Academic Catalog

Department of Occupational Therapy

Julie A. Dorsey, Professor and Chairperson

Melinda Cozzolino, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Chairperson

The mission of the occupational therapy program is to prepare reflective, creative, skilled, and ethical occupational therapists. We meet this mission by:

  • emphasizing experiential learning, evidence based practice, and professional reasoning.
  • creating diverse and integrative learning experiences to develop breadth and depth of student perspectives.
  • fostering collaborative engagement in scholarship and service that extends beyond campus to include local and global communities.
  • promoting the centrality of occupational participation to support health and resilience for individuals, communities, and populations.

The Department of Occupational Therapy offers two programs to meet this mission: a five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s program, and a professional entry-level master’s program.

The curriculum of the five-year combined B.S./M.S. program in occupational therapy is designed to provide a strong foundation in the liberal arts, sciences, and humanities; to offer a comprehensive and rigorous professional education; and to develop attitudes and skills for lifelong learning and leadership. Academic instruction is complemented by clinical fieldwork experiences, including 32 weeks of full-time clinical affiliations. Students are provided with a strong general education and the opportunity to explore special interests in academic, clinical, and research arenas. The B.S./M.S. program is five years in length and leads to a master of science degree in occupational therapy. Students in this program receive a bachelor of science degree in occupational science at the completion of four years of study. They are not eligible for licensure or certification until they complete the fifth (graduate) year.

The department also offers a professional entry-level master’s degree program for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in another area of study. The master’s year of the combined B.S./M.S. program and the professional entry-level master's program are explained in detail in the Ithaca College Graduate Catalog.

Undergraduate occupational science majors are required to take a 5-credit comprehensive anatomy course prior to the start of the senior year of study. The fifth (graduate) year of the combined B.S./M.S. degree program consists of two academic semesters and two summers, during which three full-time clinical fieldwork experiences are completed at sites throughout the country. Travel and housing arrangements for fieldwork are the responsibility of the student.

Students typically enter the B.S./M.S. program as first-year college students, but transfer students may also be accepted. The transfer application process is outlined under the "Policies and Procedures" tab of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance page. Transfer into the occupational therapy program is limited to available openings.

The combined B.S./M.S. occupational therapy program and the professional entry-level M.S. program are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-2682, and its web address is Students wishing to make a formal complaint against the occupational therapy program should contact ACOTE directly. To our knowledge, no complaints have ever been made regarding our programs.

Graduates of the M.S. occupational therapy program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In New York and all other states, a professional license is also required for practice. The NBCOT examination serves as the licensing exam in most states. Students are, however, required to apply separately for licensure and certification upon graduation. 

Special Academic Status Policy for Students in the Combined B.S./M.S. Occupational Therapy Program

Students in occupational science and occupational therapy must obtain a grade of at least C in all professional courses, including major courses and required courses outside the major.

Students majoring in occupational science must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.70 by the conclusion of the sophomore year in order to continue in the major. Progression through the remainder of the undergraduate program depends on maintenance of a 2.70 cumulative GPA, a minimum of a 2.70 semester GPA in the junior and senior years, and successful completion (C or better) of all courses in each sequential semester. A student in any year of study who fails to complete a required course with a grade of C or better must repeat the course (see “Repeating a Course" in the “Credit and Grade Information” section). Since professional courses are offered once per year and are specifically sequenced, course failure may result in the delay of fieldwork and graduation.

Students in the combined B.S./M.S. program wishing to progress into the master of science program in occupational therapy must have completed the B.S. program in occupational science with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better. Students must complete all requirements for the B.S. in occupational science and be approved by the faculty before taking clinical fieldwork courses. Students must earn satisfactory grades in all courses and fieldwork in order to be awarded the M.S. degree and to be eligible for certification and licensure. All level-II (graduate) fieldwork must be completed within 24 months of completion of the didactic portion of the program.

