Orientation

The first year of the MScOT program begins with a Department-run academic orientation, followed by the start of classes.  Attendance is considered mandatory for the Department-run orientation; it is optional for students to participate in the student-run “O-Week” social events.

Upon entering the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, a student becomes part of several academic “communities.”  The relationships between these communities will become more apparent to the student as they spend time in the program. These communities are:

  1. University of Toronto (U of T)
  2. School of Graduate Studies (SGS)
  3. Faculty of Medicine
  4. Rehabilitation Sciences Sector (Rehab Sector). The Sector consists of:

At the Departmental orientation, students will be directed to the online MScOT Graduate Student Handbook.  It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with the policies and regulations within each of the sections.  It is recommended that students keep the following resources available for easy reference throughout the program:

Course Enrolment
OT students do not need to enrol themselves in courses.  This is done by the Department.  However, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their course enrolment is accurate in the Accessible Campus Online Resource Network “ACORN”.  Students should access their academic history (courses) in ACORN and determine if the courses listed for a particular term correspond to those listed on the Program Schedule.  If there is a problem, the student should inform the Program Manager.

Email & Internet
All students must have a U of T Mail Plus (+) email account before the start of classes. Email is the main form of communication between the faculty, staff and students.  Important notices and academic instruction will be communicated to students from faculty and staff by utoronto.ca email.  Students are required to monitor their email on a daily basis.  Students can create their own U of T email account after getting a T-card.  Registered students automatically receive free support services for email usage.  The Department will accommodate for any problems arising from the U of T email servers only.  If students forward their @mail.utoronto.ca account to another server (e.g. gmail), the onus will be on the individual student to ensure they did not miss messages if their email account was full or server down.

Quercus
The University of Toronto utilizes Quercus as its official academic learning portal. Quercus will allow instructors to post course information and course materials, readings and assignments and provides functionality for basic discussion forum and other collaborative tools. All Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy courses will use Quercus for their web-based component (sharing announcements, resource information and other course-related information). All students will automatically be enrolled in Quercus.

Faculty Advisor
All students are assigned a faculty advisor who can assist them as they navigate the program. In first year, students will be informed of the name of the faculty member who will act as their faculty advisor, generally for the duration of the program.

Financial Planning

Students are expected to act responsibly financially to ensure they will be able to cover the cost of the graduate studies which they have chosen to pursue.

Students should note that Departmental bursary funding is not intended to assist with past debts from undergraduate programs, but to assist with reasonable expenses directly related to current studies only.  Bursaries may ease a further increase in the student’s debt load, but will certainly not eliminate it.  Students may incur debt while in the program and the Department can refer students to University counseling services that specialize in financial planning at a student’s request.

When determining personal lifestyle while in the program, students should be aware that a “standard of student expense” is used as means to ensure bursary funding is distributed as fairly as possible. The Department does not intend to dictate an individual’s personal choices, however students should be prepared to assume the cost for items which may not be considered part of an average student’s lifestyle,  unless they can indicate why the expense is necessary to their studies.

Front ID Photos (first year only)
“Headshot” photos will be taken during Academic Orientation Week to create a class composite and ID badges that helps the faculty and staff to become familiar with the new students and may be used by Course Instructors when determining participation marks throughout the program.

Health Coverage
All students should ensure they have provincial health insurance. Permanent residents of Ontario should be covered by OHIP.  Students from other Canadian provinces should investigate whether they can maintain their home province coverage. Any shortfall may require supplementary insurance. International students are covered by UHIP, a mandatory health insurance equivalent to OHIP, which they pay with their fees.

Health Requirements
Housing
The U of T Student Housing Service (St. George) and the Student Housing & Residence Life office (Mississauga) has information on residence, off-campus and family housing for U of T graduate students.

1. Residence: The Department has access to a limited number of “recruitment” spaces in the Graduate House residence. Typically at least one space will be reserved for an out-of-province student, and/or someone coming from a rural municipality.

2. Off-Campus Housing: Students have free access to the Housing Registry administered by Housing Services, in office or online.

3. Charles Street Student Family Housing: Priority is given to student families for tenancy.

4. Temporary Accommodation: For students that do not have family or friends they can arrange to stay with while conducting their search, Housing Services provides information about Temporary Accommodation located near U of T.

It is highly recommended that students unfamiliar with the housing market in Toronto or Mississauga seek the advice and services of the U of T Housing Service offices. Workshops are held throughout the academic year, including sessions on tenant rights and obligations.

Invoices + Fee Payment (Request to Register Without Payment)

A student is considered to be registered as soon as he or she has paid tuition and incidental fees, or has made appropriate arrangements online through ACORN to request to register without payment on the basis of a major award or government student loan.

Lockers
Lockers are located in the Rehabilitation Sciences Building for St. George students, and the Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex for Mississauga students. Students will be assigned a locker by the Department at registration which will be theirs for the duration of the program.

Mask Fit-Testing

The Ministry of Health has developed directives for health care professionals to wear an approved respirator/mask when droplet protection is required. In order to protect the health and safety of health care students, the use of N95 respirators may be required if there is evidence of potential exposure to airborne infectious agents, chemicals, etc.

As part of a student’s clinical/fieldwork education criteria, mask fit-testing and an education session is mandatory for all students. The Rehabilitation Sciences Sector has arranged mask fit-testing for all students. The session typically takes place in September.

All students will receive a memorandum from the Rehabilitation Sciences Sector, providing principal documents regarding the policies and procedures for completion of the education session and mask fit-testing. Students are required to bring their mask fit-testing card with them to all fieldwork placements. A student’s failure to attend the scheduled date and time of the education session and mask fit-testing will result in the student taking full responsibility for making alternative mask fit-testing arrangements and paying the required mask fit-testing fee at a private clinic.

O-Week, Student-Run for OT1 by OT2
Students in second year of the program organize orientation activities for the first year students – both social and informative.  Some of these will have costs attached to them. These activities are completely optional, and students leaders for “O-Week” are advised by the Chair to abide by the professional conduct regulations set by the University of Toronto and the Department. For activities taking place off-site (non-University of Toronto property), students purporting to represent the Department (e.g. wearing a University shirt in public) at an O-Week activity should still continue to conduct themselves professionally.

Accessible Campus Online Resource Network (ACORN)
This is U of T’s online student record system made available through ACORN.  Throughout the program, students are responsible for keeping their personal information in ACORN current. Through ACORN, students are able to:

  • Check their financial account balance and request to register without payment
  • View grades and academic status
  • Order transcripts
Student Card / TCard

The T-Card Office at the University provides official identification for students. All new OT students must obtain a TCard, which:

  • Serves as a student identification card and library card
  • Stores money for photocopying around the university
Timetables & Program Schedule
Prior to the academic year, the Department will post timetables for each term in that year.  Other than for the first week of Term One – there is one consistent weekly timetable for each term.  If there is any change to the timetable in regards to a particular course (e.g., room number change, class cancellation, or rescheduling) the relevant course instructor will provide this information.  Sometimes there may be a special session which occurs one-time-only which does not appear on the regular timetable. Once informed, students must keep track of such sessions.