Up to six credits of graduate occupational therapy degree if equivalent in content, to Mercy College occupational therapy courses. Permission to transfer credits must be requested at the time of admission and official transcripts and course descriptions must be submitted to the program director for evaluation of equivalency. Students may be required to provide a copy of the course outline and required assignments for review by the Occupational Therapy Program Admissions Committee.
The program has adopted a list of Essential Functions that outlines the necessary communication, motor, intellectual/cognitive, and behavioral/social attributes deemed necessary for program completion and clinical practice in the field. The list of these essential functions is available upon request from the program. Students are expected to review this list and sign a form stating that they are or are not capable of performing the skills and abilities listed.
The program incorporates a variety of learning methods including a mixture of lecture discussion, small group problem solving, hands on experiences and problem based learning (PBL). In PBL, students meet in small groups with a faculty facilitator to discuss clinical cases. The case context drives learning, required students' active participation and involvement in the learning process and reflects the actual process occupational therapists engage in within practice. The cases require students to call upon precious learned knowledge from pre-requisite courses, engage in independent and self-directed learning and use a variety of learning resources. PBL allows students to learn the content specified for the course by applying clinical reasoning and inquiry skills.
Incomplete grades will be granted only under extenuating circumstances and for no more than 25 percent of total course assignments or examinations within a term. Students will contract, in writing, with the course instructor regarding the completion of coursework within a time specified by the program Faculty Review Committee. Students may not register for any further occupational therapy courses without permission from the program director. Failure to complete the work in accord with the contract-specified time will automatically result in failure for the course.
Clinical Education Grades
If a student fails any clinical education course, the decision to allow the course to be repeated will be determined by a Faculty Review Committee. If the student is allowed to repeat the clinical experience, matriculated status will be withdrawn. A student may only withdraw from a clinical education experience and fails again, he/she will be dismissed from the program. If the student is not allowed to repeat the clinical experience, matriculated status will be withdrawn. A student may only withdraw from a clinical education experience for extenuating circumstances approved by a Faculty Review Committee.
Students who are not meeting required standards or competencies of a Level II clinical education experience will be required to suspend work towards the completion of their master's capstone project to enable them to focus their efforts on successful completion of the clinical experience. This will require the student to register for OCTR 890 Capstone Continuation and possibly delay their graduation date.
Each life-span module is linked to a Level I Fieldwork course designed to connect theory to practice. Students are assigned to various clinical and community settings for a minimum of seven weekdays each fall and spring trimester. Level I Fieldwork in Pediatrics is completed in settings such as children's specialized hospital and rehabilitation centers, private schools, school based practices, special education schools, pediatric units in general hospitals and outpatient clinics. Level I Fieldwork in Adolescence is completed in residential care facilities for children and youth with emotional disabilities or after school programs for impoverished and "at-risk" youth that are located primarily in the counties surrounding the college. Accommodations may be made for students outside of the tri-state area. Level I Fieldwork in Adults is completed with a physically disabled population in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, private practices, outpatient clinics. The final Level I Fieldwork course in Geriatrics is completed in community settings typically in social based adult day programs for individuals with dementia.
Fieldwork Level I Attendance Policy
Absences of more than one fieldwork day (even if rescheduled) are considered excessive and may result in a non-passing grade for the fieldwork course. Students are expected to attend fieldwork for the entire scheduled day unless they are ill or have extenuating circumstance. Students who are ill should use their judgment when deciding if they should attend fieldwork. Students are required to complete a total of at least seven days of fieldwork each fall and spring term. Students must meet the minimum required hours (forty-two hours) to successfully complete each Fieldwork Level I experience. Students assigned to fieldwork sites that have less than a six hour workday must complete a minimum of 42 hours. Students assigned to sites with six or more hour workdays must complete seven days.
A total of 24 weeks of Level II Fieldwork experiences is required for students to graduate and be eligible for national certification and state licensure. This fieldwork is usually completed at the end of the curriculum sequence as two full-time 12-week unpaid placements. Modifications, such as part-time (i.e., 3 day a week schedule) or placement in three practice sites (e.g., 12 weeks in physical disabilities, 8 weeks in pediatrics and 8 weeks in mental health) may be possible depending on a student's GPA, work schedule and availability of fieldwork sites with contracts with Mercy College. Part-time fieldwork experiences may limit the populations and settings in which the fieldwork can be completed and will lengthen the time needed to complete the program, but for some students offers the opportunity to balance education requirements with work or family responsibilities. Specialty or third affiliations are offered in focused areas such as hand rehabilitation or pediatric early intervention after the student completes the basic fieldwork experiences. All fieldwork placements must be successfully completed within 24 months of didactic course work unless the program Faculty Review committee grants and extension for extenuating circumstances. Participating in a Level II Fieldwork frequently involves a commitment commensurate to a full-time job.