Brook University
- M.H.S. in Occupational Therapy, University of Florida
- Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration, Concordia University
Dr. Karp has 20 years of experience in the area of upper extremity/hand therapy. She has been a Certified Hand Therapist since 2005. She has practiced in outpatient, school-based and acute care settings. She has extensive experience in the management of traumatic hand injuries and custom orthotic fabrication. Dr. Karp has presented on various topics at the national level, including occupational therapy fieldwork, upper extremity ergonomics, and professional advocacy. She has been an invited guest lecturer in a number of occupational therapy programs. Dr. Karp graduated with her Ed.D. degree through Concordia University in Education Administration in 2018. Her research interests include translation of knowledge with a focus on student carryover from classroom to clinic and professional practice.
Antha Flood, M.A., M.S., SHRM-SCP, RYT
Administrative Specialist, Department of Occupational Therapy
- B.S. in Sociology, SUNY Oneonta
- M.A. in Sociology, St. John's University
- M.S. in Education, Long Island University
Antha Flood has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources in the areas of management, recruiting, staffing, training, organizational development, and benefits and compensation administration. For 6 years she was an educator in the Long Island Public School system, grades k-12, in both general and alternative school environments. For 7 years she was a corporate staff trainer in the disabilities field instructing over 1,000 adult learners in diverse courses ranging from state mandated regulatory classes to art, soft skills, person centered approaches, fitness and wellness courses, skills enhancement, professional development, and team building. She is a certified registered yoga teacher and runs Gatehouse Arts, which offers private and group instruction in yoga and fine arts, as well as corporate events/workshops and paint parties for children and adults of all ages and abilities. She has presented both regionally and nationally in conference workshop, keynote, and direct coaching formats.
Administrative Assistant, Department of Occupational Therapy
Rosalynn Estrada has 16 years of experience in the field of disabilities and served as the Assistant Director of Training at her previous organization. Her expertise includes curriculum development, small and large group instruction, branding, marketing, and event coordination, recruitment, benefits administration, staff supervision, health and wellness, and general office management. She is proficient in multiple data storage platforms, including, but not limited to, Human Resources Information Systems and Learning Management Systems.
Christina Finn, EdD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
- B.S. in Occupational Therapy, University of Scranton
- M.S. in Occupational Therapy, University of Scranton
- Ed.D. in Transformational Leadership, University of New England
Dr. Finn has 15 years of experience in all areas of physical rehabilitation across the spectrum of care, including acute care, inpatient, and outpatient rehabilitation. She has extensive experience working with individuals diagnosed with various neurological conditions, with a particular emphasis on concussion rehabilitation. She lectures nationally on the topic of persistent post concussive symptoms and her current research interests include concussion education and the role of occupational therapy in concussion rehabilitation.
Robert G. Gallagher, MBA, DC
Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
- B.S. in Accounting, St. John's University
- M.B.A. in Finance, St. John's University
- DC, New York Chiropractic College
Robert Gallagher earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College and Master of Business Administration from St. John's University. He has maintained a chiropractic and personal training practice for the past 30 years. Dr. Gallagher has been teaching in the health sciences and fitness fields for over 20 years. His focus has been on anatomy, kinesiology, rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Certified Exercise Physiologist. His interest is in student engagement and motivation.
Ellen Greer, Ph.D., OT/L, LP
Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
- B.A. in Education, City University of New York
- M.A. in Occupational Therapy, New York University
- Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy, New York University
Dr. Greer has extensive clinical experience in mental health in both individual and group practice from early to elder years. She is a qualitative researcher interested in examining how individuals transform adversity into creative occupations when living with illness and/or social injustices. Dr. Greer is the author of "Women's Immersion in a Workfare Program: Emerging Challenges for Occupational Therapists."
Ling Wan-Albert, OTD, OTR/L
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Department of Occupational Therapy
- B.S. in Health Science, Stony Brook University
- M.S. in Occupational Therapy, Stony Brook University
- Post Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, Thomas Jefferson University
Dr. Wan-Albert has 14 years of experience in adult physical rehabilitation across the spectrum of care, including acute care, inpatient, outpatient, and subacute rehabilitation. She developed the outpatient occupational therapy service at the health centers of College of Osteopathic Medicine at NYIT. She has extensive experience working with individuals with cerebrovascular accidents and neurodegenerative disease, with particular interest in Parkinson's disease (PD). She is a Parkinson's specialist, a Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT-BIG) certified clinician, and a Rock Steady Boxing coach. She is passionate about motivating and engaging people with PD to maintain their independence and quality of life through vigorous exercise and task-specific training. Her research interests include PD fatigue, PD upper extremity function, group-based cognitive behavioral approach, and intergenerational approach intervention.
Other Important Information
Occupational Therapy Department Address:
New York Institute of Technology
Northern Blvd., P.O. Box 8000
Riland Building, Room 333
Old Westbury, NY 11568-8000
Other Important Offices
Advisory Board and Membership In Professional Organizations
Department of Occupational Therapy Advisory Board
The Department of Occupational Therapy is inviting new members to the advisory board which is comprised of a group of volunteers with diverse backgrounds and an interest in providing input to the program. The members include students, practitioners, consumers, vendors, and alumni who are invited to serve by the Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy.
Membership in Professional Organizations
Professional associations set standards for the profession and work for the practitioner in a number of ways: professional meetings, advocacy, lobby activities, continuing education, information, consultation, publications, product discounts, group insurance, grants, loans, scholarships and the opportunity for professional growth and recognition.
Students in a professional program are encouraged to join, at student rates, the organizations that represent and support the profession. Membership allows the student to vote on matters of importance to the profession and to become acquainted with student members from other schools at local, state, national, and international meetings.
American Occupational Therapy Association
Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is the oldest health professional society. The mission of AOTA is to "...advance the quality, availability, use, and support of occupational therapy through standard setting, advocacy, education, and research on behalf of its members and the public." One of the primary objectives of AOTA is to promote high professional standards and the continuing competence of occupational therapy practitioners throughout their careers. Being an AOTA member is an excellent way to learn how to become an active participant in the profession.
4720 Montgomery Drive
PO Box 31220
Bethesda, Maryland 20824-1220
NYIT Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA)
SOTA is a New York Tech student organization. The organization provides opportunities to meet fellow students, get to know the faculty and become involved in professional activities. In addition to fundraising activities (to help send students to professional meetings and sponsor educational programs), there are regular meetings for both educational and social events. Membership and participation in the organization maximize the school experience, as the student takes on a professional role through SOTA activities.
New York State Occupational Therapy Association
The New York State Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA) mission "...is to promote the profession of occupational therapy and to represent the occupational therapy practitioners who work and live in New York State." NYSOTA, 119 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor Albany, NY 12210 Phone: 518.462.3717 / Fax: 518.432.5902). NYSOTA has eight districts throughout the State; membership in the state association is through the districts. The Long Island District and the Metropolitan District serve this area.
World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)
Organized in 1951 in Liverpool, England, WFOT has as its mission the promotion of standards for occupational therapy education, maintenance of ethics of the profession and the promotion of standards of practice through an international exchange of information. Membership is obtained through the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Address and Telephone Changes
It is the responsibility of each student to maintain a current residential address and phone number on file with the Department of Occupational Therapy. The department will not be held responsible for consequences incurred due to address changes that are not reported.
Students are required to have access to a computer in order to access educational resources utilized throughout the curriculum. Additionally, students are expected to check their official NYIT email daily for communications from NYIT faculty and staff. There are numerous computer labs on campus; please refer to the NYIT website for the locations of these labs.
There are various copier machines located throughout campus (e.g. the library, computer labs in Harry Schure Hall). Copy machines in the Riland Building are not available for student use.
Students will be issued lockers upon request. Contact the Department of Occupational Therapy Administrative Assistant in order to get the locker assignment. Students must comply with the regulations regarding the use of lockers. Depending upon enrollment, students may have to share a locker with another student.
Mail and Mailboxes
The Department of Occupational Therapy's faculty and staff mailboxes are located in Room 363 in the Riland Building.
Recording Lectures and Labs: Audio or Video
Permission from the instructor is required prior to the audio or video recording of any class.
Curriculum Description and Requirements
All applicants for admission into the occupational therapy major are required to review the program's Technical Standards at the time of the admission interview and to inform the faculty during the interview if there are any pre-admission concerns. The student is obligated to report to their faculty advisor any change in status during the course of study that may interfere with learning. Please see Appendix C.
Students are recommended for graduation upon satisfactory completion of all academic and clinical education requirements. The following are required:
- Satisfactory completion of all required courses.
- Overall graduate GPA of 3.0.
- File a completed application for graduation with the Student Enrollment Center.
- Bursar account clearance.
- Recommendation of the occupational therapy faculty and program director.