Program Warning and Dismissal

A student who fails to meet any of the minimum requirements stated above may be placed on program warning, suspended, or dismissed from the program (see the discussion in the “Academic Affairs Information” section). Students who have been placed on program warning or suspension will be expected to meet department standards for all subsequent semesters. Students will remain on program warning until the issue that caused the warning is resolved.  A student may not be placed on a program warning for a new violation in a subsequent semester; should a new violation occur the student will be dismissed from the program.

Undergraduate students in the combined B.S./M.S. program will be placed on program warning if:

  1. they earn less than a C in any course required for the major;
  2. they fail to complete at least 12 credits in a semester;
  3. they earn a cumulative GPA below a 2.70 at any point in the program; or
  4. they earn less than a 2.70 semester GPA during the junior or senior year.

Undergraduate students will be dismissed from the program in the following academic or professional standards cases:

  1. a student previously on program warning violates the aforementioned departmental criteria for good standing a second time;
  2. a student earns less than a C- in two or more courses in the same semester;
  3. a student earns less than a 2.70 cumulative GPA at the completion of the spring semester of the sophomore year or any subsequent semester;
  4. a student violates the American Occupational Therapy Association's code of ethics published in the Department of Occupational Therapy Student Manual.

Graduate students in the combined B.S./M.S. program will be dismissed from the program in the following cases:

  1. an occupational therapy (graduate) student in the combined B.S./M.S. program earns more than 6 credits of C (C+, C, C-) or more than 3 credits of F;
  2. a student fails two clinical fieldwork experiences;
  3. an occupational therapy (graduate) student fails to complete level-II fieldwork/internship (OTMS 60000, OTMS 69000, and OTMS 69500 or OTMS 69600) within 24 months of completing all didactic coursework; or
  4. a student significantly violates the professional code of ethics published in the Occupational Therapy Department Student Manual.

A student who is subject to dismissal from the program may, under extenuating circumstances, be granted a suspension from the program in lieu of dismissal. For readmission to the program, the student may have to fulfill certain conditions, such as remedial coursework or clinical assignments prescribed by the faculty at the time of suspension. Readmission may be contingent on the availability of space in succeeding classes.

In an exceptional case, a student who has been dismissed may be readmitted to the program upon satisfaction of conditions determined by the department faculty. Dismissal from the occupational therapy program does not always mean dismissal from Ithaca College. In some cases, students may be eligible to pursue other Ithaca College majors. Specifics with regard to these policies and the appeals procedures are available in the Department of Occupational Therapy Student Manual.

A senior in the combined B.S./M.S. program who meets the criteria for dismissal will be allowed to continue in the program to earn the B.S. degree with the understanding that continuation into the graduate portion of the program will not be permitted.

Housing and Travel for Clinical Fieldwork

Clinical fieldwork is an essential part of professional training. Students are assigned to Level I and Level II fieldwork sites locally, and at locations around the United States based on a lottery system. Assignment to specialty fieldwork or elective internship is done based on student interest and site availability. Students can expect that at least some of their placements will be at a distance from home. Students are responsible for any related field experience expenses and for making their own housing and travel arrangements for clinical fieldwork experiences.* Information about housing options for affiliations is available from the fieldwork coordinator. For more information on student expenses, see “Graduate Occupational Therapy" costs under "Graduate Tuition & Fees" on the Tuition and Financial Aid website. (* Fieldworks are courses and tuition is charged.)

