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Academic Catalog '15-'16 | Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.)

Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.)



Dr. Myrtle Evans, Director of the Master’s in Occupational Therapy Program
Mr. Timothy Holley, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
Dr. Kim Sands, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator


The Master’s of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program is designed to prepare students for entry-level practice while meeting the needs of working and non-traditional students.  The MOT is a 69-credit program and requires five semesters of continuous full-time academic study (including the summer between the first and second year), followed by two 12-week Level II fieldwork placements in two healthcare settings. The program utilizes a blended-learning, hybrid format where a large percentage of didactic content is delivered online and students attend classes on campus eight times per semester.The online experience incorporates best practices in hybrid learning to include directed reading, lectures, podcast, quizzes and assignments. The face-to-face session will include lecture, discussion, group activities, experiential learning and practicum experiences. Students will also supplement classwork with community placement or Level I fieldwork each semester. The fieldwork placements will provide opportunities to interact with clients, families and professionals in diverse  practice settings. Students will observe and practice assessment and OT treatment under the supervision of an occupational therapist or other professional.

The Master of Occupational Therapy program is designed to:

  • Meet ACOTE Standards for accreditation;
  • Provide access to high quality occupational therapy education to students from diverse educational and professional backgrounds through a blended learning educational model that combines online instruction, weekend classes, and community fieldwork placements; and,
  • Prepare students for success in fieldwork, the NBCOT certification exam, and entry-level practice as a generalist practitioner.

Prerequisite coursework and technological competence with Microsoft Office, email and web searching are required for admission. Successful completion of all coursework and fieldwork is necessary to graduate with the Master’s in Occupational Therapy degree.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Occupational Therapy program involves five semesters of full-time study, followed by two 12-week full-time Level II fieldwork placements.  Students enter the program in the fall semester and are expected to maintain continuous enrollment until graduation.  All students must complete the program within four years.

To earn the Trinity MOT degree, students must:

  • Complete all academic courses with a final grade of  C or better. Students may earn no more than two Cs over the five semesters of academic work.  Students who receive two Cs in a single semester will be required to repeat the courses the following year. Students who receive a grade of D or F in any course will be automatically dismissed from the program. Students dismissed from the program may reapply after 12 months following the MOT program dismissal. Reapplication does not guarantee readmission to the program.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for all semesters of academic work.
  • Meet ethical standards and professional behavioral expectations as determined by faculty review and as outlined on the Professional Behavioral Plan.
  • Successfully pass four Level I and two Level II fieldwork placements.
  • Document ongoing compliance with required health, insurance and Life Support Skills requirements.

Required Courses

Semester I: Fall Year 1 (12 credits)
OTM 520 Foundations of OT Practice
OTM 521 Occupational Development Across the Lifespan
OTM 522 Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology
OTM 525 OT Process I: Basic Skills

Semester II: Spring Year 1 (13 credits)

OTM 532 Functional Neuroscience: Sensory-Motor Foundations of Occupation
OTM 533 Research to Practice I
OTM 534 Pediatric Interventions
OTM 535 OT Process II

Semester III: Summer Year 2 (6 credits) 
OTM 614 Psychosocial/Behavioral Foundations and Intervention
OTM 615 OT Process III

Semester IV: Fall Year 2 (12 credits)
OTM 630 Policy, Advocacy, and Ethics
OTM 623 Research to Practice II: EBP
OTM 624 OT Interventions with Adults
OTM 625 OT Process IV: Treatment Planning and Documentation

Semester V: Spring Year 2 (12 credits) 
OTM 620 Administration, Management, and Leadership
OTM 632 Special Topics in OT II
OTM 634 Interventions for Participation, Health, and Aging
OTM 635 OT Process IV: Environments and Technology

Semester VI: Summer Year 3 (6 credits)
OTM 691 Level II Fieldwork I

Semester VII: Fall Year 3 (8 credits) 
OTM 692 Level II Fieldwork 2
OTM 694 Professional Seminar V: School to Practice
NBCOT Practice Exam

Program Policies

CPR Certification: 
CPR certification is required of all MOT students.  Students must complete American Heart Association Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification (for the Health Care Professional) prior to entering the program and are required to maintain current CPR certification while at Trinity.  Students must maintain an updated copy of the CPR card with the MOT office and may not begin Level II fieldwork with expired certification.

