Mission, Vision and Philosophy


The mission of the Master of Occupational Therapy Program at Missouri State University is to educate holistic, reflective occupational therapy practitioners who understand the complexity of occupation and value its role in the promotion of health and wellness.  Didactic and experiential learning will promote occupation-based practice, community engagement, scientific inquiry, and ethical leadership to develop generalist practitioners who are prepared to meet the needs of individuals across a variety of settings, including those in rural and underserved communities.


The Master of Occupational Therapy Program at Missouri State University will be nationally recognized as a dynamic program grounded in the core values of occupational therapy whose graduates serve a diverse society by providing quality care through evidence-based practice, interprofessional collaboration, scholarship, and a commitment to life-long learning.


The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Program at Missouri State University embraces the Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2011).  In concordance with this philosophy, we assert that:

Humans are complex beings with an innate need to engage in purposeful activity, who learn through participation in meaningful occupation.  Humans are intrinsically and extrinsically motivated, creative, and inquisitive.  Individuals bring with them life experiences and prior knowledge that will shape the learning of both teacher and student.  The MOT program integrates these concepts in order to foster academic achievement in students.  

In alignment with Adult Learning and Engagement Theories, knowledge and skill acquisition is accomplished through an on-going process of self-determination, direct participation, intrinsic motivation, authentic focus, and collaborative problem solving (Kersley & Shneiderman, 1998; Knowles, 2012). Classroom, lab, and community experiences are structured to facilitate learner reflection and enhance human problem solving (Schӧn, 1983), which is considered central to learning and necessary for evidence-based practice.  Authentic focus emphasizes real-world learning and client interface to promote transfer of didactic knowledge to current and emerging practice settings. Small group work encourages collaboration and consensus among members of the learning community and facilitates dynamic understanding, diversity exploration, and enhancement of leadership and communication skills.


In concordance with AOTA, we believe that best-practice in occupational therapy education “emphasizes continuing critical inquiry in order that occupational therapists (are) prepared to function and thrive in the dynamic environments of a diverse and multicultural society, using the power of occupation as the primary method of evaluation, intervention, and health promotion” (AOTA, 2007).


American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA].  (2007). Philosophy of occupational therapy education.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61(6), 678. doi: 10.5014/ajot.61.6.678

American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA].  (2011). The philosophical base of occupational therapy.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(Suppl.), S65. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2011.65S65

Kersley, G., & Shneiderman, B.  (1998). Engagement theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning.  Educational Technology, 38(5), 20-23.

Knowles, M., Holton, E., & Swanson, R. (2012). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. New York: Elsevier. 

Schӧn, D.  (1983). The reflective practitioner:  How professionals think in action. USA: Basic Books, Inc.