The Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program at Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) adheres to the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) standards to offer a comprehensive educational experience, encompassing classroom instruction and experiential placements known as fieldwork. This approach enables students to transition from their role as learners to that of practitioners, as outlined by Costa (2015, p. 3).

Within the didactic phase of the program, students acquire foundational knowledge in basic health sciences, the principles underpinning occupational therapy practice, relevant models and theories, as well as evidence-based techniques informing interventions. Furthermore, the curriculum equips students with the skills needed to assume roles as innovators, leaders, and advocates in the dynamic field of occupational therapy.

The fieldwork component of our program provides students with the opportunity to apply their classroom learning in real-world scenarios. This entails the practical application of theoretical and scientific principles when working with actual clients in authentic practice settings. It requires students to demonstrate their competency in addressing clients’ occupational performance needs, formulate and implement intervention strategies, and foster innovation, advocacy, and leadership while engaging with individuals, communities, and populations.

The KGI fieldwork program closely aligns with the program’s curriculum by offering students a balanced approach. This includes the development of solid foundational skills in traditional settings, along with the chance to undertake fieldwork in non-traditional and emerging roles, and innovative practice areas. Our students are challenged to explore avenues that merge innovation with conventional therapeutic settings by integrating principles of whole-person care, lifestyle medicine, and innovative practice techniques.

Furthermore, our students are encouraged to discover the vast potential of occupational therapy in promoting and sustaining health, well-being, participation, and inclusion to address the evolving and diverse needs of the real world.

The educational program at KGI encompasses five semesters of didactic education, complemented by Level I fieldwork experiences across a wide spectrum of settings. Additionally, students undertake two semesters of Level II fieldwork in distinct practice environments. Successful completion of all fieldwork experiences serves as the foundation for entering the Doctoral Capstone Experience in their final semester.

Fieldwork experiences enable students to translate the knowledge, skills, and foundations acquired during the classroom phase into effective patient care. ACOTE underscores the significance of fieldwork education as it serves to:

  • Foster clinical reasoning.
  • Cultivate reflective practice.
  • Transmit the values and beliefs that underlie ethical practice.
  • Develop professionalism.
  • Establish competence in fulfilling 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