University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Student Blog


128th Rose Parade

, by JRoe · email · Leave a comment

We had a float in the Rose Parade and it was the coolest!

In case you missed it, there was a float in the 128th Rose Parade on January 2nd celebrating the centennial of occupational therapy. You read that right, the centennial. Occupational therapy was founded in 1917. We have been raising money for the float for a long time now and it was rewarding to see the finished product. The float featured images of OTs working with patients. One image featured our very own Erwin with another USC student who sustained a spinal cord injury and lives in the OT House! There was also a replica of the Hull House where OT was born. Those riding the float were occupational therapists, including the former chair of the division, Dr. Florence Clark, and those who have received OT services.

Erwin and fellow USC student featured on the float!

I was able to volunteer to decorate the float on a very rainy New Year’s Eve. It was an exciting day with lots of commotion between volunteers, tours, and judges. I brought my parents to join in the fun and we helped glue the eucalyptus leaves on the roof of the Hull House. We also were able to see some of the other floats up close. It’s amazing to see the detail and the fresh flowers are beautiful!

My parents and I also went to the Rose Parade to see the float in action and the USC Band! What a great day to be an OT and a Trojan with that win at the Rose Bowl!

Fight On! from the Rose Parade!



Location, Location, Location

, by Kimmy · email · Leave a comment

When starting graduate school, housing is a big consideration.  I have moved each year throughout my time at USC and have been fortunate enough to live by both the University Park Campus and the Health Sciences Campus.  Everyone has different priorities, but for me, I specifically sought out places that came furnished, were located near campus, and created a welcoming environment for students. 

The OT House is a convenient option full of future occupational therapists—what could be better?!  Despite its name, it is an apartment building, not a house.  It is located near UPC with a tram stop right outside.  Students usually take the morning tram to commute to HSC, which makes it manageable to live without a car.  A portion of the OT House is dedicated as a special interest housing community for occupational therapy students.  The recreation room on the second floor is home to Engage, a student organization focused on engaging community youth in meaningful occupations.  Because it is managed by USC Housing, the rental cycle aligns with the semester schedule of the OT program. 

This year, I live in Currie Hall on HSC, which was just built last year.  The facilities are new and the location is incredibly convenient; I can see the OT building from my balcony!  Complete with a pool, hot tub, gym, and fire pit, Currie Hall is the place to be.  Don’t worry parents—there is a study room, too, and it offers free printing!  Aside from all the amenities, I especially appreciate the opportunity to live in a community full of health science students.  Many of my OT classmates live just down the hall (or next door!), but I have also met students from other professional programs, as well.  In fact, my roommates consist of an occupational therapy student, a medical student, and a gerontology student.  We have learned from each other and become close friends as a result of living together. 

These are just two student housing options, but there are surely more out there.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or the other ambassadors! 


New Year, New Courses

, by Jessica · email · Leave a comment

Happy New Year, everyone! 2017 is a big one – last semester of OT school, graduation, last fieldwork experience, taking the boards (and passing hopefully), finding a job (hopefully), and getting married! AH!

This semester is an exciting one since we’ve finished our immersion courses, and can now take electives. This is something unique to USC, since other OT schools don’t necessarily give students the option to take electives in the practice area they are most interested in. For me, I’m most interested in pediatrics, so I geared all my electives towards that. There are so many electives to choose from, so no matter what you’re interested in, you’ll find something to fit your interests.

Here’s a peek at my schedule this semester:

photo of jessica's spring 2017 schedule

It just so happens that all of the classes I decided to take fell on only Monday and Thursday. This worked out well for me since I also work part-time, giving me three weekdays to work.

Here’s the courses I’m taking this semester:
OT 567: Contemporary Issues: Occupational Therapy in Early Intervention
OT 540: Leadership Capstone
OT 565: Sensory Integration Interventions
OT 564: Sensory Integration

OT 545: Advanced Seminar in Occupational Science
OT 575: Dysphagia Across the Lifespan: Pediatrics through Geriatrics

The electives I chose are in bold, and the other two courses are required for all students. Check out our course descriptions for more detail about all of our electives and other courses in the program.