It is important to know that the student advisor is available for help and guidance, but the student assumes final responsibility for conforming to all college regulations and curriculum requirements. This means that the student must make certain that transfer credit has been documented for all courses, and that grades are entered for all courses taken in advance of graduation. A student's failure to follow up on transfer credit could result in a delay in the documentation of eligibility for a temporary license to practice (from the New York State Department of Education), or to sit for the NBCOT examination.
Fieldwork experiences are central to the professional development of the occupational therapy student by exposing him/her to a variety of practice settings and populations. NYIT's Department of Occupational Therapy has a curriculum where fieldwork experiences complement classroom experiences so that the student may have the opportunity to integrate clinical theory into practice.
In Level I Fieldwork, the student begins to integrate academic learning with clinical practice through direct observation or participation. It is a required component of a course each fall and spring semester, with the exception of the third professional year (See Curriculum Overview). If a student fails to pass Level I fieldwork, a grade of "F" will be assigned to the course. The student will be required to step out of the occupational therapy program and retake the course the next time it is offered (the following academic year). Upon successful completion of the retaken course, the student may be admitted back into the program.
Level II Fieldwork is designed to immerse the student into occupational therapy's culture and process. In order to progress to each Level II fieldwork, the student MUST pass all required coursework prior to that Level II Fieldwork. The student is required to pass a total of two (2) Level II Fieldworks (or three if taking the optional Specialty Fieldwork):
- Level II (12 weeks)
- Level II (12 weeks)
- Level II Specialty Fieldwork (8 weeks)
The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator develops contracts with those clinical sites that meet the criteria for student supervision. Placements are made through the office of the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. Students may be required to find and pay for travel and housing at out-of-town sites if there are not a sufficient number of slots in the local area. Students will not be placed in a fieldwork setting if not properly registered and/or the completed Fieldwork Packet was not submitted.
Under no circumstances are students to contact any fieldwork site to find an assignment; rather, information about prospective sites is to be referred to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator.
All students are required to submit a completed packet of information in a single submission to the Department of Occupational Therapy's Academic Fieldwork Coordinator by the end of the first week of each fall semester. The packet should include the following:
- Basic Life Support (CPR Card for the Healthcare Professional with AED)
- Copy of Health Insurance Card
- HIPAA Training Certificate
- Personal Data Form
- Student Health Evaluation (with immunizations, including PPD within one year)
- Blood-borne Pathogens/Infection Control Certificate
- Student Authorization Form
- Pre-clinical Orientation
Failure to provide a completed packet to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator by the due date will result in the student's name being taken off of the fieldwork assignment roster.
Students must retain original copies of these documents since the Department of Occupational Therapy will not provide copies to the student from files. Additionally, students must bring a complete copy of their fieldwork packet to the facility on the day of the interview or the first day of fieldwork.
Blood-Borne Pathogens and Infection Control Certificate. Students must pass a mandatory course in Infection Control and Hepatitis, which will take place prior to the first day of Level I Fieldwork.
Criminal Background Checks. Be aware that placement in some fieldwork sites may require the student to submit to a background check and/or fingerprinting. The facility will notify the student if s/he is financially responsible for these background checks.
CPR Certification. Students must obtain certification in Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Professional with AED. Training is available through the American Heart Association, the Red Cross, and some hospitals.
Health Insurance. Students must provide documentation of health insurance coverage prior to clinical fieldwork placements, which begins the first professional year. The cost of medical care is the responsibility of the student. Students may purchase a basic sickness plan.
HIPAA Certificate. Students must receive a certificate in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prior to the first day of Level I Fieldwork.
Immunizations. The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator will review the special requirements for working in fieldwork settings well in advance, so that the necessary immunizations can be completed prior to beginning the assignment. The student is responsible for the cost of these immunizations. Once in the professional phase of the program, the student will be required to submit an annual medical clearance form to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. Note that the immunization requirements exceed those of the college for students not in the Health Professions programs. Immunizations may include:
- Measles, mumps and rubella titer test or immunization
- Varicella titer test or immunization
- Tetanus booster (within 10 years)
- Mantoux TB screening (2-Step) or QuantiFERON®-TB Gold blood test
- Hepatitis B vaccine series completed or initiated, positive titer, or a student-signed waiver
Title IX and Gender-based Misconduct Training
- Title IX is a federal law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender or sex. Sexual harassment and sexual violence are forms of discrimination under Title IX. Along with several other federal and state laws, Title IX guides NYIT's policies and procedures in preventing and addressing these forms of misconduct.
- Gender-Based Misconduct is the term NYIT uses to describe the range of behaviors that are prohibited under our policies relating to gender, sex, and relationships. It includes non-consensual sex and sexual contact, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, dating and domestic violence, and stalking.
Membership to NYSOTA. Students are required to join the New York State Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA), the state's professional association. Membership is free for students.
Membership to AOTA. Students are required to join the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the nation's professional association. Membership for students is at a reduced rate.
Doctoral Capstone Experience
Introduction and Overview to Doctoral Capstone Project
The Doctoral Capstone Manual is intended to serve as a guideline and reference for occupational therapy doctoral students (OTD), faculty, mentors, and relevant stakeholders. The Department of Occupational Therapy is committed to developing forward-thinking practitioners and leaders who are innovators, doers, makers, and healers prepared to address and advance local, national, and global societal issues. NYIT OTD students will acquire entry-level scholarly competencies and in-depth exposure that will address and advance sociopolitical initiatives, inform clinical practice, generate high impact teaching and research within the inter-professional, cross-disciplinary practice, and delivery models.
The NYIT OTD Capstone is guided by the following ACOTE (2018) Standard(s):
A. 5.2 The curriculum design must include course objectives and learning activities demonstrating preparation and application of in-depth knowledge in practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory through a combination of a capstone experience and a capstone project.
NYIT OTD Timeline for Capstone Project and Experience
Doctoral Capstone Project and Integration of Curriculum Design (D.1.1)
Curriculum content and in-depth knowledge in alignment with the OTD student area of interest.
D.1.1 Ensure that the doctoral capstone reflects the sequence and scope of content in the curriculum design so the doctoral capstone can allow for the development of in-depth knowledge in the designated area of interest.
OTD students will engage in in-depth experiences in one or more of the following areas: Clinical practice, research, administration and leadership, program development, policy and advocacy impact, education, and theory development. The Doctoral Capstone Project (OTD-CP) will include an individualized, mentored project that integrates and expands the OTD students' knowledge base while developing research, exploring innovations in technology, developing teaching and learning strategies, promoting program development, interprofessional practice, and policy change. The Doctoral Capstone Experience (OTD- CE) is separate and distinct from the clinical fieldwork experience, which is required for entry-level practice as an Occupational therapist; however, it will serve to reinforce clinical knowledge and practice. The OTD-CE will enable the OTD student to continue to develop and execute their individualized, mentored capstone project, which is guided by theory, evidence-based practice, and scholarly knowledge and skill gained throughout the curriculum. The OTD student will move the OTD-CP from foundation to design, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of advanced education and practical application to 21st-century practice. The OTD student must complete all required coursework, fieldwork, introductory capstone instructional design, and seminar courses (and a competency exam outlined by the OTD Program) before beginning the Doctoral Capstone Experience.
OTD students conceptualize and choose their OTD-CP based on their professional background, life experiences, passions and interests, and new knowledge and skills gained in the OTD curriculum. The OTD student will be matched with a Faculty Mentor who will ensure that the OTD student chooses a subject matter that is aligned within the NYIT OTD program mission, threads, and curriculum design. The OTD-CP will be interwoven throughout the OTD courses and be specifically highlighted within the theory, research, clinical practice, and leadership/program development courses.
The core OTD-CP areas that are supported and cultivated by the OTD program faculty will serve to promote and expand the brand, presence, and practice of the occupational therapy profession through innovation. The progression of emerging practice areas as the OTD-CP will be developed and evaluated in a manner that is mutually beneficial for all stakeholders, including the OTD student, OTD Program, and the doctoral capstone experiential site stakeholders.
