2 Top Occupational Therapy Programs in San Diego

What do you know about the occupational therapy programs in San Diego? Common occupational therapy interventions include assisting children with disabilities in fully participating in home, school, and social situations, assisting people recovering from injury in regaining functional skills and assisting older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

The art and science of occupational therapy aim to promote full participation in life through identified meaningful occupations, resulting in improved health and well-being.

OTs specialize in restoring clients’ abilities to engage in instrumental activities of daily living, such as work, play, education, leisure, rest, social participation, and financial and home management skills, as health care professionals. Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings, including pediatrics, geriatrics, orthopedics, neurology, physical rehabilitation, mental health, and school districts.

Occupational Therapists must have the following characteristics and skills:

Communication: Ask the patient questions effectively and educate the patient’s family and employer about the necessary accommodations.

Organization: Create complex treatment plans for patients that necessitate strong organizational abilities.

Encourage patients as they work toward improvement, and work to put treatment goals into action.

Active: Be physically fit to assist clients with various disabilities and to demonstrate exercises effectively.

Strong writing abilities: The ability to write quickly and practically in order to assess and record patients’ activities and progress is required.


Typical occupational therapy services

  • An individualized assessment in which the patient and occupational therapist determine the individual’s goals.
  • Intervention tailored to the patient’s ability to perform daily tasks and achieve goals.
  • A re-evaluation to ensure that the goals are met and/or changes to the intervention plan are made.

Occupational therapy services are provided to clients with disabilities and non-disability-related needs for habilitation, rehabilitation, and health and wellness promotion.

Read also: 3 Best Occupational Therapy Programs in Louisiana

Occupational Therapy Programs in San Diego

There are two schools in San Diego that offers occupational therapy:

1. Point Loma Nazarene University

Students pursuing a master’s degree in occupational therapy at PLNU can expect a hands-on, evidence-based curriculum that will prepare them to improve the health and wellness of others. Students will interact with colleagues and clients, as well as serve in a variety of academic, clinical, and community settings.

The mission of the PLNU Occupational Therapy program, in keeping with the University’s mission, is to produce competent and professional graduates who provide evidence-based and occupation-focused interventions that serve others as an expression of faith.

Graduates of the Point Loma Nazarene University Master’s in Occupational Therapy Program will be able to:

  • Provide evidence-based occupational therapy services across the lifespan in a variety of service delivery models, health care settings, and community-based systems using critical reasoning.
  • Develop and apply a therapeutic use of self during client interactions to support the client’s participation in occupational therapy and achievement of the client’s goals.
  • Provide services within a client-centered and occupation-based framework, taking into account contextual factors that influence an individual, group, or population’s ability to engage in meaningful occupational tasks and roles.
  • When interacting with clients, service providers, and/or systems, demonstrate compliance with legal, ethical, and professional standards.
  • Demonstrate the ability to document, manage, and evaluate the outcomes of services rendered.
  • Create clinical programs that address a community need for underserved individuals, groups, and/or populations.
  • In a technological and global environment, embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical practice by providing high-quality, accessible, and culturally responsive care.
  • Increase awareness and ability to collaborate with multidisciplinary team members to provide client-centered, high-quality occupational therapy services.

The Western Association of Senior Colleges and University Commission has accredited Point Loma Nazarene University’s Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program (WSCUC). The WSCUC can be reached at 1080 Marina Village Parkway, Suite 500, Alameda, CA 94501 or by phone at 510-748-9001.

Also, the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education has granted the PLNU Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program applicant status (ACOTE).

When a university submits a letter of intent and demonstrates a commitment to starting a new program by allocating sufficient resources to its development, applicant status is granted. In December 2022, the PLNU MSOT program will submit a Candidacy application.

If Candidacy Status is granted, the program will be able to admit its first class of students and move on to the second stage of the process, the pre-accreditation review.

The program conducts a programmatic self-study and prepares a Report of Self-Study, a comprehensive self-assessment of the program’s compliance with ACOTE Accreditation Standards, during this step.

ACOTE grants, defers action on, or denies Pre-accreditation Status based on this report, a decision that reflects ACOTE’s opinion of the program’s likelihood of meeting the ACOTE Accreditation Standards by the time of the initial on-site evaluation. In preparation for the initial on-site evaluation, trained evaluators thoroughly review the program’s Report of Self-Study.

The process concludes with an initial on-site evaluation conducted by a two-person team. The team prepares a Report of On-Site Evaluation at the end of the on-site evaluation, which is reviewed by the program for factual accuracy.

ACOTE then reviews the Evaluators’ Report of On-Site Evaluation and any program responses. ACOTE relies on these materials to make decisions about the program’s accreditation status and the term of accreditation (5 or 7 years).

Contact: +1 619-849-2200

Address: 3900 Lomaland Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, United States

Read also: Best Occupational Therapy Programs in Utah

2. Alliant International University

Alliant International University’s mission is to prepare students for professional careers in service and leadership while also promoting knowledge discovery and application to improve the lives of people in diverse cultures and communities around the world.

The theory-practice model allows you to enter your profession with confidence. Each of their programs is intended to prepare you to do meaningful work that has a long-term impact. Their educational approach combines theory and practice, scholarship and application.

They offer a professional school environment in which you can learn from seasoned working professionals and gain practical experience while still in school through a combination of internships, practica, consulting, and community service projects.

Alliant educational programs are designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and ethical values required to effectively serve and lead in a variety of professional settings. Alliant graduates are expected to master a body of knowledge and apply that knowledge in professional practice to achieve desired and beneficial outcomes.

Contact: (858) 780-5771

Address: 10455 Pomerado Rd. San Diego, CA 92131

Read also: 3 Best Occupational Therapy Programs in Maine

Conclusion on the Occupational Therapy Programs in San Diego

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently over 143,000 occupational therapists (OTs) working in the United States, and the job outlook is growing faster than the national average (BLS). According to the BLS, demand for occupational therapists will increase 16% between 2019 and 2029. Occupational therapists earned an average of $86,280 per year in 2020.

Occupational therapy was also ranked in the top 10 healthcare jobs of 2021 by US News & World Report, as well as 31st in its “Best 100 Jobs List” and 10th in its “Best Healthcare Jobs List.” Occupational therapists’ primary responsibilities include treating injured, sick, or disabled patients by reteaching and assisting them with daily activities.

They use intervention therapy, adaptive equipment (such as wheelchairs, eating aids, and so on), and basic skills (such as time management, budgeting, and so on) to help their patients move and function independently.

Occupational therapists work with a wide range of patients in a variety of settings, including classrooms, workplaces, and mental health facilities. They also work with people of all ages, from babies to the elderly. Occupational therapists in administrative positions oversee the operations of an occupational therapy department, rehabilitation services, or other programs such as a non-profit homeless shelter.

Program planning and management, policy development and budget preparation, staff and client education, and personnel management are all possible responsibilities. Occupational therapy educators create and teach courses, mentor students, volunteer in the community, and conduct research. Clinical or community roles as supervisors, consultants, or direct service providers may be part of faculty practice.

Most teaching positions require an advanced degree (such as an OTD or Ph.D.) as well as occupational therapy practice experience. Typically, the workplace is an academic institution such as a state university, medical center campus, or private college.


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