Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


This study examined students’ perceptions of interprofessional multicultural learning activities used to develop cultural competence with humility (CCH). Limited research exists on student perceptions of learning activities for CCH in entry-level occupational therapy educational programs. This exploratory, mixed methods study used an anonymous online survey, the Learning Activities Survey (LAS), to collect student quantitative ratings and qualitative feedback about CCH learning activities and their experience within the Counselors and Occupational Therapists Professionally Engaged in the Community (COPE) program. A deductive thematic approach was used by two investigators for qualitative analyses of COPE learning activities by alignment in four a priori CCH constructs: cultural awareness, cultural knowledge, cultural skills, and cultural desire. Consensus was gained through discussion. Nineteen of 29 (65.5%) students completed the survey. The mean score on the LAS for 6 of 12 activities (50%) was at least Moderately important (mean ≥ 3.0) to student learning. Twelve of 19 students (63%) rated 11 of 12 learning activities as Moderately important (mean ≥ 3.0). Qualitatively, cognitive knowledge was the strongest reported CCH learning construct within the COPE program with a frequency of 32. The combined quantitative and qualitative responses indicated the learning activities positively influenced students’ learning of CCH. This study may inform occupational therapy curricular activities that satisfy accreditation requirements and expectations of the profession to meet the cultural needs of society. It also provides support for revisions to occupational therapy educational program standards to better align with recent literature.


Michele Tilstra, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, CHT is an Assistant Clinical Professor and the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at Walsh University. She is the co-program director for the Counselors and Occupational Therapists Professionally Engaged in the Community Program. Her research includes developing professional skills in students and integrating mental health support for graduate students.

Cara Berg-Carramusa, PT, MSPT, EdD serves as the Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education at Youngstown State University. She is an education researcher, and her scholarly agenda embodies professional formation of doctor of physical therapy students grounded in humanities and the sciences of teaching and learning.

Tiffany J. Peets, PhD, LPCC-s is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Clinical Mental Health Field Experience at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. She is the co-program director for the Counselors and Occupational Therapists Professionally Engaged in the Community Program. Her research focus includes the supervision of clinical counseling students.

Karen M. Keptner, PhD, OTR/L (she/her) is an associate professor at Southern California University of Health Sciences. She researches how systemic issues influence success from high school to career. She advocates for occupational therapy in addressing the mental health needs of emerging adults.

Declaration of Interest

The Department of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provided funding for the COPE program through the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) program for professionals through a four-year 1.9-million-dollar grant awarded to Walsh University. The funding covered 10% of the salary costs for Dr. Tilstra and Dr. Peets and the total salary for the grant coordinator. No other declaration of interests.

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.