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History, Mission, Vision and Philosophy

Vision statement:
Preparing professionals for innovative and reasoned practice and leadership

Mission statement:
To provide exemplary education that prepares occupational therapy leaders supporting people to participate in everyday life.


Program Philosophy
The KU occupational therapy program believes in the following principles:

  • People learn through supported discovery and reflection

  • People have the right and capacity to direct their own lives

  • Quality of life depends on engagement in occupation

  • People’s characteristics are strengths which support participation in everyday life

  • Participation in everyday life involves interaction between the person, task, and context

  • Adjustments to context and activities support participation in occupations in everyday life

  • Best practice promotes participation in authentic contexts

  • Best practice entails producing and using evidence

  • Interprofessional collaboration enriches education and practice


A Brief History of the Occupational Therapy Program at KU

The Department of Occupational Therapy Education joined the School of Health Professions (then named the School of Allied Health) in 1985, relocating its bachelor's degree curriculum from the Lawrence campus. In 1999 the department was approved to revise its curriculum to offer an entry-level Master of Occupational Therapy degree. Students enter the program as seniors and receive a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Studies before beginning graduate-level study.

The first class entered the MOT program in Summer, 2000. A doctoral program was added in 2001 – the PhD in Therapeutic Science – which is an interdisciplinary program for those wishing to pursue scholarly, research and academic options for their careers.

In 2007 the department began offering a new academic program, the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree, which offers a post-professional opportunity for those who wish to develop specialized skills for leadership in practice.

Last modified: Sep 07, 2018
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