In agreement with the Creighton University Mission and the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions Mission Statement, the mission statement of the Department of Occupational Therapy is as follows:
“The mission of the Creighton University Department of Occupational Therapy is to educate ethical practitioners, to engage in scholarship dedicated to the pursuit of truth, to serve the profession, and to offer occupational therapy expertise to local and global communities. The Creighton University occupational therapy graduate will be creative, holistic, reflective, and committed to life-long learning. Therefore, the department will value and honor diversity, model and foster leadership, and facilitate spiritual, personal and professional growth.”
The philosophical base of the Department of Occupational Therapy is consistent with the Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy (American Occupational Therapy Association-AOTA, 2011). The statement of philosophy of the Occupational Therapy Department states:
“It is the philosophy of the Department that humans are self-directed, adaptive, occupational beings. As such, their development (emotional, spiritual, social, cognitive, and biological) occurs in the context of occupation. Learning comes about through immersed exploration of diverse practice environments, collaboration, service, reflection, and creative thinking. In the view of the Department, teaching is enabling, knowledge is understanding, and learning is the active construction of subject matter. We believe learning is contextual in three ways: new knowledge is acquired by extending and revising prior knowledge; new ideas acquire meaning when they are presented in a coherent relationship to one another; and knowledge becomes usable when it is acquired in situations that entail applications to concrete problem-solving. Thus, the faculty teaches through a variety of approaches intended to actively engage learners, draw upon their power as emerging professionals, and integrate occupational therapy knowledge: discussion, reflection, and self-directed learning.”
Reference: American Occupational Therapy Association. (2011). The philosophical base of occupational therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(Suppl.), S65. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2011.65
Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes
The program goals of the Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy program work toward this end by preparing graduates that:
- Demonstrate entry-level occupational therapy clinical skills1
- Develop a new or refine an existing program that enhances occupational therapy practice.
- Demonstrate positive interpersonal skills and insight into one's professional behaviors to accurately appraise one's professional dispositions, strengths, and areas for improvement.
- Demonstrate the ability to practice educative roles for clients, peers, students, and others in community and clinical settings.
- Influence policy, practice, and education by advocating for occupational therapy services for individuals and populations and for the profession.
- Demonstrate leadership aptitudes and characteristics to assume leadership roles at the local, national and international levels in occupational therapy, health professions, and the community.
- Develop essential knowledge and skills to contribute to the advancement of occupational therapy through scholarly activities.
- Apply principles and constructs of ethics to individual, institutional, and social issues, and articulate justifiable resolutions to these issues and act in an ethical manner.
Goal 1 is assumed to be accomplished by all post professional OTD students.
As part of a Jesuit University, we are convinced that the hope of humanity is in the ability of men and women to seek the truths and values essential to human life. Therefore, we aim to lead our students and faculty in discovering and embracing the challenging responsibilities of their intelligence, freedom, and value as persons. We believe that the intrinsic and unique value of human beings is expressed through occupation, and that the deepest purpose of each man and woman is to create, enrich and share life through human community. Further, we believe we should strive for a human community of justice, respect, and mutual concern. Occupations are activities having unique meaning and purpose in a person’s life. Occupations are central to a person’s identity and competence, and they influence how one spends time and makes decisions (AOTA, 2008).
In the Creighton University professional doctorate program occupational therapy is viewed as a “profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life” (World Federation of Occupational Therapists, 2012). Occupations unfold at the level of the individual, family, community, society and the world.
The profession-specific portion of the occupational therapy curricula is conceptualized as encompassing three primary themes: occupation, professional practice, and professional identity. Rather than approach each theme sequentially, the curricula are built around the nesting of these themes, so that students begin studying all of them as soon as they enter the program and continue to build on them throughout the curricula. In the entry-level and post-professional programs the content of each theme unfolds over the entire course sequence, becoming integrated as the student progresses. Course objectives reflect curricular themes, although some courses emphasize one theme more than others.
In addition, threads of Leadership and Ignatian Values derived from the curriculum themes reinforce the development of therapists prepared at the doctoral level who are committed to serve societal needs. These threads thus serve as a way to integrate the three themes of the curricula. Students are expected to become engaged professionals who creatively articulate and model the integration of advanced knowledge and ethical decision-making through innovative practice, research, publication, advocacy, policy development and public speaking in efforts to influence broader health systems.
American Occupational Therapy Association, (2008). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process, 2nd edition. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62, 609-639.
World Federation of Occupational Therapists (2012) Definition of Occupational Therapy. Available at