Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program Mission

The Russell Sage College Occupational Therapy program encourages students to be self-directed and engaged actively in their learning. The program provides opportunities for reflective practice and critical inquiry with vibrant problem solving. We emphasize experiential learning that builds occupation-based clinical reasoning practices explicitly linking the person, environment and occupation. Our graduates will occupy diverse workforce roles and contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, populations and society.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program Philosophy

In Occupational Therapy, we believe in the positive relationship between occupation and health. Occupations refer to the everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life (WFOT, 2012). Occupations carry both practical and symbolic significance, and include things people need to, want to and are expected to do.

Occupations can be observed by others, occur over time, have purpose and meaning, occur in context, and are influenced by a person’s performance patterns, performance skills, and underlying client factors (AOTA, 2020).

The Russell Sage College Occupational Therapy Program recognizes engagement in occupations as the core of individual, community, and societal well-being.

Occupational engagement occurs within complex relational systems that provide connection to other persons and environments. The curriculum design of the program emphasizes the contextualized lived experiences of individuals and the intricate nature of occupational engagement. The Person-Environment-Occupation model serves as the theoretical framework for the program.

In accord with the Russell Sage College motto, “To be, to know, to do,” occupations are vehicles for doing, becoming, and knowing in the world. 


Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process—Fourth Edition. (2020). American Journal Occupational Therapy 2020;74 (Supplement_2):7412410010. 

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2018). Philosophy of occupational therapy education. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72(Suppl. 2), 7212410070.

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2017). Philosophical base of occupational therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(Suppl. 2), 7112410045.

World Federation of Occupational Therapists. (2012). Definition of Occupational Therapy.