East Falls Campus
The Jefferson East Falls MS in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program is designed for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree, in any academic discipline, who want to become occupational therapists.
The East Falls MSOT program is offered in a blended-learning format that includes an intensive weekend delivery. Students attend on-campus class meetings eight weekends/semester (Friday and Saturday, generally every other weekend). Between on-campus sessions, students complete assignments and participate in learning activities online, through distance education technology. Approximately 70-80 percent of coursework is delivered on-campus each semester, the remaining online. The MS in OT degree can be completed within 2.5 academic years, including fieldwork.
As a blended-learning program where students meet on-campus two weekends a month, the East Falls MSOT program is for highly motivated students who:
- Are self-directed learners
- Demonstrate well-developed oral and written communication skills
- Possess good time management
- Display the ability to synthesize and apply both technical and conceptual information in clinical settings, and
- Work collaboratively with peers.
Before you consider applying to the program make sure to read all program requirements.
The East Falls Campus MSOT Program
The East Falls MSOT program is grounded in the fields of science and psychology, combined with creativity, compassion, and coaching to help people live their lives to the fullest. The knowledge, skills, and ways of thinking that students acquire from classroom and applied experiences enables them to work as OT professionals in all settings, from early intervention and school classrooms to community agencies and medical facilities. In these settings, therapy can involve everything from restoring, maintaining or developing abilities to adapting the environment to support individuals in achieving quality of life.
Innovation through Collaboration
East Falls MSOT students regularly collaborate with peers and students from a variety of disciplines throughout the University on industry-partner projects. Over several semesters, students experience the process of innovation by working alongside their design, textile, fashion, and architecture peers to create assistive devices, adaptive clothing, and livable environments to support a person’s full participation. Project examples include the design of a children’s sensory-friendly trail for a local arboretum, train and bus station redesigns for accessibility, health center community hubs, and a sensory-friendly waiting room at a local pediatrician’s office.
MSOT students have collaborated with members of two villages within the Village-to-Village network, East Falls and Penn. Villages are local organizations dedicated to supporting older adults to live healthy and active lives within their respective communities. OT students gain experience with providing health promotion information to people who are interested in learning about healthy living. Village members enjoy interacting with the students, and benefit from new information and strategies to live life safely. Experiences have included health education on topics of interest, community mobility screens and device training, car transfer training for volunteer drivers, and an assistive technology expo.
At the core of the East Falls MSOT program is the perspective that the goal of occupational therapy is to assist individuals to participate as fully as possible in all the occupations that are important to them, regardless of their health condition or developmental status. The Client-Educator project helps first year MSOT students to learn about participation from the client’s perspective.
Beginning in the first semester, MSOT students work with a client living with a health condition or developmental challenge that in some way has had an impact on his/her ability to participate in daily life activities. Clients may be people who have had conditions in the past whose therapy is over, or they may be people whose life quality has begun to decline due to a health or other life challenge. Students meet with their clients throughout their first year of coursework and complete client-based assignments. Major outcomes of this partnership include helping students to understand the experience of people living with health or living challenges, develop therapeutic relationships, and develop advocacy skills.
The value in these interprofessional and community partner collaborations is the chance for students to work with real clients who have real needs. These projects help students work creatively to address the challenges people face in their everyday lives. They also teach students how to collaborate, meet deadlines, choose materials, and work with real client feedback. Through interprofessional and client-based projects, East Falls MSOT students learn to advocate for their clients, and help their colleagues to better understand issues related to the world of individuals living with educational challenges, health conditions, or disabilities. These as well as other activities embedded in coursework provide the content for students to build their portfolios, and develop their professional identity.