Occupational therapy is a health profession that promotes life-long health and well-being of individuals, groups and communities through engagement in occupation. The primary objective embodied within the concept of "occupation" is the practitioner's use of activities meaningful to the client within their own particular environment. Hence, occupational therapy services are provided within the contexts of activities of daily living, education, work, play, leisure and social participation. Practitioners provide services to individuals to increase their daily function, enhance/support health and development and prevent disability through promotion of effective performance skills within environments and using tasks adapted to meet their individualized abilities and needs.
Practitioners work with persons of all ages and cultural backgrounds whose independence has been impacted by physical and/or mental injury or illness, developmental or learning disabilities, or adverse environmental conditions. Occupational therapy services are provided in a variety of settings including general and psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation centers, intermediate care facilities, nursing homes, individual's homes, school systems, community centers and agencies, and private practice. Occupational therapists function as clinicians, educators, consultants, researchers and administrators. Services to individuals, families and communities include: evaluation and treatment planning and implementation; assessment of home, work and community environments; training in the use of adaptive equipment; community needs assessment and program planning; and referral to appropriate follow-up services.
History of Occupational Therapy at FAMU
The Division of Occupational Therapy, one of the six divisions within the School of Allied Health Sciences, was established in 1989. The State of Florida, in its' 1988-1993 strategic plan, identified as one of its critical problems in the rapidly growing State of Florida the need for an increased number of allied health practitioners. The division, consistent with the mission of the university and the State of Florida, has conferred more than 200 baccalaureate degrees in occupational therapy. The last class of undergraduate students received their baccalaureate degrees in 2006. The division has now transitioned to an entry-level master's degree program from which the first student graduated in 2007 and is in the planning stages of making the transition to an entry level doctorate program.
Philosophy of the Division
We believe that humans are complex and active beings whose development is dependent upon participation in occupations. This participation is context dependent and involves the whole person. Humans continually adapt as they grow. When this adaptation process is interrupted, occupational therapy utilizes occupation to facilitate change and renewal.
The Division of Occupational Therapy believes that occupational therapy is client-centered and occupation based. It is the role of the occupational therapy educators to promote the use of occupation to assist strength, fitness and wellbeing, growth, change, and adaptation to encourage full participation in meaningful occupation that culminates in general safety, security and appropriate quality of life. Occupational therapy is science driven and based upon evidence. Occupations will be utilized to prevent, habilitate, and rehabilitate, through the intervention planning process to allow maximum participation in occupations.
We believe students should develop a solid base of knowledge that facilitates critical thinking, clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills, all of which are essential to transition from student to competent occupational therapy practitioner. Recognizing that all interventions must be focused on client priorities, we emphasize client-centered evaluation and intervention. We believe that human beings grow and develop through occupation to participate fully in life. Participation in occupations is critical to a sense of well-being and health.
The curriculum is designed to provide students with an educational experience which focuses on continuous critical thinking in order that occupational therapy students be well prepared to function and thrive in the ever changing contexts and environments of a diverse and multicultural society. This process acknowledges that skills must be achieved and maintained through research in a self-directed independent manner; foundational knowledge is best retained and applied when learned in a meaningful context of occupations. Graduate education must respect the uniqueness of individuals and honor a variety of perspectives, backgrounds and learning styles that enhance the richness of the graduate experience.
How the Program Philosophy Reflects the Current Philosophy of the Profession
The program philosophy has been revised, with input from the program faculty, to more explicitly reflect the current philosophy of the occupational therapy profession. The program faculty believes that the core philosophy of the profession includes the concepts that occupational therapy is occupation based, evidence-based, client-centered, and addresses health and well-being. The revised philosophy of the program explicitly includes these concepts as evidenced by the use of practical opportunities to screen and assess clients during university health fairs and through learning activities with children. The division utilizes such activities as observation, evaluation, splint making opportunities and group projects to disseminate Occupational Therapy information. Community events, such as the Forget Me Not walk assists to meet the needs of a diverse and multicultural society. Our program embodies these concepts as reflected in the revised philosophy.
The mission of the occupational therapy program is to recognize that the program promotes meaningful participation in all occupations and activities. Human populations are diverse. Admissions are open and encourage cultural diversity for the student population and to meet the needs of the community. Research and evidence-based practice are promoted for knowledge acquisition and retention. The program will produce competent and critically thinking therapists. The program values integrity, ethical behavior, respect for all people and accountability.
The Master of Science Occupational Therapy program is accredited through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). www.acoteonline.org
These agencies are located at:
ACOTE, c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
NBCOT Link: New graduate & pass rate data
Total Credit Hours: 81 credit hours, including 2+ years of academic coursework and 6 months of fieldwork.
Graduation Year Student Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2016 5/5 100%
2017 28/27 96%
2018 25/25 100%
Total 58/57 98%
The School of Allied Health Sciences, as recommended by faculty within the Division of Occupational Therapy, reserves the right to revise the curriculum at any time to facilitate students' receipt of current knowledge.
NBCOT Exam Preparation Course: During the week before commencement graduating students are required to be on campus and pass a comprehensive examination prior to graduation. A passing score is required to pass the exam and be eligible for graduation.
ProgramsBachelor's DegreeMaster's Degree