Following the successful completion of Level II FW, and a competency requirement, OTD students partake in a 14-week doctoral capstone experience. During this experience, students develop advanced skills (those beyond a generalist level) and it is integral to acquiring deeper-practice scholar competencies as reflected in the program's curriculum design. This capstone experience directly connects clinical practice with scholarship via the implementation of a scholarly doctoral capstone project. The doctoral capstone experience provides an in-depth, customized experience specific to the doctoral pursuit of the occupational therapy student, and the opportunity to extend and refine knowledge & skills acquired in the curriculum. Students may participate in learning experiences that include a focus on one or more of the following: theory development, research, policy, advanced clinical practice, advocacy, teaching, administration, leadership etc...
Capstone Project Examples
Fieldwork & Doctoral Capstone Experience Manual
DCE FW Objectives & Curriculum Philosophy
The OTD student is mentored by an individual with expertise consistent with the student's area of focus. The site will provide mentorship to OTD students on site by a qualified and competent (but not necessarily an occupational therapy practitioner) personnel. This individual assists the OTD student in applying knowledge to practical situations; develop problem solving skills and learning practical competencies. This individual will be called the Site Mentor. The Site Mentor will instruct and orient the OTD student as needed to perform specific negotiated learning activities consistent with the student's learning objectives. The individual, who, on behalf of the advanced placement site, is responsible for the direct instruction and supervision of the OTD student in the professional rotation setting.
Read what DCE site mentors have to say about our OTD graduates:
"[Student] demonstrated the ability to deliver client-centered practices that are goal oriented as well as the ability to work collaboratively with other professionals ... She developed a well-organized informative Professional Development Session for the Early Head Start Staff and created a training module and has submitted PQAS Application to become a certified trainer through the PA Keys. The work she has done with our clients and staff is evidence that [she] has the ability and capacity to promote learning and the development of skills with clients."
"[Student] did an outstanding job demonstrating her ability to educate clients, peers, parents, teachers, therapists, and students. She is a strong asset to our center, and her peers would seek her out for further information and resources ... She has become an integral part of our center, and is always willing to help educate staff by providing ideas or demonstrating strategies when working with children with sensory needs."
"[She utilized] great amounts of research ... very evidence based knowledge - I learned from her!"
"The tools that [she] is developing for us will be able to be used by future part and full time staff. While our way of effectively measuring the outcomes is most likely a bit different than a specialist our goal is to produce positive outcomes a little at a time. If our staff is improving in dealing with these delicate and difficult situations, we are making progress. I think our final evaluation will show this in more detail."
"Throughout her program, [student] was able to educate staff on how to work with members who have I/DD."
"[Student] has demonstrated effective leadership skills in order to successfully run a program for older adults with dementia and their caregivers. She took on a leadership role to deliver individualized treatments for the older adults and conduct educational sessions for the caregivers."
"[Student] has collaborated with different healthcare professionals, including OT, dementia coordinator, and program assistants ... [She] has demonstrated effective leadership skills in order to successfully run a program for older adults with dementia and their caregivers. She took on a leadership role to deliver individualized treatments for the older adults and conduct educational sessions for the caregivers."