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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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Jessica P.

Choosing USC ⟩
July 28, 2017, by Jessica P.

Admissions Community Living in LA

This summer I have been super busy giving tours and bragging all about our OT program to potential Trojan OTs. I have been loving talking to potential Bachelor to Master’s, Entry-Level Master’s, OTD, and PhD students. One of the most asked questions is why I picked USC. I could go on for hours about how much I love being a USC OT student and how grateful I am to be able study what I love, at the university I love. Here are my top reasons why I chose USC:

  1. Trojan Family
    You will often hear fellow Trojans discussing the Trojan Family or our extremely strong alumni, but I truly did not understand this concept until I became a student here myself. Being a member of the Trojan Family is so much more than just sharing the connection of going to one of the best universities in the world. The Trojan Family really is a family in that no matter where you go in the world, you can immediately connect with someone.
  2. USC OSOT’s Reputation
    As one of the top-ranking OT programs, USC has always been at the forefront of innovation and research in occupational therapy. Not only did USC develop occupational science, they also created the unique Lifestyle Redesign program.
  3. Location, Location, Location
    As Trojans we are lucky enough to live in sunny Los Angeles. USC’s campus is only a short drive from local beaches, shopping, and entertainment. Living in the city we also have a plethora of resources at our disposal, whether that is looking for an internship, place to study, or just things to do on the weekend. And of course, having 70 degree weather in December isn’t too shabby.

Lastly, one of the biggest reasons is being a Trojan for life. I was born and raised a Trojan — growing up going to football games and yelling “Fight On!” at everyone I saw. After years of dreaming of attending USC, it is finally a reality.

Trojan baby photo


Momma, I Made It! ⟩
June 27, 2017, by Erwin

Classes Community Getting Involved School/Life Balance

Wow! Where has the time gone? It really seems like yesterday that I was a newly-admitted student walking on campus for the first day of classes. My time at USC has been nothing short of amazing and I can honestly say that I’ve grown so much here — not only as a therapist, but as a person.

Looking back at my career at USC, here are my few words of wisdom:

Learn: Don’t study for the sake of passing a class. This isn’t undergrad anymore; what you’re learning in occupational therapy school is going to be your craft. So don’t come in with the mindset of, “I need to get an A in this class.” It’s much more important to really understand the material and knowing how to apply it rather than knowing how to get an A. After all, an employer isn’t going to ask what your GPA was — they’re going to care if you’re good at what you do.

Get involved: USC has so many opportunities to get involved and it would be unfortunate not to take advantage of these opportunities. Exploring different opportunities allows you to discover your passions and strengths, connect you to USC, foster community, and build your resume. While at USC, I tried to get involved as much as possible. I’ve developed my leadership skills, built life-long friendships, and opened doors that would not have been possible.

Enjoy yourself: Graduate school can be stressful. There will be papers, exam, and projects — you might even question, “is this really worth it?” Just relax! We always encourage our clients to live balanced lives and we have to practice what we preach. After all, a balanced life is a healthy life. So while in grad school, take time to take care of yourself, enjoy the company of others, and don’t stress out too much about your classes. Like I said before, employers aren’t concerned about your grades.

Although graduation has arrived, I know what I’ve learned at USC will carry on throughout my lifetime. Occupational therapy is such a beautiful and rewarding profession, and regardless if you pursue a degree at USC or another university, the profession will be nothing but good to you.

Before I go, I want to share with you some of the people and moments that have meant the most to me while at USC.

White Coat Ceremony 2015!

White Coat Ceremony 2015

Dr. Delgado and his student delegates!

Dr. Delgado and his student delegates!

Philippines Externship team!

Philippines Externship team!

Cohort B!!

Cohort B(est)

My amazing ambassador team

My amazing ambassador team 😊


OT Kickoff! ⟩
March 28, 2017, by Alyssa


Hello Spring!!

I apologize for my blogging absence these past few weeks — time flies fast when you are having fun and enjoying your electives!!

I am absolutely thrilled for the Month of April! In fact, so is our whole USC CHAN Division! During the month of April, we celebrate Occupational Therapy!! This past Monday, we celebrated our kickoff to OT Month with an event held at our Health Science Campus. This was a FUN, carnival-style event, with outdoor games, free PIZZA, OT buttons, and a quite informative skit from JRoe and I! I had a blast spending time with my classmates, faculty, and our student ambassador team!

We live for OT Month!

We live for OT Month!

Pizza and OT Buttons! What more can we ask for!

Pizza and OT Buttons! What more could we ask for??

OT Carnival: Our cool Event Geofilter!!

OT Carnival: Our cool Event Geofilter!!


Autism in the Community ⟩
February 13, 2017, by Kimmy

Classes Community What are OS/OT?

As prior blog posts have mentioned, the final semester of the program is full of unique electives. These classes range from lecture-based courses in advanced practice areas to research involvement to hands-on experiential opportunities. After reading over all of the course descriptions, I was most excited about this last category, which includes a class called Autism in the Community.

Despite keeping an open mind throughout the program, I have always wanted to work in pediatrics. I initially became interested in occupational therapy after learning about the role in schools helping children with developmental disabilities. Growing up, I used to visit the special education classroom during lunch to play games with the students in the class. It was a great way to relax during the day and become friends with new people!

Now, as I finish up my Master’s degree, I have found myself coming full circle. This past Friday, I visited a nonpublic school for children on the autism spectrum and spent two hours bonding with them over board games. To be clear, I played Connect 4 for graduate course credit — living the dream! Seriously, I had so much fun meeting this class of amazing students. Now that we have met the students, my classmates and I will each be assigned our own buddy from the special education classroom. In the coming weeks, we will take weekly field trips with our buddies to the California Science Center. Not only do these trips allow our buddies to learn and apply their science curriculum, but being in the community provides valuable opportunities to practice social skills and regulation. Reciprocally, my classmates and I gain hands-on experience working with adolescents with autism — in pretty much the most fun way possible. 😊


Smell the Roses ⟩
January 17, 2017, by Erwin

Community Living in LA What are OS/OT?

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 OSOT faculty working hard on the float

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

Early stages of the float

Early stages of the float

This guy on the float looks familiar

This guy 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!

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