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Productive Aging Track

The Occupational Therapy Doctorate, Productive Aging Track, is made up of 8 core courses and 4 elective courses for a total of 36 credits. This track is designed for students interested in advancing their careers to specialize in working with older adults.

The AOTA has identified older adults as a key practice area in the 21st century. Our society's rapidly aging population, increased longevity, the changing world of work, and baby boomers' focus on quality-of-life issues are some of the factors that will increase the need for services in this area. 

The courses are offered completely online. Please see below for descriptions courses.

Curriculum & Schedules

Code Course Name Credit Hours
HSC731 Aging in Place 3

This course focuses on supports and barriers to aging in place. The importance of assisting older adults to age productively within his or her own environment and the role of interdisciplinary coordination of care is investigated. Topics include social interaction, community mobility, accessibility, and intergenerational relationships.

HSC733 Chronic Disease Management for the Older Adult Population 3

The unique challenges of older adults living with chronic diseases will be explored. Economic costs and impact on communities, healthcare system, and society will be studied. Focus is on evidence-based interventions to prevent, support, and assist older adults chronic illness living in community and institutional settings.

HSC735 Specialized Assessment for the Older Adult Population 3

Focus is on the role of measurement and the importance of evidence-based outcome measures for assessment in the older adult population. Specialized assessments and outcome measures will be discussed, including documenting change in one or more constructs over time, assessing and describing complex and comorbid conditions, formulating prognoses, and evaluating the effects of interventions at the individual and population level.

HSC737 Neuroscience of Aging and Impact on Mental Health 3

Focus is on the unique challenges of mental health diagnoses, including cognitive impairments, superimposed upon the aging process. Neuroscience concepts related to aging, the psychopathology of later life, and intervention strategies for older adults with a mental health diagnosis are discussed.

OTD701 Utilization of Research in Evidence Based Practice 3

Examination of the research process, statistical analysis, and evidence based practice with applicability to advanced occupational therapy practice. Attention is given to critical research methods, analysis, and ethical aspects of scholarly inquiry. Emphasis on how research contributes to the development of occupational therapy knowledge, improves practice, and enhances the education and professional accountability of occupational therapy practitioners.

OTD702 Application of Occupational Science 3

This course explores advanced clinical applications of the occupational therapy practice framework as well as descriptive, relational, predictive, and prescriptive aspects of occupational science with a focus on application to advanced occupational therapy clinical practice.

OTD703 Community Practice, Program Development, and Entrepreneurship 3

This course discusses the foundation, theoretical framework, and role of occupational therapy in community practice. This course also thoroughly explores the program development process, entrepreneurship, and business fundamentals in occupational therapy.

OTD704 Bioethics 3

This course provides an opportunity for students to assess ethical and legal issues confronting occupational therapy practitioners and other healthcare providers in a variety of practice settings, focusing on the identification and analysis of legal and ethical concepts and principles underlying occupational therapy and health care. The course focuses on ethical concepts, theories, and values applied in ethical decision-making that are related to a variety of ethical dilemmas in health and social settings.

OTD705 Leadership and Advocacy 3

This course explores leadership theory and application to current and future practice. Students also examine advocacy in the occupational therapy profession. Current issues and trends in the occupational therapy field are discussed.

OTD797 Capstone Professional Writing and Proposal 3

Students focus on professional writing skills and clinical reasoning to develop a proposal for their capstone project. Through participation in this course, students will identify relevant issues impacting occupational therapy in their specialty area. A literature review into a specific area of inquiry and a detailed proposal for implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of the capstone project will be completed.

OTD798 Capstone Project Implementation and Evaluation 3

The purpose of this course is to demonstrate advanced skills in evidence-based occupational therapy practice. Students will implement and evaluate a project that reflects an identified area of need. The course is conducted in a seminar format with students working independently, but engaging in online discussions with faculty and students.

OTD799 Capstone Project Dissemination 3

Students further synthesize outcomes of the capstone project and will demonstrate their understanding of advanced occupational therapy concepts. Dissemination of findings from the capstone project will be completed with a focus on demonstrating skills as a clinical scholar.