The doctoral capstone project and experience is an integral part of the Huntington University’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy program’s curriculum design. The goal of the doctoral capstone is to provide an in-depth exposure to one or more of the following areas: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development.
Doctoral students will demonstrate advanced skills acquired throughout didactic coursework and gain experience in alternative clinical and professional practice areas. Students engage in management and leadership courses, along with specialized domestic and/or international mission trip outreaches, all of which help provide a foundation to effectively plan and implement an individualized and impactful doctoral capstone project.
At Huntington University, the doctoral capstone is broken down into three courses:
- OTD 733: Capstone Development Seminar
- OTD 743: Capstone Project Design
- OTD 770: Capstone: Experiential Component
During the doctoral capstone project, students explore areas of professional interest within a specialization of the student’s choosing under the guidance of the capstone coordinator. Students explore community agencies and begin networking with professionals in a variety of areas which contribute to the design and development of the student’s doctoral capstone project.
With consultation provided by the capstone coordinator, faculty mentor, and expert mentor(s), the doctoral capstone student then designs the project to integrate theory into practice with the demonstration and synthesis of specialty knowledge. This project is consistent with the program’s curricular design and will utilize advanced skills beyond the generalist level.
The doctoral capstone experience is a 14-week, 560-hour project that has written objective and assessment measures approved by the faculty advisor and expert mentor(s) in an area of specialization of the student’s choice. Components of the doctoral capstone experience include, but are not limited to, a comprehensive literature review, needs assessment, learning agreement with specific goals/objectives, and effective evaluation/dissemination of the capstone experience. The student will successfully meet or exceed these objectives and assessment criteria prior to graduation.
The doctoral capstone project and experience will enhance students’ evidence-based practice approach and strengthen the professional practice areas of interest. This integrated experience will facilitate improved professional development and competency for students, better equipping the student to enter the job market upon graduation with advanced skills in areas such as advanced research, program development, occupational therapy education, and cross-cultural practice.
Huntington University’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy graduates are separated from the competition as the healthcare professionals who bring specialized experience and unique perspectives to whatever professional market they purse as a doctor of occupational therapy.