Criminal Background Check:
A criminal background check including sex offense registry and check for crimes against minors is mandatory for all admitted MOT students prior to beginning classes and again prior to their first Level II fieldwork. MOT students may be required to complete a criminal background check including fingerprinting at the request of a fieldwork facility.  The MOT program retains the right to review the results and to share with fieldwork settings when requested.  The MOT program and/or a fieldwork site may deny student placement based on results of the criminal background check.

Grades in Graduate Courses:
Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 to graduate and no more than two grades of “C” may appear on their transcript over the course of five semesters. Students who receive two Cs in a single semester will be required to repeat the courses the following year. Students who receive a grade of D or F in any course will be automatically dismissed from the program.

Health and Immunization Requirements: 
In order to comply with Trinity policies, meet the regulations of fieldwork sites and to minimize risks to student health, all MOT students must provide evidence of good health and comply with current immunization, vaccine and screening requirements set by the Trinity MOT program. Students are required to provide annual documentation of influenza immunization and TB test results. The student must notify the program office promptly with any changes or up-dates.  Students without current documentation on file will not be permitted to attend Level I or Level II fieldwork.  Students should be aware that some fieldwork placements may require additional vaccinations or tests and will be required to comply with all site-specific requirements as requested.

HIPPA compliance:
Trinity MOT students must complete online HIPPA training during orientation week.   A copy of course completion must be provided to the MOT office no later than the first day of class.  This information may be shared with fieldwork sites as requested.

Pass/No Pass:
Graduate students may not take courses on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Personal Health Insurance:  All MOT students are required to present evidence of personal health insurance prior to beginning coursework.

  • Students must be covered by year-round health insurance. This may be obtained through the Trinity Health and Wellness Center or through private insurance.
  • Students must provide proof of health insurance coverage by providing a copy of their insurance card to the MOT main office. This information will be kept on file while students are in the program.  Students must notify the program if insurance coverage changes and are expected to maintain a current card on file.
  • Health insurance information must include the type of insurance and information about where the student may be treated if medical services are required. Trinity MOT and/or fieldwork supervisors must have this information on file in the case of a healthcare emergency.
  • Students are responsible for any medical costs incurred while in the MOT program that are not covered by their personal health care insurance. Trinity does not assume liability for an incident or injury that may occur during a clinical or lab experience.

Experiential Learning Policy (TELL):
Trinity Experiential Lifelong Learning (TELL) credits are not applicable toward the MOT degree.

Transfer Policy:
The Master of Occupational Therapy degree program does not accept transfer credits from other occupational therapy programs. Students are required to complete all coursework and fieldwork as Trinity students in order to graduate with the Master of Occupational Therapy degree.


Trinity’s Master of Occupational Therapy program aims to develop competent, caring and committed generalist practitioners who exemplify core values of respect, justice and service that are reflective of the occupational therapy profession and Trinity and will be prepared to meet the occupational needs of diverse populations in our community.  Our blended learning program is committed to:

  • Offering high-quality hybrid professional education to a diverse student population;
  • Providing classroom, clinical and community experiences that enrich student learning and prepare students for current and emerging practice settings in their communities;
  • Establishing strong clinical partnerships with the local and global community.


As we develop the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Trinity, we envision building a community of faculty, students and alumni with strong ties to the OTA field, health profession programs at Trinity, and to the community of Washington, DC.   We want our program to be recognized for:

  • The quality of our faculty, program of study, and clinical experiences;
  • The professional preparation and quality of our graduates; and
  • Our contributions to promoting access and health through consultation, collaboration, research, and service.


The Trinity MOT program is designed in accordance with the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Philosophy of Occupational Therapy Education (AOTA, 2007) to meet the missions of Trinity Washington University and the Master’s Program in Occupational Therapy.  The educational goal is to train clinicians who embody the core values of Trinity and the profession of occupational therapy and who possess the necessary skills for success in entry-level practice. To meet these objectives, we have developed an integrated curriculum that combines the foundation of knowledge about occupation, occupational therapy and biomedical and sociocultural contributors to health and disability. With practical and fieldwork experiences we develop clinical skills, support evidence-based practices and build professionalism.  We are committed to providing innovative teaching, mentoring, and supportive learning to educate strong, caring clinicians who contribute to the practice and profession of occupational therapy.

