2023-2024 Catalog


Occupational Therapy Doctorate

The entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree (OTD) is a comprehensive 105 credit-hour program designed to prepare graduates with the requisite knowledge and skills for practice as professional occupational therapists. The program is designed for students who have successfully earned a baccalaureate degree (or higher) in any field of study, and have also completed the required eight prerequisite courses necessary to prepare them for the OTD program’s curricular content.  The conscious inclusion of interprofessional learning experiences in the curriculum is a direct response to both ACOTE accreditation recommendations and the movement within health professions education to better prepare healthcare practitioners for teamwork and successful collaboration in their eventual employment settings. 

The OTD program utilizes the Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance (PEOP) framework as a primary guiding model, while also incorporating concepts and language from the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework (OTPF).  The PEOP model was selected for several reasons.  First, the model is attractive for its focus on "occupation" as the core construct of the occupational therapy profession.  The centrality of occupation in the model naturally leads to interventions based upon purposeful engagement in occupations that are necessary and meaningful to the client.  Another feature of the PEOP model which makes it attractive to our program is the importance placed on client-centered care, including the definition of "client," which encompasses individuals, organizations, and communities.  The focus of the model on occupational performance and participation helps students to see the link between the curricular design and the OTPF, which also stresses occupational performance and participation.  Another important construct of the PEOP model which fits well into the curricular design at IWU is the emphasis on interprofessional teamwork in healthcare.  And finally, the PEOP is appealing to Indiana Wesleyan University and our OTD program as it validates the importance of spirituality in the everyday lives of occupational therapy clients.

Vision and Mission

The vision of the Indiana Wesleyan University Occupational Therapy Program is to glorify God by changing the world of healthcare through the preparation of students who fully embrace the art and science of the occupational therapy, thus enabling graduates to provide compassionate, creative, ethical, and evidence-based services in an increasingly diverse and technologically advanced world. 

The mission of the Occupational Therapy Program is to educate practitioners who will collaborate professionally to promote client-centered, occupation-based practice and provide servant leadership within their communities. We value an active learning environment that fosters the holistic personal and professional development of students, faculty, and community members.


The occupational therapy doctoral (OTD) program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Execute Boulevard, Suite 200 North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-6611 and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. The OTD program’s graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.


OTD Program Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes of the proposed program mirror outcomes developed by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), and the desired outcomes of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) graduate education. Upon completion of the OTD program, graduates are expected to demonstrate competence in the following areas:

  • Servant Leadership/Advocacy: Graduates of the OTD program will advocate, on behalf of consumers and the profession, as servant leaders who are actively involved in professional and community organizations.
  • Moral Character: Graduates of the OTD program will promote occupational justice as people of moral character who apply Christ-like attitudes and ethical values.
  • Scholarship/Research: Graduates of the OTD program will increase the body of knowledge in occupational therapy through scholarship and research in preparation for practice and life-long learning.
  • Global Perspective: Graduates of the OTD program will address global and diverse occupational needs from a global perspective.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Graduates of the OTD program will apply occupational therapy scientific knowledge to create evidence-based intervention programs and/or protocols that are culturally responsive and client-centered.
  • Occupational Therapy Theory: Graduates of the OTD program will apply theoretical models and practice frameworks when developing systems for the delivery of occupational therapy services.
  • Residency Project: Graduates of the OTD program will demonstrate advanced practice competency in a chosen residency area.

*To have a Christ-like character is to possess the “fruit of the Spirit” as enumerated in Galatians 5:22 and 23. The Fruit of the Spirit is love, which includes the qualities of “joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” We strive to embody all of these qualities in our lives, thereby treating others as Christ would treat them. Jesus Christ was humble (John 13:1-5) and compassionate in His service to those He came into contact with (Ephesians 4:32). He also taught His followers to be forgiving to those who have wronged them (Colossians 3:13). Being Christ-like involves following Christ’s example of reaching out in love and serving others.

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