At this point in my career, my focus is on teaching occupational therapy students the skills they will need to treat me during the next stages of my personal life. I also continue to teach short courses in Assistive Technology, which covers various topics including how to teach Assistive Technology (AT) within the Occupational Therapy curriculum to meet ACOTE standards, the role of OT in AT, and empowering occupational engagement for students with complex communication needs and complicated bodies.
Years at Midwestern
I have been at Midwestern University for nearly 14 years now.
“ It is my goal to make sure students understand that the scope of practice for an occupational therapist is so large, we cannot teach recipes for treatment in a client-centered practice. So, I do my best to teach my students how to think like an occupational therapist! ”Froma Jacobson
M.Ed., OTR/L, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, College of Health Sciences
What is the most rewarding part of being a member of the Midwestern University faculty?
Midwestern University promotes a culture of lifelong learning for all faculty, staff, and students. We are all encouraged to look at possibilities that align with both the College and University missions and push them into realities! For example, a couple of physical therapy students approached some of the occupational therapy students to collaborate on a case. Everyone involved quickly realized this rarity needed to be pushed into a standard occurrence. The teamwork on this case birthed the Collaborative Care Club, a group of students that encourages interdepartmental collaboration between Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, Optometry, and Clinical Psychology students. I am proud to be the faculty advisor to this club.
How do you engage students in the learning process?
I adopt the attitude that we are all learning together in a safe environment that supports questions, deeper thought, and conversation. For example, in my Occupational Therapy Foundations class, we talk about routines. We discuss how we use them in our personal lives, how to use routines in therapeutic interventions, and how clients are often taken out of their comfortable routines. This is not a black and white topic. Instead, it is one that encourages students to critically converse about the matter and invites consideration of how this influences other aspects of therapeutic intervention.
What do you hope students learn from your classes?
It is my goal to make sure students understand that the scope of practice for an occupational therapist is so large, we cannot teach recipes for treatment in a client-centered practice. So, I do my best to teach my students how to think like an occupational therapist!
Why should students enroll at Midwestern University?
There are many reasons students should enroll here at Midwestern University. For starters, Midwestern supports both your personal and professional growth. It is a beautiful campus, and the faculty, staff, and leadership understand the importance of promoting personal well-being while you are challenged academically to think in ways you have never thought before. Our students work hard and play hard – and our campus supports it all. Come see our indoor and outdoor sports opportunities, the quiet chapel, coffee house, medical clinics, and on-campus housing – we walk the walk of our mission statement!
What lessons would you like students to take with them in their professional careers?
Ultimately, I hope that students will believe in themselves, remember that they are part of a team, respect their clients and their families, have confidence in their training, and never be afraid to ask questions. Their work will be hard, with successes and disappointments, but they need to take care of themselves and their personal families. Lastly, I want them to think outside the box and into emerging areas of practice.
I am clearly one of the elder faculty members, and I am an example of what we would call ‘successful aging in place.’ We all write our own stories with the experiences we have encountered. Occupational therapy is about living life to the fullest – come do that with us!
Froma Jacobson, M.Ed., OTR/L is an Assistant Professor for the Occupational Therapy Program in the College of Health Sciences at Midwestern University.