What people do every day matters. Occupational therapists empower clients of all ages to flourish through participating in daily life activities. KGI’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program in Claremont, CA will prepare graduates as innovative leaders within the occupational therapy field. Expected to enroll in fall 2022, the three-year program will showcase active-learning, hands-on lab and fieldwork experiences, and team collaboration that will prepare students to become resourceful, ethical, and agile problem solvers.

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Emphasis on Lifestyle Medicine

As a curricular thread, principles and practices of lifestyle medicine will be interwoven into courses across the OTD program preparing students to be champions for lifestyle changes to improve health and well-being.

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Collaboration with Medical Device Engineering Program

OTD students will have the opportunity to learn basic design and engineering principles and work with students on creating device solutions to promote participation in daily life activities.

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Range of Electives

We understand occupational therapy is a broad profession. KGI OTD students will have the ability to take elective courses in a range of topics to build knowledge and experience in a specific area of practice or clinical skill set.

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Whole Person Care

We understand that for people to be happy and healthy they need to be seen and treated holistically. Through the lens of a systems approach, KGI OTD students will be trained to utilize a whole person approach to occupational therapy. Students will learn to achieve therapeutic outcomes by addressing the complex interplay of factors that influence occupational engagement, including both physical and mental health, family systems, social factors, and the environment.

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Occupational Therapy in Higher Education

Attending graduate school can be a stressful experience where managing time and demands can prove challenging. At KGI, we have occupational therapy services available through Student Affairs for all students to help navigate the complexities of attending graduate school. KGI OTD students will learn how to provide occupational therapy services in higher education settings through coursework, electives, and the option of fieldwork to help move this important emerging practice area forward.

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Innovations in Practice

We believe that occupational therapy is the answer for many of the problems people face in our world. KGI OTD students will understand the innovative potential of therapeutically utilizing occupation to promote health and well-being for clients, communities, and populations. Students will be trained on the use of innovative practices and technologies to evolve occupational therapy care in traditional settings as well as pave the way for occupational therapy in emerging areas of practice.

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Health Equity and Occupational Justice

The OTD program at KGI believes the profession is better and more effective when there is equitable and diverse representation of the communities and populations we serve. Students will begin their education learning about occupational therapy using an occupational justice lens and understand the inequities that lead to poor health outcomes and access to services. Students will apply this knowledge throughout the curriculum, learning to address and advocate for issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the practice and policy levels while also developing lifelong skills to be culturally responsive practitioners.

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Community-Based Practice

Our world is filled with needs that occupational therapy can fulfill. KGI’s OTD students will learn about the value of bringing an occupational therapy lens to providing community-based services. Our OTD students will learn the process of determining the needs of a community, identifying grant and funding sources, and developing programs in areas including older adult independent living settings, after-school programs, and family shelters, among others. Students will gain experience in providing therapeutic services to the community through experiential learning opportunities and collaborations with other disciplines in the KGI community.

Capstone Coordinator Dr. Danielle Friberg Forges a New Path for KGI’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

Within Occupational Therapy (OT) programs, the doctoral capstone is still a relatively new aspect of OT education. Thus, as Capstone Coordinator and Assistant Professor for Keck Graduate Institute (KGI)'s forthcoming Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program,...
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Ardmore Institute of Health Grant Supports Lifestyle Medicine in KGI’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

The Ardmore Institute of Health (AIH) has awarded a grant to Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) to create a lifestyle medicine and occupational therapy integrated curriculum in support of the launch of KGI’s developing Occupational Therapy...
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KGI OTD Founding Program Director Christy Billock Joins Advisory Boards for CHERP and APEX-K

Christy Billock, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) Professor and Founding Program Director of the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program, has recently joined two advisory boards for Claremont Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP) and neuro-rehabilitation biotech company...
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KGI’s Pre-Occupational Therapy Program Showcases Career Trajectories

This story was first published in the 2019-20 Annual Report. Occupational therapy is a rewarding career path with a client-centered approach. The inaugural session of Keck Graduate Institute's (KGI) Pre-Occupational Therapy Program (PrOT) this past...
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About the Program

We believe in occupational therapy’s transformative power both in current practice settings and in areas where occupational therapy is not yet established. KGI’s OTD program envisions the innovative potential for therapeutically utilizing occupation to promote and sustain health, wellbeing, participation, and inclusion to meet a wide range of ever-changing, real-world needs.

Our mission is to educate future occupational therapists to meet the needs of individuals, communities, and populations for meaningful participation in daily life activities through a transformative and dynamic educational process. Students will learn to work with people of all ages and ability levels in client-centered, culturally responsive ways.

The transformative educational process of learning to “think like an OT” will be fueled by dynamic teaching, active learning, and collaboration with occupational therapy classmates and students from other professional programs and disciplines. The program will provide a solid foundation in the scholarship of practice where professional thinking necessarily utilizes evidence and theory to meet clients’ needs for optimizing occupational performance and participation.

We will teach our students to think outside of the box. KGI’s OTD students will consider innovative possibilities for the future of practice where pioneering new approaches to occupational therapy care will be valued in the marketplace to meet the ever-changing needs of our world.

The most powerful tool we can use in occupational therapy is ourselves. KGI’s OTD program will nurture students’ growth as compassionate, ethical practitioners who act with authenticity and integrity in every step of the occupational therapy process.

Download the Program Info Sheet

Accreditation Process

KGI’s entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). KGI’s offering of an OTD program is also subject to approval from the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC) Senior Colleges and Universities Commission (WSCUC).

Accreditation Process

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Program Leadership

Christy Billock was hired on September 20, 2019 as the Founding Program Director of the entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate program at Keck Graduate Institute.

Learn more about Dr. Billock

Interested in KGI's OTD Program?

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