Document Type (Journals)



This article aims to share a process framework created to guide entry-level occupational therapy doctoral programs in operationalizing and expanding the scope of the education-focused capstone described by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®).The impetus for this work was the completion of a professional development, education-focused capstone that proved to be novel, sustainable, and transformative for the capstone team, including the student, faculty mentor, site mentor, and doctoral capstone coordinator. This capstone ultimately created a professional development course covering the social determinants of health for occupational therapy practitioners, now offered through the American Occupational Therapy Association. Due to the lack of published guidance for this type of capstone project, the road from ideation to creation had a larger learning curve than the team anticipated. Following the completion of the capstone, the team performed a 3-month retrospective analysis through reflection, discussion, literature review, and journaling during weekly meetings to uncover facilitators, barriers, key takeaways, and themes. The team posited that the methods were grounded and reproducible and created the Education-Focused Capstone Framework to assist other capstone teams interested in similar expansion of the education-focused capstone. This framework was built on an understanding of Standards, current literature, and theories of transformative learning and heutagogy.


Sierra Clair, DrOT, OTR/L is a Travel Occupational Therapist for AMN Healthcare with experience in continuing education, skilled nursing facilities, adolescent mental health, and neuro outpatient settings. A 2021 graduate of University of the Sciences in Philadelphia’s DrOT program, Sierra aspires to continue sharing her knowledge in both academia and professional development.

Sarah Corcoran OTD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Saint Joseph's University (formerly University of the Sciences in Philadelphia) who has demonstrated experience in academia, quality improvement, home health, and hospitals. Sarah’s teaching and scholarship center around topics of leadership, mentoring, teaching and learning, and professional belonging.

Emily Bubel, OTD, OTR/L has been an Occupational Therapist for over 15 years. Currently, she works in the Occupational Therapy Department as the Doctoral Capstone Coordinator and Assistant Professor at Saint Joseph's University (formerly University of the Sciences in Philadelphia).

Debbie Amini, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA has been an Occupational Therapist for 39 years. Her experiences include clinical practice as a hand therapist and academic roles including founder/director of an OTA program and assistant professor within an MOT program. She is currently the Director of Professional Development at AOTA.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

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.