New OTD Student Applicants and Accepted/Orientation Students
The OTD students explore and integrate occupation-based knowledge and skills acquired and augmented by the OTD program, their professional background, life experiences, passions, and interests. This is consistent with Fink's Philosophy of Significant Learning. The OTD curriculum is designed to motivate, engage, and inspire students to think more critically about themselves and others, their community, and promotes significant life-long learning. The OTD student will be matched with a faculty advisor and mentor to explore further and develop a collaborative mentee-mentor relationship that will be on-going throughout each semester of the curriculum.
|Summer / Fall / Spring||First-year OTD students are oriented to the OTD program, they are required to meet with their faculty advisor to identify and confirm their goals, interests, and previous experiences in alignment with NYIT's OTD mission. A key objective within this first year will be exploring and integrating the faculty experiences within the matching process to identify the optimal OTD Capstone Mentor. The relationship between the OTD student, faculty advisor, and capstone mentor(s) will continue to unfold and expand throughout the first year and integrate learning from all courses, including the OCTH 606/618/646 Professional Development, OCTH 616 Theory and OCTH 645 Research courses.|
|Summer / Fall||The NYIT OTD student will continue to meet on a consistent and regular basis with the faculty advisors and capstone mentors within the mentor-mentee relationship to outline. The individualized, integrated capstone objectives. All courses, including the OCTH 702 Professional Development, OCTH 700 Health Promotion: Societal and Community Advocacy, OCTH 736 Administration, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and the OCTH 701 Research II courses will be utilized to support the students learning and participation in the OTD program and for developing the capstone project. The OTD student will use the OCTH 704 Capstone Development and Instructional Design Lab Course as a guiding mechanism for designing and integrating their scholarly capstone objectives.|
|Spring||Second Year OTD student will begin their capstone project and seminar course in which they will identify their project based on timely societal needs, the doctoral experience setting, the on-site mentor, and a specific plan for the OTD-CP. The project will build upon knowledge from all first- and second-year courses with an emphasis within the OCTH 702 Professional Development, OCTH 700 Health Promotion: Societal and Community Advocacy, OCTH 736 Administration, Leadership and Entrepreneurship and the OCTH 701 Research II courses. The OTD student will utilize the OCTH 782 Doctoral Capstone Project and Seminar course for outlining the specific capstone project experience plan in collaboration with all stakeholders.|
|Summer / Fall||The OTD student will complete the OCTH 893/894 fieldwork experiences and utilize knowledge gained to develop an individualized professional development plan. The OTD student will work with their capstone mentor to determine and outline the process and outcome measures and the feasibility of completing their doctoral capstone experience in collaboration with the doctoral experience mentor and all stakeholders.|
|Spring||The OTD student will complete their OCTH 907, 14-week Doctoral Capstone Experience (CE). The CE will include pre and post evaluation mechanisms addressed by all stakeholders. The OTD student will demonstrate completion of all components, defend the project, and will disseminate their project within a scholarly venue.|
Design of the Doctoral Capstone
The Collaboration of Faculty, OTD Student Interests, Settings, Supervision and Curriculum Design (D.1.2)
D.1.2 Ensure that the doctoral capstone is designed through a collaboration of the faculty and student and provided in setting(s) consistent with the program's curriculum design, including individualized specific objectives and plans for supervision.
The development, implementation, and evaluation of the OTD Capstone Project and Capstone Experience will be guided and facilitated by key members, which include:
- OTD Student
- Faculty Advisor
- Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
- OTD Doctoral Capstone Coordinator
- OTD Faculty Mentor
- OTD Experiential Mentor
- Site Supervisor
Designation of Roles
Complete all didactic and fieldwork requirements prior to completing the doctoral capstone experience. Collaborate with all faculty and stakeholders throughout the OTD curriculum and capstone process, including Academic Advisor, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, OTD Doctoral Capstone Coordinator, OTD Faculty Mentor, OTD Experiential Mentor, and Site Supervisor.
The OTD student will be assigned an Academic Advisor who will assist with aligning student interests with capstone objectives in preparation for courses OCTH 704 Capstone Development and Instructional Design Lab Course, OCTH 702 Professional Development, OCTH 700 Health Promotion: Societal and Community Advocacy, OCTH 736 Administration, Leadership and Entrepreneurship and the OCTH 701 Research II courses, OCTH 782 Doctoral Capstone Project and Seminar course, OCTH 893/894 fieldwork experiences, OCTH 907 14-week Doctoral Capstone Experience (CE).
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
Each OTD student will collaborate with the AFC for ensuring the progress and completion of clinical fieldwork rotations and discuss updates for the NBCOT exam prep, professional development plan, and e-portfolio.
OTD Doctoral Capstone Director (DCD)
The DCD will partner with the OTD student and Faculty Mentor throughout the mentee-mentor relationships with OTD students, oversee the OTD program compliance in alignment with standards, curriculum design, updates regarding, professional, local, national, and global policy and partnerships with internal and external experiential venues.
OTD Faculty Mentor
The OTD student will be assigned an OTD Faculty Mentor who will establish the mentee-mentor relationships with OTD students in alignment with the student interests with capstone goals and objectives in preparation for and throughout courses including OCTH 704 Capstone Development and Instructional Design Lab Course, OCTH 702 Professional Development, OCTH 700 Health Promotion: Societal and Community Advocacy, OCTH 736 Administration, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and the OCTH 701 Research II courses, OCTH 782 Doctoral Capstone Project and Seminar course, OCTH 893/894 fieldwork experiences, OCTH 907 - 14-week Doctoral Capstone Experience (CE).
OTD Experiential Mentor
The Experiential Mentor will be identified by the OTD student and the Faculty Mentor in the Second Year. The Experiential Mentor will have the knowledge, skill, expertise, and interest in guiding and supervising the OTD student throughout each relevant phase of the capstone project. The Experiential Mentor will have an understanding of the NYIT OTD program, vision, mission, goals, objectives, curriculum design, and identified the background skills and interests of the OTD student. The Experiential Mentor will complete pre/post evaluation forms, supervision forms, IRB forms, and dissemination plan forms.
Experiential Site Supervisor
The Site Supervisor will be identified by the Experiential Mentor and assigned to collaborate with the OTD student and the Faculty Mentor during the capstone experience as designated and needed. The Site Supervisor will have a working knowledge, leadership skill, and interest in supervising the OTD student throughout the capstone experience phase of the project. The Site Supervisor will have an understanding of the NYIT OTD program, vision, mission, goals, objectives, curriculum design, and identified the background skills and interests of the OTD student. The Experiential Mentor will complete pre/post evaluation forms, supervision forms, IRB forms, and dissemination plan forms.
The Interrelationship Between the Faculty, OTD Student, Areas of Interest, Settings and Curriculum Design
First Year: OTD Student, Faculty and Capstone Coordinator will:
- OTD student will review and demonstrate an understanding of the NYIT OTD Program mission, vision, and curriculum design.
- OTD student will discuss and demonstrate an understanding of the NYIT OTD Capstone Manual, including the entire process for completing the OTD-CP and OTD-CE.
- The Academic Advisor, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Faculty Mentor, and Capstone Coordinators will collaborate with the OTD student to identify students' areas of interest based on student's past professional and life experiences, passions, and goals and which align with the curriculum design.
- OTD student will begin to develop an e-portfolio.
- OTD student will be matched with a Faculty Mentor to develop specific objectives for outlining, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating a scholarly OTD Capstone Project.
- OTD student will submit the Capstone Plan Phase I.
- OTD student and faculty utilize all courses including OCTH 606/618/646 Professional Development, OCTH 616 Theory and OCTH 645 Research courses to explore guiding principles, OTPF, OT Vision 2025, evidence-based practice, professional issues, and research including human subjects training, IRB process, article review, and critiques and local, national and global policy about areas of interests and goals.
Second Year: OTD Student, Faculty, Capstone Coordinator and Experiential Site will:
- Faculty, Advisor, and Capstone Mentor will ensure OTD student demonstrates scholarly writing skills.
- OTD student will collaborate with Capstone Mentor in preparing the first draft of the capstone proposal.
- Utilize skills and learning from all courses, including OCTH 702 Professional Development, OCTH 700 Health Promotion: Societal and Community Advocacy, OCTH 736 Administration, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and OCTH 701 Research II courses.
- OTD student will collaborate with Capstone Mentor, Advisor, and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator to identify and contact potential experiential venues and supervisor which align with designated areas of interests and goals and that meet the needs of the experiential venue.
- OTD student will update the professional development plan and e-portfolio.
- OTD Student will complete the IRB application process and receive signatures of all necessary stakeholders. All documents are submitted and reviewed by the Capstone Mentor.
- OTD student will utilize the OCTH 782 Doctoral Capstone Project and Seminar course for outlining the specific capstone project experience plan in collaboration with all tentative stakeholders. OTD Student, Capstone Mentor, and Experiential Site Mentor/Supervisor (if confirmed) will begin to outline the specific capstone plan based on the student's goals and setting needs.
- OTD Student, Capstone Mentor, and Experiential Site Mentor/Supervisor (if confirmed) will outline a plan for supervision, including specific timeframes, expectations, policies, procedures, and evaluation mechanisms.
- OTD student and Capstone Mentor (and Experiential Site Mentor if confirmed) will:
- Refine, Finalize, and Submit:
- Capstone Proposal
- Evaluation Plan Form
- Experiential Site Forms
- Dissemination Plan Form
Third Year: OTD Student, Faculty, Capstone Coordinator and Experiential Site will:
- OTD Student will utilize knowledge gained in the OCTH 893/894 fieldwork experiences and NBCOT practice exams to enhance professional development plan and portfolio.
- OTD student will collaborate with Capstone Mentor and confirm the Experiential Site Mentor/Supervisor and Capstone Plan.
