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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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New Year, New You


January 22, 2016

Classes What are OS/OT?

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It’s the start of my last semester in the MA program, and in some ways it feels totally new.

One of the unique parts of our program is that during this final semester, we get to take electives in addition to the required leadership & occupational science course. A lot of my classmates are using this opportunity to get started on specializations and certifications, such as fellow ambassador Heather who is immersed in hand therapy courses.

I’m a bit more eclectic in my approach . . .

Therapeutic Communication for the Healthcare Practitioner
I’m loving this experiential training course for learning Motivational Interviewing (MI), a really powerful communication tool to help clients settle ambivalence and motivate them towards behavior change. We spend a lot of time in class actually practicing MI skills, which has been so helpful that I find myself using it even among my friends.

Lifestyle Redesign
I came to USC OT because of my interest in helping people live better, healthier lives through changing their habits & routines. Lifestyle Redesign is a signature practice of USC, and I feel really shows the power of OT in helping people sustain a healthy lifestyle. We are paired with a partner for the semester to use the Lifestyle Redesign intervention approach. I’m really excited for both myself and my dear friend & fellow ambassador Rashelle will come out of the semester with even healthier lifestyles as well as strong Lifestyle Redesign skills.

Independent Study Project
I’m also working with Dr. Jenny Martinez on developing a diversity-related initiative with two of my classmates;we’ve only had one planning meeting so far, but our goal is to develop a project to support “best practices” with clients of diverse backgrounds.

Social Entrepreneurship
For our electives, we can take some courses outside of OT, so I elected to take a course from the Master’s of Business Administration program. Social Entrepreneurship essentially looks at how to develop a business model to address social change in social justice, environmental, and/or healthcare fields (or more!). So far, it’s been one of my most exciting classes, and I’ve been generating so many ideas on different ways to deliver healthcare services, and ways non-profit and for-profit models can balance each other for greater social good.

It’s an exciting semester! I can’t believe the program is almost done!