OTBS 10000 Introduction to Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Explore how practitioners in the field of occupational therapy use purposeful activity to promote health and wellness at individual and population levels. Investigate current areas of practice for occupational therapists and explore the historical roots of the profession. (S,Y)
1 Credit

OTBS 10600 Introduction to Occupational Science (LA)

An overview of the science of human occupation and theoretical models that are used to describe the impact of occupation on individuals. Includes the personal, physical, psychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors of work, self-care, and play/leisure. An introduction to the domain of occupational therapy is included. (F-S, Y)
3 Credits

OTBS 20100 Human Development I (LA)

Study of developmental theories and factors influencing normal development from prenatal to adolescence. Developmental norms and sequences are examined, with emphasis on sensorimotor, cognitive, and psychosocial tasks, as well as occupational development. Beginning skills in the observation of normal children are developed. Prerequisites: PSYC 10300; sophomore standing. (F,Y)
Attributes: 1
3 Credits

OTBS 20200 Human Development II (LA)

Continued study of developmental theories and factors influencing normal development from adolescence through older adulthood. Developmental norms and sequences are examined with emphasis on sensorimotor, cognitive, and psychosocial development, and performance of self-care, work, and leisure occupations as these are related to development and role performance across the life span. Students will engage in independent and group learning and develop interview and observation skills. Prerequisites: PSYC 10300; sophomore standing. (S, Y)
Attributes: 1
3 Credits

OTBS 20600 The Culture of Disability (LA)

An examination of the historical and sociocultural construction of disability through readings, discussion, film, and personal narrative. The history of several disability groups will be used as case studies to analyze the ideological, socioeconomic, political, and cultural experience of disability. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. (F,Y)
Attributes: 1, DV, H, SS
3 Credits

OTBS 21000 The Cancer Experience (LA)

Introduction to the major types of cancer, impact of cancer on the individual, basic medical terminology, cultural differences in types of cancer, and external and internal influences on cancer, as well as treatment, adjustments, and coping strategies. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. (IRR)
Attributes: SO, TIDE, TMBS
3 Credits

OTBS 21100 Occupational Therapy in Life Skills (NLA)

Concepts of occupational therapy and other allied health disciplines are applied through observation and direct interaction with the neurologically impaired adult population, attending interdisciplinary team meetings and rounds, and seminar group discussions. Emphasis is on integrating professional behaviors, group activities, basic activity analysis, medical record documentation and client/family interaction within a clinical setting. Prerequisites: OTBS 10600. (S,Y)
1-2 Credits

OTBS 22000 Adult Clinical Practice in Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Observation and participation in clinical treatment provided through the OT/PT clinic at Ithaca College. Treatment of occupational therapy adult clients, as well as participation in other occupational therapy services provided by the clinic. The clinic will provide students with an experiential learning opportunity while serving the needs of adults in the college and local communities. Prerequisites: OTBS 10600. (F,S,U,Y)
1 Credit

OTBS 22100 Pediatric Clinical Practice in Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Observation and participation in clinical treatment provided through the OT/PT clinic at Ithaca College. Treatment of occupational therapy pediatric clients, as well as participation in other occupational therapy services provided by the clinic. The clinic will provide students with an experiential learning opportunity while serving the needs of children in the college and local communities. Prerequisites: OTBS 10600. (F,S,U,Y)
1 Credit

OTBS 30500 Applied Occupations (NLA)

Occupational therapy theory and process are the concentration of this course. Selected theoretical approaches used in occupational therapy are introduced, discussed, compared, and critiqued. Analysis of occupations using occupational therapy models is discussed and practiced. Historical, social, cultural, and political influences on theory development are examined. The teaching-learning process in therapy is applied to the therapeutic process. Prerequisites: OTBS 10600; OTBS 33500. (S,Y)
3 Credits

OTBS 30600 Occupational Apartheid (LA)

Expands on content from OTBS 10600. The premise of occupational justice will be explored: personal, political, historical, sociological, cultural, and environmental influences on individual. Engagement in occupation will be analyzed in relation to occupational apartheid. Application of methods to ameliorate identified problems will be incorporated. Prerequisites: OTBS 10600. (S,O)
Attributes: SS
3 Credits