- OTD student will work with Capstone Mentor and Experiential Mentor/Supervisor on carrying out the plan for evaluation and feasibility and for completing the doctoral capstone experience.
- OTD Student, Capstone Mentor, and Experiential Site Mentor/Supervisor will confirm the specific capstone plan based on the student's goals and setting needs.
- OTD Student, Capstone Mentor, and Experiential Site Mentor/Supervisor will approve the plan for supervision, including specific timeframes, expectations, policies, procedures, and evaluation mechanisms.
- OTD Student and Experiential Mentor will complete the pre-evaluation form.
- OTD student will complete the OCTH 907 - 14-week Doctoral Capstone Experience (CE).
- OTD student will demonstrate completion of all components:
- Collaborate with Experiential Mentor for completing the supervision form
- Complete post-evaluation forms with all stakeholders
- Defend the project
- Disseminate their project within a scholarly venue.
Doctoral Capstone Project Course Description and Objectives
The OTD student will utilize the OCTH 782 Doctoral Capstone Project and Seminar course for outlining and aligning the specific capstone project experience plan in collaboration with mentors and all stakeholders.
OTCH 782: Doctoral Capstone Project and Seminar
This course prepares students to actively engage in comprehensive and in-depth scholarly activities by developing a capstone project while collaborating with a faculty capstone mentor/advisor. The project allows the students to synthesize and apply the knowledge gained in previous courses throughout the curriculum. The project will involve designing, implementing, and evaluating an innovative scholarly product/practice/study that aligns with the profession's current research priorities and is meant to advance knowledge translation, clinical or interprofessional practices, service delivery models, and policy change, and leadership and professional issues. The topic of the project will be designed in one of four scholarship categories: Scholarship of Innovation and Discovery, Scholarship of Inter-professional Integration, Scholarship of Practice and Application, Scholarship of High Impact Teaching and Learning. Within these four categories, the students will work in-depth on a scholarly product/practice/study that involves one or more of the following areas in relevance to the anticipated doctoral experience later in the curriculum: Clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, technology or theory development. The students will work with the Faculty mentor to design a formal evaluation plan that will set individualized and specific objectives and ensures a thorough assessment of the project review phases and outcomes. The supervision plan will follow a specific outline and a detailed supervision mechanism. By the end of this course, students will share and present their capstone proposal to select audiences and stakeholders.
Relationship to the Curriculum Design:
This course complements and builds on the knowledge gained in the OCTH 702 Professional Development, OCTH 700 Health Promotion: Societal and Community Advocacy, OCTH 736 Administration, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, the OCTH 701 Research II courses and OCTH 704 Capstone Development and Instructional Design. Completing the capstone in this project, OCTH 782 will allow the student to proceed into starting their doctoral clinical fieldwork courses OCTH893 Fieldwork A, OCTH 894 Fieldwork B, and OCTH 897 Doctoral Capstone Experience.
ACOTE standards (ACOTE) and Program Intended Learning Outcomes (PILO):
During and upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Identify, follow, and adhere to a formal supervision plan with the faculty member that sets up individualized and specific capstone objectives and a detailed mechanism of evaluating intended outcomes (ACOTE D.1.2).
- Design, implement and evaluate a scholarly study in one of the four scholarship areas (Discovery, Integration, Application, and Teaching and Learning), and that is: consistent with the curriculum design; relevant to and completed before the commencement of the doctoral experience (ACOTE D.1.0; D1.1; D.1.2; D.1.3; D1.8).
- Specific aims under this objective include:
- Conduct an in-depth literature review and/or a needs assessment in the topic of the study (ACOTE D.1.3).
- Select, apply, analyze and/or interpret qualitative and/or quantitative data relevant to the topic of the study (ACOTE D.1.0).
- Create reports of the project findings by writing up the study design and outcomes in preparation for dissemination in peer-reviewed journals or presentations (ACOTE D.1.0).
- Submit a scholarly report (e.g., manuscript) for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or present the report to professional, educational, or clinical audiences (e.g., SHP research symposium Alethea, AOTA Annual Conference, NYSOTA annual Conference, WFOT Congress…. etc.) (ACOTE D.1.8)
- If applicable, submit or prepare an application to seek funding or grants from local, national, international sponsors or funding opportunities (D.1.0)
Capstone Experience (14 Weeks) Project: Process, Examples, and Resources
The OTD student must complete all required coursework, fieldwork, and introductory capstone instructional design and seminar courses prior to beginning the Doctoral Capstone Experience CE.
OCTH 897: Doctoral Experiential Practicum
This individual 14-week doctoral capstone experience (DCE) is offered to allow students to complete the previously designed doctoral capstone project (DCP). This experience consists of fieldwork hours on a site relevant to the capstone project area. It starts upon the completion of all academic coursework, clinical fieldwork requirements, and doctoral capstone project planning. The DCE site will expose the student to one of the following areas: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development. By the end of this course, students, in collaboration with the DCP, will finalize their capstone projects and then share and/or present their findings in appropriate forms or venues (e.g., publications, presentations, posters, etc.).
Relationship to the Curriculum Design:
This course is the final component of the doctorate, where students complete and submit their doctoral capstone requirements. Upon completion, students will share and present the final product of their capstone to disseminate the knowledge gained and the evidence collected in this experience, which is the arching program learning objective of this curriculum. The outcome of this course will help students explore/collect data while finding or generating evidence (evidence-based thread) for their clients in the relevant site (client-centered thread). The experience gained in this part of the curriculum will help students explore all aspects of functional performance for their clients (occupation-based) and consider all surrounding factors affecting that performance (clinical reasoning threads).
ACOTE standards and Program Intended Learning Outcomes (PILO)*:
During and upon completion of this experience, the student will be able to:
Work with the DCP faculty mentor to select a site that involves one of the eight selected knowledge areas:
- Clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development (D.1.0).
- Identify clear and specific objectives and outcomes of the DCE in collaboration with the DCP faculty mentor (ACOTE D.1.3).
- Complete and finalize the DCP pre-set objectives and disseminate the outcomes of that project through a publishable material and professional presentation (ACOTE D.1.8).
- Complete 560 hours on the selected site that offer an experience relevant to the DCP with only 20% of that time off-site and dedicated to the completion of the DCE outcomes (ACOTE D.1.5).
- Collaborate and work with the DCE site mentor to operationalize, follow, and document a formal evaluation plan of the student's performance during and at the completion of the DCE (ACOTE D.1.6; D1.7.).
- Apply theory into practice by synthesizing in-depth knowledge on a scientific inquiry in one of the eight selected knowledge areas: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development (ACOTE D.1.0)
Experiential Practicum: Process, Examples and Resources
Potential Doctoral Capstone Experiential Sites:
- Inclusive Sports and Fitness
- NYIT Center for Sports Medicine
- NYIT Center for eSports Medicine
- NYIT Center for Teaching and Learning
- NYIT Experiential Education
- NYIT Center for Innovation and Technology
- Vocational Independence Program
Dissemination and Presentation of Doctoral Capstone
The OTD concludes with a mandatory culminating capstone project. OTD students will synthesize and apply the knowledge acquired throughout the program and end with a culminating work product. Dissemination of the OTD-CP is essential to the capstone experience and contribution to advanced practice theory development in occupational therapy. It is necessary to contribute to the advancement, effectively use and application of practice, and communicate knowledge to occupational therapists, interprofessional practitioners, policymakers, and the public through the dissemination of research and scholarship and program development.
The OTD student will be required to demonstrate the ability to synthesize theoretical knowledge, critique and analyze research, and utilize scientific evidence. The student will work closely with a faculty mentor and provide guidance and support, which will result in a presentation of their doctoral capstone project. The final step of the doctoral capstone project and experience will be evaluated by a Doctoral Capstone Committee consisting of the DCE, Faculty Mentor, and Site Supervisor. The Committee serves as a rite of passage from student to an entry-level doctoral occupational therapy professional. The process may vary from Committee to Committee depending on the research, community needs, innovations, and community partners. The OTD student will be required to present their research, their OTD-CP, followed by questions and answers discussion.
Curriculum Policies and Procedures
Academic Standards and Policies
School of Health Professions: Academic Review Committee
The Academic Review Committee (ARC) provides assistance to the OT program in dealing with student academic and disciplinary problems and makes recommendations and provides guidance to the chair and Program Director of the OT program regarding these matters. These recommendations may include recommendation for dismissal, or various forms of remediation. The ARC is composed of representatives of the program's principal faculty, faculty from other departments within the School of Health Professions and other members as deemed appropriate by the chair. A student in jeopardy due to professional or academic issues will be given an opportunity to present their case, and any mitigating circumstances, in person to the committee. The date and time of the ARC meeting will be communicated to the student in advance.
OTD Program: Academic Standards
The following criteria must be met throughout the professional phase of the Occupational Therapy Program:
- Maintain a term and cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 at all times and in each semester.
