Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


There is limited literature reporting the methodology of leadership advancement in entry-level Doctoral-Degree-Level Educational Programs through the Capstone Experience. The purpose of this study was to explore if self-perceived leadership practices increase after the Capstone Experience utilizing a one group, pretest-posttest design. Sixteen students completed the Student Leadership Practices Inventory (SLPI) from pretest to posttest. Self-perceived leadership practices of the fourth-year cohort of doctoral students increased significantly, t (15) = 5.42, p= 0.00007, with a large effect size (d= 1.355). Students enrolled in the community-based track were 31.25% of the sample, compared to 68.75% enrolled in the leadership track. Site mentors of the Capstone Experience were licensed occupational therapists for 37.5% of students, while the remaining 62.5% of students were matched with a site mentor outside of the occupational therapy profession. These results may indicate that through a transformative process of experiential learning, and with an emphasis on forging partnerships inside and outside of the profession, leadership growth is fostered through a Capstone Experience complementing didactic preparation in the classroom. Future studies should include an additional objective measurement and a comparison group to control for extraneous variables.


Tracey Recigno, OTD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor at Thomas Jefferson University. At the time of the study, she was the Doctoral Capstone Experiential Coordinator at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Her research interests include occupational therapy leadership and interprofessional education.

Sara Benham, OTD, MOT, OTR/L, ATP is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA. She holds an advanced certification as an Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) and her research primarily examines how technology enables clients to increase participation in meaningful occupations, resulting in a variety of peer-reviewed, published manuscripts.

Adele Breen-Franklin, OTD, JD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Doctoral Program at University of the Sciences. Her research interests include the scholarship of teaching of learning.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.