I was given many opportunities to create strong connections during my time in the MOT program — connections with people (who have now become like family), colleagues, communities, God, and even established a deeper understanding of myself... all of which make me a better OT every day.
The Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (EOTD) program is a professional graduate program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. This entry-level degree is completed in 3 years and includes specific didactic work guided by accreditation standards, research, fieldwork, and a doctoral capstone experience.
Loma Linda University – A Seventh-day Adventist Christian, health sciences institution – seeks to further the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ “to make man whole.”
The Department of Occupational Therapy’s mission is to:
- Educate future practitioners who are compassionate, mission-focused, servant leaders who demonstrate excellence and integrity.
- Expand knowledge and practice through research, and innovative evidence-based programming.
- Provide client-centered, occupation-based whole person care to promote health, wellness, spiritual well-being, and occupational justice at individual, community, and societal levels.
EOTD Program Philosophy
The Department of Occupational Therapy envisions occupational therapy’s service to humanity as rooted in justice, advocacy, and whole-person care. This service orientation manifests through collaboratively providing client-centered health care for diverse populations in both traditional and non-traditional settings to address the complex and ever-changing needs of human life.
Occupation is the cornerstone of intervention where it is both a means and an end to achieve client goals and health (AOTA, 2017; Gray, 1998). We envision the practice of occupational therapy as designed to provide all people the ability to engage in healthy lifestyles to experience optimal occupational participation and quality of life.
Humans are complex, spiritual, and occupational beings. Occupations are the meaningful activities that occupy our time, inform our identity, and provide our lives with meaning and purpose as individuals, families, and communities (AOTA, 2017). It is believed that all individuals across the lifespan have a need and right to engage in meaningful and goal-directed occupations during their life (Christiansen & Townsend, 2010). This value is embraced through occupational justice which recognizes humans as occupational beings who have rights to participate in culturally defined meaningful occupation (Christiansen & Townsend, 2010). Participation in those meaningful occupations impacts health at all levels including physical, psychosocial, and spiritual health.
As we participate in occupations we engage in a dynamic process of interaction with our context and environment including culture, personal, temporal and virtual contexts along with the physical and social environments (AOTA, 2014). Through active engagement with our context which refers to “elements within and surrounding a client…and exert a strong influence on performance” (p. S9) and the environment, humans evolve, change, and adapt (AOTA, 2014). The therapeutic use of occupation involves holistically addressing the mind, body, and spirit to empower and promote health with the ultimate goal to promote healthy lives, communities, and societies.
The Global Model of Learning symbolizes our curriculum’s spiritual foundation from which our student’s professional practice skills grow, ultimately leading to the transformation from student to an entry-level practitioner who will serve his or her local and greater communities to promote health and occupational participation. We believe learning is a lifelong process that grows with each class, each quarter, each fieldwork experience, through active learning and community engagement.
The model consists of the foundation, 3 pillars, and a globe. The symbolic meanings are described below:
- Our religious values and faith along with the founding principles of occupational therapy form the foundation of our existence and purpose thus guiding us as practitioners.
- Three Pillars
- Community Engagement & Leadership
- Represents our dedication to, and Christian values in serving our local and global communities through practice, community engagement, research, and advocacy.
The three pillars are grounded in our foundation of faith and values of service, faith, justice and wellness. Our courses are organized in each pillar growing and building upon knowledge as students advance through the program. The Curricular Threads are woven throughout the pillars to ultimately result in graduates who are dedicated to service and upholding our Christian values in practice, community engagement, and advocacy.
- Occupation-based practice
- Health, Lifestyle, and Wellness
- Evidence-based practice and Research
- Mission-focused Community Engagement and Occupational Justice
- Advocacy and Leadership