- Have no grade below C+ in any course. Students who score C or below are given an F in the course.
- Satisfactory professional conduct.
OTD Program: Academic Policies
Automatic academic probation is imposed under the following circumstances:
- Term GPA falls below 3.0 in any semester
- Cumulative graduate GPA falls below 3.0
- Unsatisfactory professional conduct
A student may be dismissed from the Occupational Therapy Program for any of the following reasons:
- Term GPA falls below 3.0 in any two consecutive semesters.
- Cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 in two consecutive semesters.
- The student receives a grade of F in any course. At the discretion of the Academic Review Committee, students may be given the opportunity to repeat the course the following year (without progressing the in the program), provided they were not already on probation and/or there are no professional behavioral concerns.
- A second F is earned at any time throughout the curriculum.
Students in the graduate program (i.e., the professional phase of the program) must have an overall graduate GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate. Refer to the NYIT Graduate Catalog (Grading, Maintenance of Academic Status and Honors section) to review the grading and quality point systems, which differ from the undergraduate policy in several important details. Refer to Academic Probation and Failure/Dismissal below.
- Grading Scale:
Letter Grade Numerical Grade A 90-100 B+ 85-89 B 80-84 C+ 75-79 C 70-74 F 69 and below
- Grading Rounding Policy: The Department of Occupational Therapy has a rounding policy. The final (total) grade is calculated at one respective decimal point, and the resultant grade is rounded up. For example, a grade of 84.81 would result in a final grade of "B+", while a grade of 84.19 will result in a final grade of "B".
- Level II Fieldwork is graded on a pass/fail basis (i.e., a grade of either "P" of "F"). Incomplete (I): please refer to NYIT Graduate Catalog for more information on an incomplete grade. Consult the college catalogs for information about grade appeals and calculation of the graduate GPA's (Grade Point Average). http://catalog.nyit.edu/policiesandrules/academic_policies/
New students in the professional phase are assigned an advisor (a faculty member) who will counsel in regard to academic progress and professional behaviors. The student's advisor is available for help and guidance, and the advisor's signature is required on each registration, but the student assumes final responsibility for conforming to all college regulations and curriculum requirements.
Student integrity is a matter of concern in all educational settings. However, it is of particular concern in the health professions because of the unique responsibilities that a health professional has toward clients. Therefore, plagiarism in a health professional program is a clear marker of student integrity, is a matter of grave importance. The NYIT Academic Senate adopted on May 18, 2000, the following statement for inclusion on all syllabi:
"Plagiarism is the appropriation of all or part of someone else's work (such as, but not limited to writing, coding, programs, images, etc.) and offering it as one's own. Cheating is using a false pretense, tricks, devices, artifacts, or deception to obtain credit on an examination or in a college course."
If a faculty member determines that a student has committed academic dishonesty by plagiarism, cheating, or in any other manner, the faculty member may 1) fail the student for that paper, project, assignment, project and/or examination, and/or 2) fail the student for the course and/or 3) file a formal charge of misconduct pursuant to the Academic Probation and Suspension policy.
Each student enrolled in a course at NYIT agrees that, by taking such course, s/he consents to the submission of all required papers for textual similarity review to any commercial service engaged by NYIT to detect plagiarism. Each student also agrees that all papers submitted to any such service may be included as a source document in the service's database, solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers.
PLAGIARISM IS ALWAYS A SERIOUS MATTER, BUT IT IS OF SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE IN THE HEALTH PROFESSIONS. Note the falsification of a medical record is a CRIMINAL, not a civil matter.
Assignments, Examinations, Tests and Quizzes
All written work must be typed, proofread, and in APA style (7th edition). Unacceptable written assignments will be returned to the student to be rewritten, and the student's grade will be lowered. All assignments must be handed in on or before the due date. Late assignments will not be accepted unless a prior written request is approved and signed by the course instructor. Written assignments will be graded on content, presentation (neatness, clarity, creativity, scope [i.e., addressing all parts of the assignment]) and method (spelling, punctuation, grammar, and appropriate citations).
All reading assignments must be completed before the class meeting. Not all of the assigned reading will be covered during class time, but the student is responsible for the material. The instructors reserve the right to give unannounced quizzes.
Assignments not handed in on time will receive a grade reduction based upon the following:
- 20% reduction in assignment grade starting at 1 day late to 5 days late.
- 40% reduction in assignment grade starting at 6 days late to 10 days late.
- No assignment will be accepted after 10 days late and will be given a grade of zero (0).
Note: This will be based on the postmark, email date/time, faxed date/time, or the date the assignment is brought to the instructor/OT administrative assistant. Assignments brought into the OT office must be signed and dated by the administrative assistant or faculty. It is the STUDENT'S RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that the course instructor receives the assignment. Timeframes for this late policy are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.
All textbooks/software are costly; those dealing with medical subjects are especially expensive. However, the school years provide an opportunity for the student to set up a personal, professional library that will prove of value for much longer than the semester of the course for which a book is purchased. Course instructors take this into consideration in the selection of texts and other materials.
The laboratory courses provide a venue in which to practice skills. Students are required to attend all classes, to take care of the equipment, to participate in the cleanup and to respect the tools and materials in terms of safety, maintenance, and cost. Part of the grade for the lab work will be for the evidence of competence in the way that lab work is organized and executed.
OTD Program: Attendance Policy
Students are required to attend all classes and to be on time. There are no unexcused absences allowed. Unexcused absences and tardiness are viewed as a lack of professionalism and will lead to a lowered grade and/or dismissal from the Program. Any student unable to attend class is required to call or email the instructor PRIOR to class and leave a message where s/he may be reached at a later time that day. The student is solely responsible for making up the missed work and assignments. Records of class attendance, tardiness, absence emails, and phone calls are kept in the student's file.
- No "makeup" exams will be allowed without proper documentation (for extenuating circumstances only) or prior approval.
- If a student misses a test or exam without previously contacting the instructor, the situation will be reviewed by the faculty and may result in a grade of "F" for that test or exam.
- Refer to Professional Behaviors policies
OTD Program: Departmental Grievances
If you have a complaint about a course or a professor and have not reached a satisfactory resolution with the professor, you should next speak to your academic advisor who will then bring the issue to the attention of the Chairperson if the issue perseveres. If necessary, you should provide supporting documentation as indicated relating to the matter. You can write to the Chair and if not resolved, write to the Dean. If the issue remains unresolved, you will then make an appointment with the Dean of the School of Health Professions. The Dean's office is located in the Riland Building, third floor.
OTD Program: Safety Issues
Throughout your academic and clinical education, you will be oriented to the issue of safety not only regarding the patients but also for yourself as you practice and eventually work as an OT. The following will be addressed:
- Patients' Bill of Rights
- Safe and proper handling, lifting, and transferring techniques of patients
- Safety issues involved in treatment techniques, including indications and contraindications, especially regarding electrical modalities
- Confidentiality of patient information, medical records, statements made during work
- OSHA and handling of blood Borne pathogens
- Proper use of body mechanics
- Safety concerns during a practical examination or during a clinical affiliation experience may be grounds for failure.
OTD Program: Professional Behaviors and Standards
- Code of Ethics: Students are expected to adhere to the profession's Code of Ethics and to maintain confidentiality. See Appendix B: The Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards (2015).
- Professional Etiquette:
- Computers and other electronic devices: Computers in the classroom environment should be used for note-taking, or instructor approved activities only. Web surfing, social media, etc. are not allowed.
- Breaks: Students should take advantage of formal breaks offered during lengthy classes. Only in rare instances, should it be necessary for a student to leave and return to the classroom.
- Punctuality: Students should be on time to class and stay the entire session. If the student is going to be late or needs to leave early, arrangements should be made with the instructor prior to class. See the absentee section for more information.
- Cell Phones: All cell phones must either be switched off or kept on vibrate or the silent mode during class sessions. Text messaging or taking calls during class or fieldwork assignment is not allowed.
- Visitors: The program has no guest policy. This is in keeping with the NYIT policy that states that students who are not enrolled in the course may not audit or attend classes.
- Conversations: If students have questions, they should ask them at appropriate times, and should avoid talking and participating in other conversations during classes.
- Email Communication: Students should communicate with the faculty members, advisors, department staff, and Chair in a professional and respectful manner in terms of timing, language, content, tone, and response. Inappropriate communication is considered unsatisfactory student conduct and unprofessional behavior and will be taken seriously.
Professional Dress and Personal Appearance
The following policies are non-gender specific. It is important that the student be prepared to dress and groom professionally when assigned to clinical work. This means that students in the program must dress professionally for class. Most clinical settings allow slacks for women. Clean sneakers may be acceptable. Sandals can be hazardous; only closed-toe shoes are considered professional. It is not appropriate to wear dangling jewelry or rings or long fingernails, which may interfere with the frequent hand washing required and which can present safety hazards in the operation of tools and equipment and the threat of transmission of infection. Makeup and hairstyles should be conservative. The hair must be styled so that it does not have to be brushed off of the face while working. Some clinical work may require the use of masks and gowns in order to prevent the spread of infection. The student must wear a nameplate or a photo ID. Some fieldwork facilities provide a temporary ID to be worn during the clinical assignment. Students must adopt the dress, grooming, and hygiene policies of their assigned fieldwork sites and as applicable by law.
