Specific ACOTE Standards have been written to address both the capstone experience and project within the OTD curriculum. The design of the capstone policies and procedures adhere to ACOTE Standards and is further guided by the program's curriculum design and outcomes.
D.1.0. The doctoral capstone shall be an integral part of the program's curriculum design. The goal of the doctoral capstone is to provide an in-depth exposure to one or more of the following: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education and theory development.
The doctoral capstone consists of two parts:
- Capstone project
- Capstone experience
The student will complete an individual capstone project to demonstrate synthesis and application of knowledge gained.
The student will complete an individual 14-week capstone experience that will start after completion of all coursework and level II fieldwork, and completion of preparatory activities defined in D.1.3
The Capstone Coordinator will:
D.1.1. Ensure that the doctoral capstone reflects the sequence and scope of content in the curriculum design so the doctoral capstone can allow for development of in-depth knowledge in the designated area of interest.
D.1.2. Ensure that the doctoral capstone is designed through collaboration of the faculty and student, and provided in setting(s) consistent with the program's curriculum design, including individualized specific objectives and plans for supervision.
D.1.3. Ensure that preparation for the capstone project includes a literature review, needs assessment, goals/objectives, and an evaluation plan. Preparation should align with the curriculum design and sequence and is completed prior to the commencement of the 14-week doctoral capstone experience.
D.1.4. Ensure that there is a valid memorandum of understanding for the doctoral capstone experience, that, at a minimum, includes individualized specific objectives, plans for supervision or mentoring, and responsibilities of all parties. The memorandum of understanding must be signed by both parties.
D.1.5. Require that the length of the doctoral capstone experience be a minimum of 14 weeks (560 hours). This may be completed on a part-time basis and must be consistent with the individualized specific objectives and capstone project. No more than 20% of the 560 hours can be completed off site from the mentored practice setting(s), to ensure a concentrated experience in the designated area of interest. Time spent off site may include independent study activities such as research and writing. Prior fieldwork or work experience may not be substituted for this doctoral capstone experience.
D.1.6. Document and verify that the student is mentored by an individual with expertise consistent with the student's area of focus prior to the onset of the doctoral capstone experience. The mentor does not have to be an occupational therapist.
D.1.7. Document a formal evaluation mechanism for objective assessment of the student's performance during and at the completion of the doctoral capstone experience.
D.1.8. Ensure completion and dissemination of an individual doctoral capstone project that relates to the doctoral capstone experience and demonstrates synthesis of in-depth knowledge in the focused area of study.