OTBS 32000 Clinical Psychiatry in Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Study of the basic concepts of identification, definition, and management of psychosocial problems. Major pathological syndromes and their etiologies are examined. Includes an introduction to pharmacology and medical terminology. Emphasis is placed on understanding not only the pathology and medical treatment, but also the effect of the condition on the individual's ability to perform functional activities. Additional emphasis will be placed on children, the elderly, and interdisciplinary teams. Prerequisites: PSYC 32100; OTBS 20200. (S,Y)
3 Credits

OTBS 33500 Individual and Group Work in Health Sciences (LA)

Focuses on therapeutic use of self in individual and group relationships. Emphasis is on an action-based, helping, problem-solving model to guide individual interventions. Provides the cognitive, affective, and occupational basis to helping groups for various client populations and settings across the life span. Presents knowledge and experiential opportunity to gain skill to be a competent group leader. Lecture and lab format. This course includes a Level I Fieldwork experience. Prerequisites: PSYC 10300; OTBS 10600; OTBS 20100; OTBS 20200; and three credits in sociology and/or anthropology. (F,Y)
4 Credits

OTBS 38500 Quantitative Concepts in Professional Reasoning (LA)

An introduction to quantitative concepts as they relate to professional reasoning in clinical contexts. Particular emphasis will be placed on the statistical interpretation of clinical research studies, utilizing the interplay between descriptive and inferential techniques and critical statistical reasoning. Laboratory sessions focus on developing skills for analyzing data using a commercial statistical software package (SPSS), reflecting on concepts related to data analysis, and presenting quantitative information in charts and tables, and written and oral arguments. Corequiste: OTBS 46000. Prerequisites: Math placement group 1 or 2, or successful completion of MATH 10800 or MATH 11000 with a grade of C- or higher; junior standing. (F,Y)
Attributes: QL
3 Credits

OTBS 39900-39907 Selected Topics in Occupational Therapy

Topics of current interest to faculty and students. Experimental courses are offered under this number and title. This course may be repeated for credit for different selected topics. Prerequisites: As appropriate to topics. (IRR)
1-3 Credits

OTBS 40000 Functional Human Anatomy (LA)

Study of the gross anatomical components of the human body through the use of lecture and lab activities using models and electronic media. Emphasis is placed on the musculoskeletal, neurological, and vascular systems of the human body. Prerequisites: BIOL 20600, PTBS 31300, or EXSS 12000 and EXSS 12100 with a C or higher. (U,Y)
5 Credits

OTBS 41000 Neuroscience (LA)

Introduction to the science of the nervous system. Provides a framework for understanding the nervous system and the area of applied neurosciences. This course provides a scientific basis for improved patient care by clarifying the relationships between the nervous system and behavior. Selected laboratory and experiential activities enhance lecture, discussion, and reading materials. Prerequisite: OTBS 40000. (F,Y)
Attributes: NS
3 Credits

OTBS 42100 Kinesiology (LA)

The application of gross anatomy to the study of human movement, with emphasis on understanding the interrelated kinetics of normal motion of the musculoskeletal system as they influence functional activities. Evaluation procedures such as manual muscle testing (MMT), joint range of motion (ROM), palpation of surface anatomy, and kinesiological analysis of functional activities are used in laboratory sessions. Prerequisites: OTBS 40000. (F,Y).
Attributes: NS
4 Credits

OTBS 43000 Applied Interventions in Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Emphasis is on selected occupational therapy intervention methods. The use of orthotics as a preparatory method in intervention, the evaluation and intervention of biomechanical components, and prosthetics as an occupation-based activity are explored. Adaptation of methods of instructing activities of daily living and design of equipment are also covered. Prerequisites: OTBS 30500; OTBS 40000; OTBS 42100. (S,Y)
3 Credits

OTBS 44000 Concepts in Adult Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Concepts in occupational therapy for the adult population will be explored. Practice models that are suitable for the adult client population will be addressed within the context of the occupational therapy process. Includes a case based seminar to integrate theory with practice. Prerequisites: OTBS 30500; OTBS 40000. (F,Y)
4 Credits