OTD Program: Professional Behaviors and Standards Policies
OTD students are expected to maintain professionalism at all times as described in the Professional Etiquette section above. Satisfactory professional behaviors is a program requirement. Students who fail to demonstrate the required behaviors will be provided with feedback using the Breach of Professionalism form.
- The Breach of Professionalism form will be completed by faculty for students who breach professional behaviors policies.
Students may be dismissed from the program for the following reasons:
- Academic dishonesty/plagiarism
- Behavior endangering others' safety or well-being
- Disrespectful behavior towards faculty, staff, students, and others
- Unprofessional conduct as defined by the professional behaviors delineated in this handbook
- Unexcused absences/lateness
Failure to improve after faculty intervention could be grounds for dismissal, even if the student is meeting the academic requirements.
Professional education is made up of four major areas: (1) the educational foundation provided by the required core courses or undergraduate prerequisites, (2) the knowledge and skills provided by the sciences and occupational therapy courses, (3) supervised fieldwork and (4) the process of socialization into the profession (professional development), the subtlest, and, probably the most critical, in assuring success as an occupational therapist.
This process is embedded in everything that you do as a student and is reflected though your professional behavior. Therefore, the educational program provides the venue for the acquisition of behaviors that are the mark of a professional. Students will have the opportunity to self-assess their professional development in each semester, throughout the curriculum.
- Students will complete the Student Self-Appraisal of Professional Development form (See Student Forms) and will discuss with faculty advisor.
An excellent way to participate in tracking professional development is through the active use of a professional portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of artifacts and materials (documents, certificates, papers, photographs, and samples of projects) that document competencies, credentials, training, skills, clinical experience, academic coursework, and community-service experience. It is really a fleshed out, three-dimensional version of a great resume. The portfolio will serve professionals well throughout their graduate studies and transition to clinical through the careful, judicious documentation, the acquisition of new experiences and skills, and arrival at landmarks in both personal and career development.
At NYIT, occupational therapy students get a great start on the portfolio due to the requirement to begin to accumulate the documents and initiate, share and receive feedback on their portfolio from the programs assistant chair beginning at the start of year one and during each academic year. Occupational therapy students are required to create a working electronic and hard copy of their carefully prepared professional portfolio. See appendix for a guide on how to develop your professional ePortfolio/portfolio.
Office of Accessibility Services
There are Technical Standards that describe the essential functions of the occupational therapy student at NYIT. However, special programs exist to assist students who are not native English speakers or have a documented disability. When a student applies for special accommodations, s/he must contact the Office of Accessibility Services. Speak to your student advisor if you would like more information about these programs.
Code of Conduct
The University Code of Conduct sets minimum standards for NYIT students and can be found here http://www.nyit.edu/policies The standards for professional programs incorporate these standards and, in certain areas of behavior, are somewhat higher, reflecting expectations for behavior expected of a professional in the health field. (See Student Forms).
Your student materials, grades, records, and files are considered to be privileged and confidential information. They are stored and locked when not in use in file cabinets within the Occupational Therapy Department. They are only accessible to Occupational Therapy faculty and clerical staff. No information from your record is given either verbally or in writing without your written consent. The information generated by NYIT may be released in accordance with NYIT policy.
Leave of Absence
A student may request a leave of absence from the occupational therapy program. The request must be made in writing to the Department's Program Director. The Program Director will review the request and provide the student with written approval or denial of the request. A leave of absence shall be granted for a maximum of one year. The student needs to notify the program director prior to the first day of registration for the semester s/he intends to return, based on curriculum design.
Gender-Based Misconduct Policy
Student Evaluation of Faculty and Courses
Students are required to provide on-going feedback on courses and faculty. Careful thought should go into these evaluations so that there are data to support modifications or changes.
College Identification Cards
Students are issued ID cards that are required to use certain library materials (e.g. books and laptops) and computer facilities. Students must carry their card at all times while on campus.
Each year, representatives for each class will be elected through SOTA. The class representatives will act as liaisons between their class and the administration to introduce and discuss any general student issues that may be present (e.g., broad issues related to the curriculum).
The Department of Occupational Therapy may present as many six awards at graduation:
- Occupational Therapy Academic Performance Award: Awarded to the student(s) with outstanding academic performance in the occupational therapy program (highest overall grade point average).
- Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Performance Award: Awarded to the student(s) who received the highest fieldwork rating from the clinical supervisor or to the student(s) who showed outstanding and innovative performance during their fieldwork experience.
- Occupational Therapy Community Service Award: Awarded to the student(s) with outstanding extracurricular activities directed to serving the local and national and global community.
- Leadership Award in Occupational Therapy: Awarded to the student(s) with an outstanding record of leadership while in the program and whose activities are clearly reflected on the general body of NYIT OT students.
- Occupational Therapy Research Award (Group): Awarded to the group of students with outstanding performance in a research project inside or outside the OT curriculum
- Occupational Therapy Advocacy Award: Awarded to the student(s) who clearly exhibited the effort and commitment to advocating the OT profession and the NYIT image in the local, national, or global community.
- Occupational Therapy Alpha Eta Honor Society: Awarded to the graduating student(s) with an overall grade point average of 3.8 or better (out of 4.0).
- Alpha Eta Honor Society for Allied Health Professionals was established in 1975. It is the national scholastic honor society for the allied health professions, consisting of approximately 12,000 members and 77 chapters in colleges and universities nationwide. Its purpose is to promote and recognize significant scholarship, leadership and contributions to the allied health professions. Student candidates must be enrolled in the last year of their academic program and have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.8.
- Pi Theta Epsilon is a specialized honor society for occupational therapy students and alumni. The society recognizes and encourages superior scholarship among students enrolled in professional entry-level programs at accredited educational programs across the United States. The mission of Pi Theta Epsilon is to promote research and scholarship among occupational therapy students.
The OT program has scholarship opportunities with the New York Board of Education that may be available to qualifying students. In addition, scholarships may be available from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, the New York State Occupational Therapy Association, and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. Students will be alerted to any other scholarship opportunities that are shared with the department. Students should visit the Office of Financial Aid, located on the first floor of Harry Schure Hall on the Long Island campus, to find out information on all available scholarship opportunities.
Student Professional Enhancement Program (PEP) Guidelines
Purpose and Description:
The purpose of the Professional Enhancement Program (PEP) is for the student to develop professional skills as they prepare to transition from student to clinician. Professional enhancement activities are those that support the student's professional growth and emphasize the development of leadership skills, contribution to the department and university community, contribution to the community at large, and provide enhanced opportunities for continued growth and learning. Completion of PEP actives is a requirement of graduation.
Categories and Point values for PEP:
Students are required to accrue six (6) PEP points in two different categories: Education and Service/Leadership, three (3) points from each category. PEP activities can either be considered active or passive within each category. Active activities require organization and leadership on behalf of the student (see table below for examples) and awarded one (1) point for each activity. Passive activities such as attending a lecture or helping with an event are awarded a half point.
Examples of both active and passive activities are listed below. Students may only have a maximum of one (1) point from passive activities within each category, (e.g. in Education, a minimum of two (2) points would have to be from active and a maximum of one (1) point from passive activities).
Opportunities for PEP activities:
Opportunities for PEP will be posted on Blackboard Commons or via email. Students are also responsible for researching and organizing PEP events.
Provision of Proof:
It is the responsibility of the student to supply proof of participation and upload to blackboard. Proof can take the form of a photo, letter of participation, course certificate, copy of sign in sheet, or any other form approved by the advisor or department chair. At the time of graduation approval, all students' program evaluations will be marked as either having completed or not completed the required activities.
American Occupational Therapy Association Inc. (1997). Educating students with disabilities. What academic and fieldwork educators need to know. Bethesda, MD: The American Occupational Therapy Association.
Barnes and Evenson. Fieldwork challenges in Slaydyk, K. (Ed.) (1997). (1997). OT student primer. A guide to college success. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
Breines, E., (2006). Occupations and activities from clay to computers. Theory and practice. Lebanon, NY: Geri-Rehab, Inc.
Crepeau, E.B., Cohn, E.S. and Schell, B.A.B. (2003). Willard and Spackman’s Occupational therapy. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Kimeldorf, M. (1994). Creating portfolios for success in school, work, and life. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. (undated). Technical standards for admission and matriculation. Old Westbury, NY: New York College of Osteopathic Medicine.
New York Institute of Technology (2010). New York Institute of technology graduate catalog 2010-2011. Old Westbury, NY: NYIT Office of Communications and Marketing.
