Residency for OT Students, and Experiential Learning for OT and OTA Students Under Study


In November 2016, the AOTA Board of Directors created an Ad Hoc Committee to explore current experiential requirements and challenges in occupational therapy education, along with alternative models to ensure that future entry-level practitioners are prepared to meet society’s occupational needs. The subsequent report included recommendations based on best practices from the literature across professions. Read the report, which includes rationale, recommendations, and discussion points.

Recommendations, Process, and Next Steps

One of the Ad Hoc Committee’s recommendations is to move Level I fieldwork from facility based to greater use of simulation and faculty-led experiences. The Board of Directors adopted this recommendation, which allows it to be forwarded to the Education Standards Review Committee (ESRC). The ESRC will meet in May 2017 to review the recommendation and will most likely include it in the next draft Standards revision. They will send the updated draft Standards to the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) in August 2017. At that point, ACOTE will issue a formal call for comments. After these comments are incorporated, the draft Standards will be returned to the ESRC in November for further review with a recommendation from ACOTE on whether to accept them. If accepted, the soonest this recommendation could be implemented is academic year 2019-2020.

The Ad Hoc Committee also recommended an occupational therapist–level post-graduate residence requirement. The Board of Directors chose not to adopt the recommendation at this time, but asked staff for more information via a detailed implementation plan, which is due in October 2017. If this recommendation moves forward the soonest it could be implemented is academic year 2025–2026. Read the report, and provide feedback to