OT Technical Standards

The Ithaca College Department of Occupational Therapy is committed to being an accessible and inclusive community for all students, including those with disabilities. The Department seeks to attract and educate students who will become highly skilled, reflective, creative, and compassionate occupational therapists. Students are expected to develop a well-rounded professional knowledge and skill base to contribute to client-centered decisions across a broad spectrum of healthcare, social service, and community-based settings.

The Ithaca College Department of Occupational Therapy provides the following description of technical standards to inform prospective and enrolled students of the skills, abilities, and behavioral characteristics required to successfully complete the Department’s academic programs. Technical standards in occupational therapy include the areas of: (1) acquiring fundamental knowledge; (2) developing communication skills; (3) interpreting data and clinical information; (4) integrating knowledge to establish clinical judgment; and (5) developing appropriate professional behaviors and attitudes.

The technical standards, in conjunction with the academic standards, are requirements for admission, progression, and graduation. Students may achieve these technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations. Students who upon review of the technical standards determine that they require accommodation to fully access and engage in the program are encouraged to contact Student Accessibility Services to discuss their access needs confidentially. Timely accommodation requests are essential and encouraged, as the clinical nature of the program may require additional time to develop and implement accommodations.


Technical Standard

Acquiring fundamental knowledge

Students are expected to:

  • Synthesize theories and concepts to develop an understanding of the human experience and integrate these into occupational therapy practice.
  • Become proficient in basic healthcare policy and regulatory environments, including local, state, national, and global healthcare trends.
  • Learn through a variety of modalities, including but not limited to classroom instruction; laboratory instruction, including cadaver lab; physical demonstrations; small group, team, and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of information; clinic- and community-based learning experiences; and use of computer technology.

Developing communication skills

Students are expected to:

  • Display interpersonal skills needed to accurately evaluate, address, and monitor client needs and outcomes and enable the delivery of client-centered services.
  • Clearly and accurately record information.
  • Interpret clients’ verbal and non-verbal communication accurately.
  • Communicate effectively in person and in written format in order to collaborate with all members of a service delivery team, including other professionals, clients, and caregivers.

Interpreting data and clinical information

Students are expected to:

  • Interpret, assimilate, and understand complex information required to function effectively within the occupational therapy curriculum.
  • Recognize and define problems, develop and implement solutions, and evaluate outcomes.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and appropriate decision making, with the ability to differentiate relevant versus irrelevant information.
  • Recall, comprehend, analyze, synthesize, and apply large volumes of information to clinical situations in classroom discussion and in clinical settings.
  • Understand, calculate, and interpret basic statistical tests and measures.

Integrating knowledge to establish clinical judgment

Students are expected to:

  • Conduct or direct routine assessments to form an accurate and comprehensive occupational profile.
  • Provide or direct therapeutic interventions.
  • Retrieve, appraise, and synthesize evidence to improve client outcomes.
  • Integrate evidence, clinical judgment, and client preferences in planning, implementing and evaluating client outcomes.
  • Follow safety standards for the environment and universal precaution procedures.

Developing appropriate professional attitudes and behaviors

Students are expected to:

  • Recognize and critically self-evaluate the impact of social status and professional attitudes, behaviors, values, and expectations on clients.
  • Understand and function according to the ethical, legal, and moral behaviors commensurate with the role of Ithaca College student and occupational therapist in all professional, clinical, and research activities.
  • Maintain commitment to the educational process and best practice guidelines.
  • Develop mature, respectful, and effective relationships with peers, clients, professionals, and community members, regardless of gender identity, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or other protected status.
  • Develop flexibility in intervention strategies and behavior as needed to adapt to and function within changing environments and uncertainties in client circumstances.