Looking forward to sharing all the exciting things happening in my last semester with you all!


Smell the Roses

, by Erwin · email · Leave a comment

Exciting things were happening in the world of OT during the holidays. On January 2nd, occupational therapy had the honor of having a float at the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade.

If you didn’t know, 2017 marks 100 years of occupational therapy. That’s an awesome achievement for our profession and a testament to OT’s contributions to society. The float is a celebration of our wonderful profession and provided exposure about what OT is to the millions of people that watch the Rose Parade.

In anticipation for our 100 years as a profession, the American Occupational Therapy Association decided on a centennial vision:

“We envision that occupational therapy is a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society’s occupational needs”.

This float was an excellent opportunity to support our profession in meeting its centennial vision of being “widely recognized” and “globally connected”!

This float could not been done without the support of the Occupational Therapy Association of California, which sponsored the float, and its volunteers. Many USC faculty members and students dedicated their time to help with this awesome project, and being one of those volunteers, I can proudly say it was worth the time and effort! Read more about the float.

Here are some photos of the float and the volunteers that helped to make this float possible:

USC OT students, Alisa and Evelyn, helping decorate the float!

USC OT students, Alisa and Evelyn, helping decorate the float!

USC OT faculty members volunteered so much of their time to make this float a reality

USC OSOT faculty working hard on the float

Early stages of the float

Early stages of the float

This guys on the float looks familiar

This guys on the float looks familiar

And here it is: the 2017 OTAC Rose Parade Float!

And here it is: the 2017 OTAC Rose Parade Float!


Hello 2017 and Hello Spring Semester!

, by Raisa · email · Leave a comment

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everybody had a wonderful end to 2016 and a positive start to 2017. The start of the New Year also marks the start of the spring semester, which means new courses and my last semester in the Post-professional On-Campus Master’s program.

I am stoked for the spring semester as I will be diving right into my practice area of interest, which is Adult Rehabilitation! Find out more about the USC OSOT courses.

Let me give you a breakdown of the electives I will be taking this semester:

•  OT574 Enhancing Motor Control: This class provides an in-depth understanding of the role of OT, the domain of practice and occupation-based approach to adult rehabilitation in upper motor neuron syndromes. In this hands-on laboratory class, students will be able to interact with clients and clinicians for an integrated learning experience of both theory and application in the different approaches relating to Neurorehabilitation.

•  OT573 Hand Rehabilitation: Students will be able to build a good foundation of the anatomy and physiology of the forearm, wrist, and hand; incorporating the science and the art of occupation into developing your clinical reasoning skills for occupation-based evaluation and treatment for common hand disorders.

•  OT575 Dysphagia across the Lifespan, Pediatricts to Geriatrics: This course will give students a better understanding of the role of OT in the management of dysphagia cases from pediatric to geriatric populations. The class will focus on the OTs domain of practice, which will equip students with a firm foundation in the comprehension and treatment of swallowing disorders.

•  OT577 Seminar in Occupational Therapy: This class provides students with an overview of the role and domain of practice of occupational therapy in different clinical settings and contexts.  Seminar and class discussions will be done in order to integrate both theory and clinical practice in various healthcare settings. 

USC offers a variety of electives which will equip you with the skills you need to become a well-rounded practitioner. Evidence-based practice (EBP) is also a common foundation that all these courses are built on, your future self will thank you for keeping up to date with the latest EBP trends.Some of these courses even go towards a completion of specialization or certification in your future practice.

I hope to grow as an Occupational Therapist with the help of the esteemed USC OSOT faculty and my Trojan Family. I look forward to this semester, and I wish everyone the best of luck in their endeavors!  What electives would you want to take in the USC OSOT division? Shoot me an email, I’d love to hear from you!

Fight on!

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