A Student’s Point of View
As I began my first class in Eastern Kentucky University’s online occupational therapy doctorate program and initiated my first big research assignment, I sat at my computer considering the topics I could choose. I had a background in theater and passion for working with students with disabilities. I decided to explore theater used in intervention. Though I’d been involved in a program that uses this exact concept, I had not anticipated using the subject as the focus for my capstone. However, I investigated the notion and discovered how fitting theater was as an option within occupation-based practice.
Occupational Therapy Curriculum
In OTS 912 – Evidence-Based Practice for OT, I continued to research the benefits of theater used in therapy. Discovering the significant role occupational therapists can play in facilitating the learning of skills through drama. With every class I took, I found ways of incorporating my capstone idea and refining my research.
Each course worked together to enhance a different aspect of my studies, such as focusing on how to train program volunteers during OTS 913 – Educational Practices for OT. Additionally, I created a learning course that I eventually implemented during OTS 905 – Applied Leadership Experience. In OTS 882 – Advanced Occupational Science, I learned how to analyze the science of using theater as an occupation and refocusing on the client as an occupational being. I also focused on applying the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework (OTPF-4) to add the terminology to my ideas. OTS 886 – Culture and Diversity in OT assisted my research in occupational justice for students with special needs.
Through each class, I gained more knowledge in how theater fits within OT. The theory to guide my research, and the direction in which to take my capstone study. During OTS 901 and 902, the Leadership Seminar courses, I conducted a needs assessment with key members of my community to solidify my plan. The course layout in EKU’s online doctoral program was incredibly helpful. Each class was utilized to build upon one another to my final capstone. In every class I incorporated past assignments and research to continue to refine, elaborate, and update the information. With the help of some amazing mentors, I was able to conduct a final capstone project with which I am highly pleased.
Markii Landry, OTD, OTR/L, adjunct professor, University of Central Arkansas
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