New York Institute of technology. Department of Occupational Therapy. (March 2004). Strategic plan.
New York Institute of Technology. Faculty Senate Minutes (5/18/00).
New York Institute of Technology. Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual, (rev. 2007).
New York Institute of Technology. Undergraduate Catalog (2003-2004).
Obler, D.R. and Avi-itzhak, T. (2001). Summary of the deliberations of the Occupational Therapy Faculty Committee for Strategic Planning. New York Institute of Technology, Department of Occupational therapy. Updated, March 2007, Plotnick, H.
Slaydyk, K. (Ed.) (1997). OT student primer. A guide to college success. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
Appendix A: Certification/Licensure Procedures
New York State Licensure and National Certification for the Occupational Therapist
This is the information that you will need in order to be able to get a limited permit or a license in New York State in order to accept a job offer to work as an occupational therapist. Please note: You will NOT be able to take a job as an occupational therapist immediately upon completion of all course work. The licensure process involves several different agencies, and it can take as long as two to three weeks for papers to be processed in EACH of the agencies. If you are offered a job, let the prospective employer know that it may take a number of weeks for you to provide the documentation needed in order for you to practice.
The student, within designated time frames, must complete the following procedures. It is the student's responsibility to contact the NBCOT (National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists) and NYSED (New York State Education Department) web sites in order to obtain complete, current, and accurate information related to licensure and certification procedures, guidelines, and deadlines.
- Complete all requirements for graduation
- Check that all grades are posted
- Go to NYIT Registrar's office to determine if all requirements for graduation have been met and are posted in the system after checking your records on nyit connect
- Fill out NYS Office of Professions Form 2
- File form 2 with NYS (Registrar)
- Use the NBCOT website to file for the certification examination
- All requirements for graduation: Coursework is complete (course requirements satisfied with passing grades; overall graduate GPA 3.0 or higher; no grade below a C in occupational therapy courses); grades posted by NYIT Registrar; bursar account satisfied; no "holds"; i.e., library fines, etc.
- You can access your curriculum map on the Internet using your NYIT ID number (NYIT Connect). If there are any problems, contact the registrar's office immediately for correction. Make certain that all courses used for transfer credit are posted.
- You can file for a temporary permit if you have a job offer prior to taking the certification examination. You will have to re-file for the license after passing the certification examination. You may also file for the license after passing the examination, rather than getting the temporary permit, if you do not want to work right away.
AFTER PASSING THE CERTIFICATION EXAMINATION, FILE WITH NYSED FOR YOUR LICENSE
Licensure and Limited Permits: A person cannot work as an occupational therapist until s/he has either a limited permit or a license. Licensure and limited permits are granted by the state in which a person will practice. In New York State, contact the New York State Education Department (NYSED), Office of Professions for applications and information at 518.474.3817. Students who have been offered jobs prior to taking or passing the NBCOT exam may apply for a limited permit by submitting an application (Form 2). The prospective employer and supervisor must co-sign the limited permit application. If Form 2 is used for a limited permit (the document which allows a person to practice while waiting to take the certification examination) a second Form 2 must be filed after passing the examination.
Registration (National): Graduates must pass the National Certification Exam administered by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists. Please allow two weeks from the time fieldwork grades are submitted to request official transcripts from the NYIT Registrar's Office. Confirm, with the Registrar's Office to be sure that your request has been processed and mailed to NBCOT two-weeks after you have filed your request. Transcripts can be ordered from getmytranscript.com. The student MUST choose the option "after degree is awarded."
Timeline for Registration
- Satisfactory completion of academic coursework
- Begin fieldwork
- Satisfactory completion of Fieldwork
- Hand deliver FWPE and Student Evaluation of Site Forms SIGNED AND DATED ORIGINALS to the NYIT OT Department the first business day after completing fieldwork.
- When ALL FORMS are received (approx 1–4 weeks later) the OT Fieldwork Coordinator submits grades to the Registrar. The Chair of the OT Department generates a letter verifying names of all students who have completed the requirements for graduation. This letter is sent to NYSED, a requirement for obtaining New York State limited permits.
- Almost immediately after grade submissions by the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, the grades are posted which means that the Registrar is able, at the student's request to send final student transcripts.
- The student may go on-line at any time to find out if the fieldwork grades have been posted.
- Once the student has a firm job offer, the student can bring NYSED Form 5 to the job site to have the form signed by the licensed occupational therapist who will be supervising the graduate.
- At this time, the student can go IN PERSON to request that an official NYIT form is sent to NYSED and a second official transcript is sent to NBCOT stating that all requirements for graduation have been met.
- Graduates should plan to take the Certification examination as soon as eligible.
DEPENDING ON THE FACILITY, YOU CAN WORK ON A LIMITED PERMIT UNTIL YOU PASS THE CERTIFICATION EXAMINATION
Appendix B: The Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards (2015)
The Code of Ethics is an official document published by the American Occupational Therapy Association and freely accessible to the public in electronic format.
The document is regularly reviewed by AOTA and therefore we strongly encourage students to access this document directly from the link above. This document is described on the AOTA website as follows:
"The 2015 Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics (Code) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is designed to reflect the dynamic nature of the profession, the evolving health care environment, and emerging technologies that can present potential ethical concerns in research, education, and practice. AOTA members are committed to promoting inclusion, participation, safety, and well-being for all recipients in various stages of life, health, and illness and to empowering all beneficiaries of service to meet their occupational needs. Recipients of services may be individuals, groups, families, organizations, communities, or populations (AOTA, 2014b). The Code is an AOTA Official Document and a public statement tailored to address the most prevalent ethical concerns of the occupational therapy profession. It outlines Standards of Conduct the public can expect from those in the profession. It should be applied to all areas of occupational therapy and shared with relevant stakeholders to promote ethical conduct."
Appendix C: Occupational Therapy Technical Standards
Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation to the Occupational Therapy Program
The NYIT Department of Occupational Therapy is committed to the admission and matriculation of all qualified students and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability. The college does not discriminate against persons with disability who are otherwise qualified. The college does expect that minimal technical standards are met by all applicants and students as set forth herein. These standards reflect what has been determined to be reasonable expectations for occupational therapy students in performing common and important functions, considering the safety and welfare of patients. These standards may not reflect what may be required for employment of the graduate occupational therapist.
An occupational therapist must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical settings and to render a wide spectrum of therapeutic interventions. In order to perform the activities required of a professional, an occupational therapy student must be able to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data quickly, accurately, and consistently. This is the process of critical thinking. Multiple skills and abilities required include observation, communication, sensory/motor, behavioral, and social attributes. Reasonable accommodation can be made for persons with disabilities in some of these areas, but an occupational therapy student must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.
- The commitment to work in an intense setting that challenges the individual to meet the needs of people of diverse cultures and age groups who are ill, severely injured, limited by cognitive, emotional, and functional deficits, and whose behavior may create, at times, an adverse reaction. The ability to interact with these individuals without being judgmental or prejudiced is critical in establishing a therapeutic relationship.
- The ability to communicate verbally and in writing, using appropriate grammar and vocabulary, in order to build relationships with faculty, advisors, fellow students, coworkers, clients and their significant others. Proficiency in communication includes transactions with individuals and groups in learner, collegial, consultative, leadership, and task roles. Students must be able to elicit information, gather information, describe findings, and understand non- verbal behavior. This includes the ability to read and communicate, both verbally and in writing, in English, using appropriate grammar and vocabulary.
- The ability to travel independently to and from classes and fieldwork assignments on time, as well as possess the organizational skills and stamina for performing required tasks and assignments within allotted time frames. (This travel is at the student's expense.) A driver's license and a car are needed for on- and off-campus travel.
- Commitment to adherence of policies of the college, of the occupational therapy program, and of the fieldwork sites. These rules include matters relating to professional dress, behavior, and confidentiality.
- Professional competence and moral character that meet state licensure guidelines.
- Emotional health for full utilization of intellect, the exercise of good judgment, prompt completion of responsibilities, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with others. Working with persons in need often requires taxing workloads and adaptation to changing and challenging environments requiring flexibility and a spirit of cooperation.
- Critical thinking skills in order to be able to problem solve creatively, to master abstract ideas, and to synthesize information in order to handle the challenges of the academic, laboratory, and fieldwork settings.
- Physical coordination and strength to be able to handle moving clients and to direct clients in varied practice settings. Visual acuity and independent mobility, fine and gross movements, equilibrium, and the use of touch (touching and being touched) are essential to assuring the safety of clients, significant others, and staff.
Technical standards are defined as "all nonacademic criteria that are essential to participating in the program in question". The following material is based on the handbooks Educating Students with Disabilities (American Occupational Therapy Association  and NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation.
