In an effort to appeal to and meet the needs of a more diverse group of learners, applicants to DMU’s O.T.D. program can choose one of two pathways to earning their Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree. Both pathways are a part of the same student cohort and follow the same full-time schedule. Students from both pathways will come together for weekly laboratory sessions.
- Traditional Campus Pathway
Students who choose the traditional campus pathway will engage in most class and laboratory sessions face-to-face on the DMU campus.
- Hybrid Pathway
Students who choose the hybrid pathway will engage in class sessions virtually (synchronously or asynchronously) and will attend laboratory sessions face-to-face on the DMU campus. Laboratory sessions will generally occur 2 consecutive days per week.
Pathway Questions and Considerations
As you are considering which pathway is the best fit for earning your Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree, please take some time to self-reflect and consider the following questions.
Technology and Equipment
- Do you have a reliable device (including microphone, headphones and camera) for learning online?
- Is your internet connection fast and reliable? (Perform an internet speed test)
- Do you have a second device that can be used for proctoring your online exam? (e.g., another computer or a smart phone)
- Have you used a learning management system (e.g., Brightspace/D2L, Blackboard, Canvas) and video conferencing tools (e.g., Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams) before?
- Do you feel confident about engaging in hybrid learning as an effective method for building your knowledge and skills as an occupational therapist?
- Do you find online coursework manageable, convenient, or appealing?
- Do you enjoy learning remotely while working on a computer?
- Do you feel confident in your ability to actively participate while in a hybrid environment?
Communication and Support
- Are you comfortable reaching out to peers or instructors if you have questions or need clarification?
- Do you have a peaceful environment where you can engage in online learning and studying?
- Do you regularly access email and learning management systems independently to stay informed?
- Do you feel comfortable and confident in your ability to communicate in writing?
- Are you able to seek out solutions and resources independently?
- Are you good at establishing an effective routine for yourself?
- Are you able to independently stay focused?
- Do you enjoy problem solving independently?
- Do you participate in what an instructor says to do even when the class session is recorded?
Time Management and Organization
- Are you organized and good at independently managing your time?
- Are you able to minimize and eliminate distractions to focus on learning?
- Do you regularly begin assignments early, submit your assignments on time, and complete assignments and coursework without being reminded?
- Do you have a predictable schedule with enough time to devote to coursework?
- Do you anticipate spending as much or more time in a hybrid course than an in-person course?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions, you may be ready for our hybrid pathway to earning your Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree. If you answered “sometimes” or “no” to any of the above questions, you may need to further explore your readiness for online learning, and our traditional campus pathway may be your best fit.
As a note, many of the items contained in this list apply to and are necessary for success within both the traditional campus pathway and the hybrid pathway. However, the hybrid pathway does require an increased degree of technology use, self-efficacy, self-directedness, organization, independent time management, and student-initiated communication. We want to be sure that students who choose our hybrid pathway are successful and prepared for the demands of earning a doctorate degree in a partially online environment.
Please contact DMU Admissions to answer your questions regarding our program pathways, including what pathway may be the best fit for you!