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Doctoral Capstone Experience

OT students at a sports event for disabled

The Tufts Doctoral Experience Component (DEC) is focused on advancing entry-level skills beyond the direct care generalist role demonstrated on Level II fieldwork. The development of advanced skills beyond a generalist level is integrated within courses throughout the curriculum along with a series of DEC Seminars. Courses focus on scholarly investigation and the planning, implementation and evaluation of a doctoral capstone project. Implementation of the project occurs during the 14-week Doctoral Experiential Component, directly linking occupational therapy scholarship and practice.

The DEC is a time immersive experience designed to provide "in-depth exposure" (ACOTE, 2018) to a designated area of interest (practice, research, administration, leadership, program/policy development, advocacy, education, theory development). The experience is designed collaboratively with a faculty and site mentor to create learning activities and opportunities for the student to develop advanced skills in a focused area.  Students collaborate with a faculty and site mentor to design a project proposal that is implemented and evaluated in the final semester of the program.