Technical standards are nonacademic admission requirements, related to the essential nature of the program, which must be met by all students admitted to the program. The standards include personal and professional traits. Some of these requirements include skills and experiences, physical, sensory, medical and emotional competencies, and safety issues. The criteria may be objective or subjective, but are the same for all applicants. The standards must:
- be nonacademic
- be requisite for admission
- be related to essential function of the educational program at NYIT and at fieldwork sites.
- Note: each of these agencies may have set of technical standards which could differ from these standards. The NYIT program in occupational therapy does not disclose information about a student's disability to the clinical sites. It is the prerogative of the student to decide whether or not to disclose this information to the supervisor at the clinical site in order to request reasonable accommodations.
- apply to all students
- not be established to discriminate for or against a person with a disability
- ensure that the student can benefit from the program
The ability to function in a job as an occupational therapist is not relevant; rather, these standards focus solely on the competencies required for success in the NYIT course of study.
There are number of multiple skills and abilities required for success in the program in occupational therapy. These requirements are listed below in the following categories:
- General Admission Requirements
- Behavioral and Social Attributes
- Communication Skills
- Strength, Mobility and Emotional Health
- Cognitive skills
- Sensory Function
Reasonable accommodations can be made for persons with disabilities in some of the areas, but the student must be able to perform independently. These standards are based upon expectations of the student in the professional program in occupational therapy and are guided by the need to assure the safety and welfare of clients in need of services by a professional occupational therapist.
I. General Admission Requirements
An occupational therapist must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and be able to provide a wide spectrum of therapeutic interventions. In order to perform the activities required of a professional, the student must be able to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data quickly, accurately and consistently.
A student entering the professional phase of the program must have demonstrated the following technical competencies in order to be able to learn through action, experience and communication, as guided by the philosophy of pragmatism that underlies our program design:
- To be considered for admission into the program, the student must provide documentation by a dated letter of reference on official stationery, of one hundred hours of volunteer work under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist; a second professional letter of reference; a personal statement describing the student's interest in occupational therapy. In addition, the students must participate in the admission process, requiring half a day on the college campus during which time there will be a personal interview, an opportunity for questions, and time allotted to write an on-site essay on an assigned topic. At the time of the interview, the applicant reviews the program Technical Standards, and has an opportunity to discuss any areas of concern, particularly with regard to the need for reasonable accommodations.
Full-time students in the professional phase of the program must be able to handle class-scheduling changes that can occur for any reason, and often with only short notice. This means that it is not possible for the full-time professional student to be employed, as attendance in all classes is required.
II. Behavioral and Social Attributes
- The commitment to work in an intense setting which challenges the individual to meet the needs of people of both sexes, diverse cultures, some of whom may be economically disadvantaged, all age groups who are ill, severely injured, limited by cognitive, emotional, social and functional deficits, and whose behavior may create, at times, an aversive reaction. The ability to interact with these individuals without being judgmental or prejudiced is critical in establishing a therapeutic relationship.
- Commitment of adherence of policies of the college, of the occupational therapy program and of the fieldwork sites. These rules include matters relating to professional dress and behavior on campus and in the fieldwork sites.
- Professional competence and moral character, which meets state licensure guidelines.
- When the form for licensure is completed, the applicant is asked, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony or misdemeanor) in any state or country?" and "Have you ever been charged with a crime (felony or misdemeanor) in any state or country, the disposition of which was other than by acquittal or dismissal?" A "yes" answer to either or both of these questions requires a complete explanation, including copies of any court records. Further information about licensure eligibility in available from the New York State Department of Education website.
- Occupational therapists use touching as part of therapeutic intervention. Therefore, the student must possess the ability to tolerate touch and being touched by others of both sexes as part of the learning process. Touching must be done in a sensitive and professional manner. Laboratory exercises require that students wear shorts and tank tops in class.
- Commitment to the Code of Ethics of the profession and behavior which reflects a sense of right and wrong in the helping environment.
III. Communication Skills
- The ability to communicate verbally and in writing, using appropriate grammar and vocabulary, in order to build relationships with faculty, advisors, fellow students, co-workers and clients and their significant others. Proficiency in communication includes transactions with individuals and groups in learner, collegial, consultative, leadership and task roles. Students must be able to elicit and gather information, describe findings and understand non-verbal behavior.
- Computer skills. Students must be able to demonstrate competence in the following computer skills: spread sheets, word documents, Internet searches, email and online research, presentations, graphics, data entry and analysis.
IV. Strength, Mobility, Emotional Health, and Safety
- The ability to meet the challenges of a medical environment which requires a readiness for immediate and appropriate response without the interference of personal or medical problems. This requires training and certification for emergencies and other life-threatening situations. Training required includes, but is not limited to, certification in life support and infection control.
- The ability to travel independently to and from classes and fieldwork assignments on time, and the possession of the organizational skills and stamina for performing required tasks and assignments within allotted time frames. This requires that the student be able to drive and have a car available for travel to and from school and fieldwork sites.
- Emotional health for full utilization of intellect, the exercise of good judgment, prompt completion of responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with others. Working with persons in need often requires taxing workloads and adaptation to changing and challenging environments requiring flexibility and a spirit of cooperation.
- Physical coordination to be able to handle moving clients and to direct clients in varied practice settings.
V. Cognitive Skills
- Critical thinking skills in order to be able to problem solve creatively, to master abstract ideas and to synthesize information in order to handle the challenges of the academic, laboratory and fieldwork settings.
- Intellectual curiosity sufficient to motivate independent professional reading and research.
VII. Sensory Function
- Visual acuity and independent mobility.
- Smooth, coordinated and sensitive fin and gross movements.
- Therapeutic use of touch.
- Hearing adequate for successful verbal communication.
Request for Reasonable Accommodations: A student who believes that because of a disability, she/he is entitled to reasonable accommodations in order to succeed in any class (or classes) must make an appointment with the NYIT Office of Accessibility Services. That office, after an appropriate evaluation, will provide the documentation needed, should it be determined that a reasonable accommodation is needed in order to assure success in the program. It is the student's responsibility to report any changes in his/her status to the Office of Accessibility Services that may have an impact on your ability to benefit from the program in occupational therapy.
Appendix D: Student Portfolio Guide
The portfolio will be created with two formats: An e-file and a physical binder. For both formats, it is important to keep the portfolio up to date, make careful, focused modifications and be prepared to present your portfolio at designated time-periods throughout the program. Below are some guidelines and resources about the process.
The OT program is designed to enable you to accumulate these documents within the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years. Some sections of the portfolio, such as "References" allow for a "To Be Added/In Progress" page within that section. The department may be able to access certain documents for the entire class.
- Step I: Attend the Portfolio Development Session of the New Student Orientation
- Step II: Review the handbook section of the OT Student Manual
- Step III: Review the Portfolio Checklist to become aware of the materials to be included.
- Step IV: Please DO NOT ask employers, supervisors, or faculty for letters of reference, etc.
Format and Documents Due Year One
- Initial on the Portfolio Checklist that you acknowledge and are aware that you will be required to collect items within each area of the Portfolio Checklist.
- Be Sure to keep all original documents in your own personal safe place. Do not include original copies in your binder.
- Create an eFile and a physical binder for your portfolio.
- Format your ePortfolio/Portfolio (1st draft of portfolio format) as requested with a separate section for all components.
- Include the 1st draft of your graduate OT resume. The only resume update needed at this point is that your resume begin with your Education section which includes the NYIT OT program and expected Month/Year of graduation.
- Submit the Portfolio Checklist with your resume to the Assistant Chair by April 1, year one.
Year Two – Fall
- Step V: Review once again, updates and feedback on the format and Portfolio Checklist received from the Assistant Chair.
- Step VI: Reminder: Please DO NOT ask employers, supervisors, faculty, or administrators for letters of reference, etc.
Format and Documents Due Year Two – Fall (in designated course)
- Update to a 2nd draft of your graduate OT resume. At this point you should include your "Clinical Fieldwork Experience Level I" beneath the "Education" section.
- Develop and include (with course instructor) your introduction letter and values mission and goals sections.
- Submit the portfolio with the included sections to the Assistant Chair by the end of the fall semester, year two:
- Introduction Letter
- Table of Contents
- Values, Mission and Goal Statements
- 2nd draft of resume
- Submit with your initials the values "2nd Yr. Portfolio Checklist"
Year Two – Spring
- Step VII: Review once again, updates and feedback on the format and submission of the 2nd year portfolio.
- Step VIII: Reminder: Please DO NOT ask employers, supervisors, faculty, or administrators for letters of reference, etc.
Format and Documents Due Year Two – Spring (in designated course)
- Submit the portfolio with all additional sections and evidence of artifacts to the Assistant Chair by April 1, year two.
- Step IX: Review once again, updates and feedback on the format and Portfolio Checklist received from the Assistant Chair.
- Step X: Reminder: Please DO NOT ask for these documents.
Update your portfolio with AOTA/NBCOT Professional Development Goals and Action Plan, information provided from the instructor, and your academic program advisor.