Frequently asked questions about OTD capstone
The DCE is 14-weeks, full-time, which totals 560 hours. ACOTE standards state that at least 80% of those hours must be spent directly with the DCE site.
While occupational therapy fieldwork serves to prepare students as entry level generalists, the goal of the doctoral capstone is to advance student skills through in-depth exposure within an area of focus. Fieldwork rotations are 12 weeks in length and completed under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, whereas the DCE is 14 weeks in length and completed in collaboration with a mentor at the DCE site who has documented expertise related to the topic.
Each student has a team of mentors to collaborate with through the planning, implementation, and dissemination phases of the doctoral capstone. Students must have a mentor at their DCE site that has expertise related to their capstone topic. The site mentor does not necessarily need to be an occupational therapist, depending on the nature of the project. The DCE site mentor will collaborate with the student to develop their individualized learning objectives and plan for supervision. The DCE site mentor will also provide onsite supervision as needed, evaluate the student’s performance, and verify hour requirements. In addition to the DCE site mentor, the capstone coordinator and a faculty mentor are part of the student’s mentorship team.
No. While the student is expected to complete a minimum of 80% (448) of their required hours on-site, the role of the mentor is to guide the student in developing and implementing their doctoral capstone plan. Specific plans for supervision, such as frequency, intensity, and method of interaction, are established prior to the onset of the DCE.
There are several benefits to hosting a doctoral capstone student. First, it’s a wonderful opportunity for scholarly collaboration and creates opportunities for publications and professional presentations. Along with this, the DCE site mentor will gain access to institutional resources such as The Claremont Colleges library and Institutional Review Board. In addition, DCE sites receive deliverable products of the capstone project, such as evidence-based resources, program curriculum, staff/clinician training, clinical pathways, and client education materials. Depending on the DCE site mentor’s profession, mentorship can also be an opportunity to earn PDUs. Occupational therapists can earn 1 unit per 1 week of mentorship.
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