The Occupational Therapy Discipline at James Cook University has recently undertaken a review of the existing undergraduate program and a revised curriculum will commence in 2012. The desire to maintain a relevant and innovative curriculum has been at the forefront of the curriculum review process. Establishing strong academic, clinician and community partnerships was identified as one way to assist in ensuring that meaningful contemporary practice issues informed the undergraduate curriculum.
The role of practice scholar has been identified as a way to facilitate academic- clinician-community partnerships. Practice scholars will assist the occupational therapy program coordinator in the process of ongoing curriculum development and its relevance to practice.
As such, practice scholars will have the following skills and attributes:
An interest and commitment to mentoring and practice education
A high level of competency in a practice area
A commitment to occupation based practice
A commitment to evidence based practice and implementation in daily practice
Ability to undertake leaderships roles within area of practice
Appointment to the role will be for a period of up to 3 years with the possibility of re-appointment.
Requirements of JCU OT Practice Scholar
Practice scholars will be required to meet for 1 day each semester (twice a year) with the Occupational Therapy Program Coordinator. They will contribute to the overall curriculum review process as outlined in Figure 1. Relevant costs for attending meetings will be covered by the university.
As well as focusing on the content and structure of the undergraduate curriculum at JCU, it is anticipated the practice scholar group will provide opportunity for facilitated presentations and discussions on the future directions of the profession. Individual members will be encouraged to share developments and innovations in occupational therapy service delivery.
Benefits of JCU OT Practice Scholar Appointment
JCU OT Practice Scholars will be eligible for consideration for appointment as an Adjunct Lecturer, with associated benefits as determined by the Head of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences.
Appointment as a JCU OT Practice Scholar will also be recognized as Continuing Professional Development required for national registration.
Figure 1: Curriculum Review Process for JCU OT Undergraduate Program
The Curriculum Review Committee reports to the JCU OT Consultative Committee as well as School and Faculty committees.