I am a mother and a full-time school-based occupational therapist currently enrolled in the Post Professional Doctoral Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program. This specific doctoral program was attractive to me for many reasons: affordability, flexibility with the asynchronous course delivery, and enrolling in one class every 8- weeks allows me to maintain full-time status for financial aid. I was very apprehensive to begin my studies despite all of these positives because I have been removed from academia for almost 20 years.
I recently completed my fifth OTD course out of fifteen and now my apprehension has faded into inspiration. This inspiration is the result of the support of the staff and programming. One thing I quickly realized is that the professors want you to succeed. For instance, they create a positive environment for growth: accepting mistakes and praising critical thinking. Also, the professors and support staff have always taken the time to support any individual needs such as virtually meeting on the weekend or evenings.
Each OTD course has several enriching assignments that allowed me to tailor and develop my professional interests. Through my coursework and studies, I have developed staff training to support inclusion practices of students with sensory processing difficulties. In addition, I learned how to advocate for policies to promote equity of disabled adolescents. I also studied leadership theories to provide me the tools to navigate conflicts and struggles within my professional career.
In conclusion, having seen such personal and professional growth within myself, I look forward to what the future will hold.
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By: Jennifer Molina, OTR/L, EKU Online OTD Student