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Showing posts from October, 2019

The OTD Mandate and The Great Pumpkin

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It is near Halloween, so a themed entry seems appropriate.

We have another motion in front of the AOTA Representative Assembly to mandate an entry level doctoral degree - even though a decision point was reached just six months ago on this same issue.  At that time, the decision was to support dual entry at both the master's and doctoral level.

That did not satisfy a Small Group of individuals, and so we are at the debate again.

People frequently ask me 'why' the profession is going through this again.  That is where the Halloween story comes in.

Each year, despite overwhelming evidence against his belief system, Linus would sit in the pumpkin patch and wait for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin - who he believed flies around and gives toys to sincere and believing children on Halloween eve.  Each year the Great Pumpkin would fail to appear but that does not stop Linus from believing.  Sometimes he even manages to convince his friends to sit in the pumpkin patch waiting wi…

The need for occupational therapy educational standards reform: Addressing the real problem behind the push for a doctoral mandate

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As a profession, occupational therapists have been spending time talking about opposing the motion to mandate the doctorate – but we need to spend time trying to solve the problem that is bringing this issue to the table.

I believe that we have a specific problem (too many credits in masters programs) and some of our colleagues are trying to justify the escalated degree solution by conflating the real problem with a lot of side issues that may not be accurate (e.g. doctorates will give us a seat at the table, doctorates will make us more respected, doctorates will maintain parity with other professions, doctorates will make people practice at the top of their license etc - all evidence-free platitudes).

We should try to address the Credit Problem by reforming curriculum, reforming ACOTE standards, removing excess from those systems - and that will solve the REAL underlying problem.

Here are some ideas that Caroline Alterio and I generated and that she posted on the AOTA forums the …

Open letter to the Representative Assembly of the American Occupational Therapy Association

Dear Representative Assembly Members,

I am a program director of an occupational therapy program. I am shocked and concerned that the AOTA's Representative Assembly has accepted a new motion to re-litigate the entry level doctoral issue after it was just voted on and decided six months ago.

In any democratic process, issues should never be considered 'closed.' However, we also need to have some procedural safeguards to ensure that there is not an abuse of processes in order to effect a Small Group's will.

The Representative Assembly has such a process. In the document 'Rubric for RA Motions' it clearly states:

" Topic #4:
Motion originators/Rep articulate how the intended outcome of the motion is different from anything that other AOTA groups (ad hocs, COE, COP, EC, etc.) is working on or has already been addressed."
It is a mockery of the process to serially submit motions on the same topic that has already been liti…