Mission, Vision and Philosophy

Master of Occupational Therapy Program Mission

The mission of the Master of Occupational Therapy Program at Elmhurst University is to educate, inspire and empower students to demonstrate social responsibility, cultural humility, and intellectual engagement as occupational therapy practitioners, leaders, and scholars who are committed to the meaningful integration of professional preparation and learning as a lifelong pursuit.

Master of Occupational Therapy Program Vision

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at Elmhurst University aspires to prepare occupational therapy practitioners to consider the impact of culture, values, beliefs, and advances in science and technology on the health, well-being and common good of the region and greater society.

Philosophy Statement

The program philosophy reflects the beliefs held by the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Elmhurst University regarding occupational therapy, human beings and an understanding of how human beings learn.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is defined by the American Occupational Therapy Association as “the therapeutic use of everyday life occupations with persons, groups, or populations (i.e., the client) for the purpose of enhancing or enabling participation” (AOTA, 2020). Occupational therapy practitioners are at the center of practice, theory, and scholarship, enabling participation through meaningful engagement in everyday life activities or occupations. Occupation, which is a social determinant of health, is achieved through the proactive and creative efforts of occupational therapists supporting the health, well-being and life satisfaction of persons or groups experiencing restricted participation in daily activities.

Human Beings

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at Elmhurst University views humans as occupational beings that are understood to be complex, culturally diverse beings pursuing meaning and life satisfaction through engagement in purposeful everyday life activities.

How Human Beings Learn

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at Elmhurst University believes that human beings develop themselves intellectually and personally through meaningful and ethical efforts that contribute to the greater society. The faculty of the Master of Occupational Therapy Program believe that human beings learn best in environments that encourage intellectual freedom, curiosity, and engagement; critical and creative inquiry; rigorous debate; and intellectual integrity in all endeavors. The faculty believe that learning is a lifelong journey and enduring pursuit of intellectual excellence. As faculty, we are dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of learners through highly personal, values-based learning experiences responsive to advances in evidence and the contributions of science, technology, and human values to occupation-centered interventions.

Elmhurst University Master of Occupational Therapy Faculty Statement

The Elmhurst University Master of Occupational Therapy program lives and reflects the Elmhurst University Mission by hiring faculty who promote inclusivity, cultural sensitivity, and social responsibility to inspire students’ intellectual, professional, and personal growth. The faculty at Elmhurst University Master of Occupational Therapy program share common values of educating, inspiring, and empowering students to become intellectually engaged and globally responsible occupational therapy practitioners. As part of the process, the Master of Occupational Therapy program embraces the Elmhurst University Values to advance the University mission, focusing on intellectual excellence, social responsibility, community, stewardship, faith and meaning, and interprofessional education. The values are translated into the curriculum design as curricular skills such as “Habits of Mind,” “Habits of Art,” and “Habits of Heart” (Royeen, 2003). These skills reflect the unique nature of our graduates’ ability to critically reason, embody therapeutic use of occupation, and demonstrate empathy and understanding. The program’s aim is for the MOT students to become leaders and scholars committed to professional preparation and a lifelong pursuit of learning.


American Occupational Therapy Association. (2020). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (4th ed.). The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74 (Suppl. 2). https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.74S2001

Royeen, C. B. (2003). Chaotic occupational therapy: Collective wisdom for a complex profession, American Journal of Occupational Therapy 57(6), 609-624. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.57.6.609

Elizabeth Wanka, DrOT, MOT, OTR/L

Associate Professor, MOT Program; Program Director, Master of Occupational Therapy
Master of Occupational Therapy

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