OTBS 44500 Concepts in Pediatric Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Concepts in occupational therapy for the pediatric population will be explored. Practice models that are suitable for the pediatric client population will be addressed within the context of the occupational therapy process. Includes a case based seminar to integrate theory with practice. Prerequisites: OTBS 30500; OTBS 40000. (S,Y)
4 Credits

OTBS 45000 Adult Evaluation and Intervention Processes in Occupational Therapy (NLA)

The occupational therapy evaluation and intervention processes for the adult population will be explored. This includes development of an occupational profile of the client and conducting an analysis of occupational performance. The intervention phase involves implementation and re-evaluation of the intervention plan. This course includes a clinical FW experience. Prerequisites: OTBS 30500; OTBS 32000; OTBS 40000. (F,Y)
3 Credits

OTBS 45500 Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention Processes in Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Explores the occupational therapy evaluation and intervention processes for the pediatric population. Emphasis placed on development of an occupational profile of the client, analysis of occupational performance, and implementation and re-evaluation of the intervention plan. Includes a clinical fieldwork experience. Prerequisites: OTBS 30500; OTBS 40000. (S,Y)
3 Credits

OTBS 46000 Research Methods in Occupational Therapy (LA)

Review of the basic methods and designs used in occupational therapy research and inquiry. Includes conceptual foundations of research, basic research methodology, and analysis and interpretation of data and reading and use of scholarly literature to write effective arguments. Emphasizes critical evaluation of occupational therapy research literature based on both quantitative and qualitative methods in order to develop evidence-based practitioners. Development of the components of the individual thesis proposal and comprehensive literature reviews with emphasis on writing for professional audiences.Prerequisites: WRTG 10600 or ICSM 10800 or ICSM 11800. Corequiste: OTBS 38500. (F,Y)
Attributes: WI
3 Credits

OTBS 46500 Occupational Therapy Research Seminar (NLA)

A seminar/tutorial-based course that builds on previous classes in research statistics and design, and on clinical/professional courses in the senior year. This course is taken with a faculty member who is conducting research in an area of interest to the student. Construction of a research paper, including the development of a problem statement and research questions suitable for thesis research, and support of these elements with a background, definition, and rationale. Oral presentation of the proposal is required. Prerequisites: OTBS 46000; senior status. (S,Y)
1 Credit

OTBS 47100 Adult Clinical Conditions in Occupational Therapy (NLA)

A study of selected systemic, medical-surgical, orthopedic, and neurological conditions. Basic concepts in the identification, definition, and medical management of these conditions affecting adults and older persons. Emphasis is placed on understanding not only the etiology, pathology, and medical treatment, but also the effect of the condition and its treatment on the person's ability to perform functional activities. Prerequisites: OTBS 40000. (F,Y)
3 Credits

OTBS 47500 Pediatric Clinical Conditions in Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Exploration of the salient medical background of pediatric diseases and conditions. Principles of medical management of selected systemic diseases in children and young adults as a basis for intervention by an occupational therapist. Prerequisites: OTBS 40000; OTBS 41000. (S,Y)
2 Credits

OTBS 48100 ICC Capstone in OT (LA)

Exploration and reflection upon the relationship between experiences with the Ithaca College core curriculum courses and the individual as an occupational being and emerging occupational therapy professional. Emphasis on the proposal, design, and creation of a reflective artifact that demonstrates the changes that have occurred as a result of the ICC experience inside and outside of the study of occupational therapy. An analysis of how learning in the Integrative Core Curriculum contributes to the preparation of the individual in the study of occupational therapy will be discussed and developed. Prerequisites: Senior, permission of instructor. (S,Y)
Attributes: CP
1 Credit

OTBS 49900-49903 Independent Study in Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Individual research and writing in a particular area of occupational therapy, supervised by a faculty member in the department. An approved design statement is required before registration for this course. Prerequisites: Permission of supervising faculty member, student's adviser, department chair, and dean. (F-S,Y)
1-3 Credits