 Occupational Therapy Program Philosophy:

Occupational therapy is a healthcare profession dedicated to improving health, participation and quality of life through the therapeutic use of activities or ‘occupations’.   ‘Occupations’ are the things that people do everyday to give purpose, structure and meaning to life (OTPF, 2014).   Occupational therapists believe that participation in occupation is a basic human drive that is central to survival, health and quality of life (AOTA, 2007); and, also a powerful therapeutic medium to improve people’s lives (AOTA, 2014, Reilly, 1961).  OTs work with people, groups and communities, and use occupation-based treatment to address limitations in physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, communication domains, improve occupational performance, promote health and well being, and facilitate participation (AOTA, 2014).  Occupational engagement and participation are central to occupational therapy and function as both the process of intervention, and the final product of intervention (AOTA, 2011).   Thus, the goal of occupational therapy intervention is to provide skills for living and doing, so that people who are challenged by disease, injury or disability, environmental barriers, and/or social restrictions can engage or re-engage in the occupations that are meaningful to them in ways that are adaptive to their life circumstances.   By harnessing people’s intrinsic drive to be active and participate fully in all aspects of life, occupational therapy becomes a powerful tool for therapeutic change.

At Trinity, we embrace a holistic philosophy of occupational therapy that is influenced by both the historical core values of the profession and emerging knowledge in psychological, social, biological, and health sciences (AOTA, 2007, 2014).  This holistic philosophy encompasses both the ‘art’ and the ‘science’ of occupational therapy.   Occupational therapy was founded on two core values: a respect for the dignity and value of each person and a belief that participation in everyday occupations is basic to survival, health and quality of life (Reilly, 1962; Wood, 1995). These values are rooted in a therapeutic practice that is client-centered and occupation-based, where therapist and clients form a relationship of mutual respect and collaborate to meet occupational goals through a process of active learning through doing (Yerxa, 1967).   Although the writings of the profession have expanded on this early vision, and occupational therapists now serve as educators, consultants, advocates, and researchers, in addition to clinicians, a focus on human occupation and client-centered treatment remain at the center of professional practice (OTPF, 2014).  The Trinity MOT program views these historical values as essential to the current practice of occupational therapy and is committed to educating clinicians who are well prepared to deliver client-centered, occupation-based practice in current and emerging practice areas.

In addition to connecting to core values and historical roots, Trinity MOT also recognizes that current professional practice is impacted by the growing trend in healthcare toward research and evidence-based practice.  To meet this trend, we believe that a philosophy of occupational therapy must include a statement about the “science” of our profession, an area that was not emphasized by the pioneer practitioners, and is an essential part of the profession’s vision for the future (AOTA Centennial Vision, 2007).  Embracing the science of occupational therapy challenges occupational therapists to expand the scientific foundations of our profession and increase our evidence base through research that both validates core values and interventions and helps to develop new evidence-based treatments (Holm, 2000; Centennial Vision, 2007).   For OT educators, a commitment to evidence-based practice means preparing students to enter practice with the skills necessary to be informed consumers of research and practice evidence-based treatment and clinical scholarship (Corcoran, 2003; Tickle-Degnan, 2001).   The American Occupational Therapy Association believes that strengthening the profession’s research capacity and productivity will serve as a powerful tool to enhance professional recognition of occupational therapy and help practicing therapists better meet society’s occupational needs in new and emerging practice areas.  Trinity MOT strongly believes that scientific inquiry and research are integral to the practice of occupational therapy in the 21st century, and is committed to advancing AOTA’s Centennial Vision by incorporating the skills needed for research and evidence-based practice into academic coursework, clinical training, and fieldwork across the curriculum.

