The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program at Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) follows the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) requirements to offer educational experiences both in the classroom and through the use of experiential placements, known as fieldwork, to provide students the opportunity to achieve competence and propel students from the “role of student to that of practitioner” (Costa, 2015, p. 3). In the didactic portion of the educational model, students will learn basic health sciences, the foundations of occupational therapy practice, guiding models and theories, and knowledge in evidence-based practice techniques that inform interventions. Additionally, students will learn how to become innovators, leaders, and advocates in the field of occupational therapy.

In the fieldwork component of the program, students are provided the opportunity to put their classroom knowledge into practice. This includes opportunities to apply theoretical and scientific principles with real clients in the context of authentic practice environments, the ability to demonstrate competencies in client occupational performance needs, the development and implementation of intervention strategies and techniques to support client’s occupational participation, and the opportunity for innovation, advocacy, and leadership development working with individuals, communities, and populations.

The fieldwork program at KGI closely aligns with the curricular design of the program by offering students the ability to build strong foundational skills in traditional settings while also providing students the opportunity to complete fieldwork in non-traditional and role-emerging settings, and innovative practice areas. Students will be challenged to explore ways to bridge innovation with traditional therapeutic settings through the infusion of whole-person care, lifestyle medicine principles, and innovative practice skills. Moreover, students will be allowed to discover where occupational therapy can champion 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.  

The educational program offered by KGI includes five semesters of didactic education supported with Level I fieldwork opportunities in a wide variety of settings and two semesters of Level II fieldwork in two different practice settings. Successful completion of all fieldwork experiences provides students with the necessary requirements to move into their Doctoral Capstone Experience in their final semester. Fieldwork experiences offer students the ability to take the knowledge, skill, and foundations learned in the classroom portion of their education and translate these skills to patient care. ACOTE states that “fieldwork education is a crucial part of professional preparation,” and is designed to:

  • Promote clinical reasoning
  • Develop reflective practice
  • Transmit the values and beliefs that enable ethical practice
  • Develop professionalism
  • Establish competence in career responsibilities

Interested in Becoming an OTD Fieldwork site or educator?

Please fill out the form to connect with Vikas Sharma, Program Director, Occupational Therapy Doctorate or email Sharma directly at