department of occupational science & occupational therapy

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Reflecting on past, present, and future, the department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy (OS&OT) has developed a 5-year strategic plan to guide its activities into 2013. In this report we share the process and the product of this journey. Originally a division within the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, the department of OS&OT emerged in July 2007. OS&OT offers a wide array of educational and research opportunities, including an entry to practice graduate program: Master of Occupational Therapy, MOT (48 students); graduate research programs: MSc (14 students) and PhD (18 students); and post-professional online: Master of Rehabilitation Science, MRSc (52 students) and certificate programs (21 students). Programs are provided through the combined efforts of ten academic faculty members, nine administrative and technical support staff members, and approximately 100 clinical faculty and associate members. Over the last decade, four faculty members have been recipients of the prestigious Killam prizes for teaching excellence, and last year the MOT program renewed its academic accreditation status with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. OS&OT is home to ten productive world-renowned scholars who are actively engaged in the academic community, publishing books, chapters, peer-reviewed manuscripts, and presenting at national and international scholarly meetings. This past year alone, faculty produced 34 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, as well as several book chapters and reports. Faculty are involved in professional service, on university committees and with manuscript/grant reviews, consulting, and leadership positions in organizations outside the university.

Create, inspire and uphold a scholarly community that contributes to the health of individuals and communities through research on occupation and education programs for occupational therapy students, health professionals, and scientists.

Health and participation for all.

OS&OT’s CanDo research unit was established in 2007 to understand and promote human occupation through the design, discovery, and dissemination of research. Made up of eight core faculty members, the unit strives to create outstanding learning and research experiences through applied research and transfer of knowledge to academic, clinical, and community settings. CanDo researchers regularly engage in collaborative initiatives with other academics from diverse backgrounds, including sociology, psychology, social geography, engineering, medicine, and physical therapy. Currently, CanDo researchers are involved in 43 projects totalling over $4 million worth of research funding, over $1.3 million as principal or co-principal investigator. The Department of OS&OT has now reached a turning point with plenty of opportunity to set a well-defined direction for future growth. As we strive to fulfill our goals, we recognize there are challenges to be overcome that require innovation, persistence and collaboration. Together we will provide leadership and enhance health and well-being in British Columbia and beyond.

Strategic planning process
With the creation of the new department, staff and faculty began a collaborative and open process of examining the mission, vision, and values of our organization to set the stage for future planning. Believing that our strategic plan must flow from a place of unified understanding and shared goals, we engaged in the following steps: Strategic planning retreats A series of faculty and staff retreats were held over a year-long period to identify key goals and objectives for the department. The initial meeting held in December 2007 identified the following five priorities: learning, expansion, research, people and outreach. Subsequent meetings allowed us to focus on each priority, and develop goals, activities and outcomes which resulted in a draft strategic planning document. Round table Once the draft strategic planning document began to acquire a shape and form, a Round Table session was held in December 2008, with a broad group of professional, university, provincial, and national leaders. The round table had three objectives: 1. To engage key stakeholder groups and partners in the strategic planning process to ensure that our goals and objectives dovetailed with those of their group, in areas where we share a common vision 2. To build on and strengthen existing relationships with representatives of our stakeholders and their organizations, and 3. To provide an opportunity to announce our presence in the practice, academic and provincial community as a standalone department

The round table was an engaging and interactive process that provided ample opportunity for participants to provide input and advice on draft priorities and goals. In the end, the event generated substantial feedback for us to incorporate into our planning, and helped to strengthen our departmental vision. The collaborative process culminated in the strategic plan presented here. The principles and goals outlined in this document will be the foundation on which OS&OT will grow and fulfill its potential as a leader in occupational therapy practice, education and research.

Goal #1 Strengthen capacity for scholarly

activity in occupation, participation, and health
Position and build the OS&OT department and the CanDo Research Unit to become known provincially and nationally for exemplary research focused on human occupation, participation and health, inclusive of and applicable to people of all abilities Develop and implement an infrastructure and strategic plan for the CanDo Research Unit consolidating its directions, goals and processes Increase grant-funding and generate new streams of revenue to meet the goal of $10 million of research support Expand knowledge translation and dissemination activities Increase research collaboration and partnerships with practice (clinical) community and other disciplines provincially, nationally, and internationally.


b. c. d. e.

Goal #2 Create an invigorating and sustainable
learning community a. b. c.
Streamline the MOT curriculum to enhance learning and prepare for expansion 1 Integrate the principles and values of occupational science throughout the MOT curriculum Secure a state-of-the-art physical space to house a centre of excellence in occupation


Expansion refers to increasing the number of seats in the MOT program. The target expansion for the MOT program is 150 seats with 80 seats located at the UBC-Point Grey campus and 70 housed in the University of Victoria, UBCOkanagan, and the University of Northern BC. A distributed learning model will be used to implement and integrate the program across the 4 sites.

Goal #3 Expand educational program offerings
and student numbers a. b. c. d.
Develop a comprehensive and progressive plan for the MOT program expansion to meet the needs of British Columbians Increase opportunities for post-entry-level graduate studies and research in occupation Develop and launch a re-entry to practice program for international and out-of-practice Occupational Therapists Develop a continuing education plan to meet the professional development needs of Occupational Therapists across the province

Goal #5 Advance the department’s visibility

and reach at UBC, provincially, nationally, and internationally
Effectively promote the department’s programs, activities, priorities, opportunities and faculty and students Develop a communications and marketing plan Enhance the involvement and integration of the department and faculty members in the Faculty of Medicine and the UBC community Position the department to operate on a consistent and strategic basis with sufficient resources (budget and personnel) towards realizing its priorities and opportunities for a sustainable future

a. b. c. d.

Goal #4 Invest in a culture of life-long learning
and collegialtiy and target, recruit and retain people of the highest calibre

a. b. c. d. e. f.

Promote and recruit clinical faculty applicants Strengthen relationship with fieldwork educators Develop and implement an alumni engagement plan Ensure a high level of student satisfaction and engagement Develop and implement a faculty retention plan Create a sustainable infrastructure to support achievement of OS&OT goals

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