Our View of Learning and Occupational Therapy Education:

In a professional program, learning must be an interactive and reciprocal process that requires both teacher and learner to be involved and committed.  Trinity MOT recognizes that students come to their professional program with a variety of educational backgrounds and life experiences, as well as different preferred ways of learning. In traditional curricula where courses are organized around separate topics, it is often hard for students to see the relevance of what they are learning for clinical practice or to retain material that seems irrelevant once a course has ended.  Trinity’s integrated MOT curriculum is designed to help students, with varying backgrounds and learning preferences, make on-going connections between coursework and clinical practice and to apply what they are learning to clinical situations from the first semesters of the program.  The curriculum is designed so that core concepts and themes connect between courses and across semesters.   Courses are designed with clear learning outcomes that allow students to measure what they are learning and faculty are committed to providing varied learning experiences and teaching methods that make course material accessible and meaningful to every student who enters the program.   We believe that this integrated model of professional education will facilitate active learning, build clinical reasoning, practice skills and prepare students from diverse backgrounds for entry-level practice and professional success.

We also believe that students in a graduate program must take responsibility for their own learning and become actively engaged in the learning process.   A well-designed curriculum, meaningful coursework, clinical experiences and committed faculty can set up the conditions that facilitate and support learning; but, it is up to each student to develop the study habits and skills needed to master the material, demonstrate clinical proficiency and apply what they are learning to new contexts and populations.  Becoming an occupational therapist is a complicated process. It is not something that can be mastered solely by listening to lectures, reading a textbook, or watching videos on YouTube.  To succeed in this program, students need to be prepared to invest considerable time and effort outside of class and to participate actively in classroom discussions, assignments, practicums, simulations and clinical placements.  Students who invest in learning will be challenged to become self-directed learners, reflective and critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers, which is the ultimate goal of all graduate and professional education (Knowles, et al., 1998).  These skills and a commitment to lifelong learning are also needed for occupational therapy practice in current practice settings and will provide the skills needed to expand occupational therapy into emerging settings and new communities and populations.


Corcoran, M. (2003).  Clinical scholars.  AJOT, 57, 607-608

Harden, R., Sowden, S.,  & Dunn, W. (1984).  Some educational strategies in curriculum development: The SPICES model.  Medical Education, 18, 284-297.

Holm, M. B. (2000). Our mandate for the new millennium: Evidence-based practice, 2000 Eleanor Clarke Slagle lecture. AJOT, 54, 575-585.


The entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is

The program may now proceed with the preaccreditation review of the program.  The MOT program is scheduled to submit its self-study in April 2016.  The program anticipates an on-site visit in late 2016 or early 2017 followed by an accreditation decision prior to students beginning full-time fieldwork in summer, 2017.

Once the program has been accredited, Trinity graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (N.B.C.O.T.). Students must pass this exam in order to practice as an Occupational Therapist, Registered (O.T.R.). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the N.B.C.O.T. certification examination or to attain state licensure.

Course Descriptions

OTM 520 Foundations of OT Practice
OTM 521 Occupational Development Across the Lifespan
OTM 522 Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology
OTM 525 OT Process I: Basic Skills
OTM 532 Functional Neuroscience: Sensory-Motor Foundations of Occupation
OTM 533 Research to Practice I
OTM 534 Pediatric Interventions
OTM 535 OT Process II
OTM 614 Psychosocial/Behavioral Foundations and Intervention
OTM 615 OT Process III
OTM 620 Administration, Management, and Leadership
OTM 623 Research to Practice II: EBP
OTM 624 OT Interventions with Adults
OTM 625 OT Process IV: Treatment Planning and Documentation
OTM 630 Policy, Advocacy, and Ethics
OTM 632 Special Topics in OT II
OTM 634 Interventions for Participation, Health, and Aging
OTM 635 OT Process IV: Environments and Technology
OTM 690 Research to Practice III: Independent Study
OTM 691 Level II Fieldwork I
OTM 692 Level II Fieldwork 2
OTM 694 Professional Seminar V: School to Practice

Trinity reserves the right to change, without prior notice, any policy or procedure, tuition or fee, curricular requirements, or any other information found on this web site or in its printed materials.

Questions may be directed to the Office of Academic Affairs at



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