Doctoral Experiential: ACOTE Standards and Description
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) establishes Standards for entry-level OTD programs (ACOTE, 2018). As defined by ACOTE, “the goal of the doctoral experiential component is to develop occupational therapists with advanced skills (those that are beyond a generalist level). The doctoral experiential component shall be an integral part of the program’s curriculum design and shall include an in-depth experience in one or more of the following: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development. The OTD program’s Doctoral Experiential (DEx) has been designed to meet or exceed ACOTE Standard D 1.1 – D 1.8.
The WNE OTD Doctoral Experiential has two phases:
- A preparatory phase which involves knowledge and skill building and the design of a research project in Years One and Two. Courses associated with this phase include: OTD 534, 624, 632/633, 642/643 and 662/663;
- An experiential/scholarship phase which involves implementation of the proposed research project, and the production and dissemination of a scholarly report on the findings in Year Three (OTD 780/785).
Students must successfully complete all academic coursework, fieldwork, and the competency requirement prior to beginning the experiential/scholarship phase of the Doctoral Experiential. The minimum duration of the Doctoral Experiential is 14 weeks (560 hours), which may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. Additional information can be viewed here.
The entry-level (first professional degree) Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program at Western New England University (WNE) has been designed to meet and exceed the standards set for OTD programs by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Standards for the entry-level OTD require a Capstone. The WNE OTD program refers to this component as the Doctoral Experiential. This includes a Community Experiential and a Scholarly Project that have been designed to meet or exceed the ACOTE standards. Doctoral Experientials are planned and implemented jointly with students, faculty, and community partners.
The purpose of the Doctoral Experiential is for students to apply the knowledge and skills gained during their OTD academic courses and their Level I and II fieldwork experiences in ways that challenge and perhaps transform the delivery of health, educational, and social services.
Through designing and implementing a community experiential and a scholarly project that specifically responds to the needs of a population and setting, students experience the roles of a reflective practitioner, a transformative leader, and an innovative designer. The Doctoral Experiential is a complex interrelated field experience and a scholarly project that is coordinated by a student, university, and community team.
Sampling of projects produced by the Class of 2020
- Nutrition Educational Booklet for Families and Caregivers of Persons with Dementia
- Remote Occupational Therapy Consultation For Early Intervention and School-Based Therapy During COVID-19
- Addressing Fitness to Drive with Adolescent Population
- Addressing Driving and Community Mobility in the Home Health Care Setting
- Increasing Competency for Occupational Therapy Practitioners in the Mental Health Setting in Assessing Clients for Fitness-to-Drive
- An Occupation-Based Education to Increase Caregiver Knowledge and Quality of Life of Individuals with Dementia
- Shifting Gears; Driving and Community Mobility, an Evidence-based Online Course for Occupational Therapy Practitioners
- Peacemaking; The Role of Occupational Therapy in Restorative Justice Substance Abuse and Mental Health Doctoral Experiential
- Telehealth Connection: Operational Outcome and Health Data for Water Filtration in Haiti
- Students' Lived Experiences: Completing Experiential Projects during COVID-19
Julie Pieciak, Rozey Miller, and Nancy Vang
- The Development of E-Memory Books to Ease the Transition in Cognitive Decline for Individuals Living with Alzheimer's Disease and related Dementias at Glenmeadow
- Musculoskeletal Pain Management and Topical Treatments for Community Members with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain
Jamie Carder, Christine Dunkley, Dimple Patel, and Matthew Roy
- Occupational Therapy Consultation for Early Intervention and School-Based Therapy During a Pandemic
- Telehealth Connection: Building Cultural Competencies in a Virtual Healthcare Setting
- Collaborative Consultation for Early Intervention and School-Based Occupational Therapy during a Pandemic
- Utilizing a Collaborative Consultation Model to Support Schools and Early Intervention during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Enhancing Caregiver Knowledge on Stages of Dementia and Tailoring Functional Activities for Individuals Living with Dementia
- Exploring Suicidality Among the SUD Population to Address Stigma and Prevention with an OT Mindset
Stephanie Charleron and Rachelle Lefevre
- Telehealth Connection: Intercultural Learning and Program Development
Celeste Massari and Shannon Spurrell