By Kate Hunger
School of Health Professions faculty and administrators gave four presentations at the American Occupational Therapy Association OT Educational Summit held in Louisville, Kentucky, on October 13-14.
One presentation shared the demographics of the School’s OT program as part of a cluster of presentations on the recruitment and retention of students.
“What we presented were the demographics that show how we’ve been successful in drawing a diverse population of students,” said Ricky Joseph, Ph.D., OTR, assistant professor one of the faculty presenters.
Joseph’s co-presenters included Bridgette Piernik-Yoder, Ph.D., OTR, associate professor and department chair and David Henzi, Ed.D., associate dean for academic and student affairs and Autumn Clegg, Ed.D., OTR., assistant/clinical professor and academic fieldwork coordinator.
The presentation shared national data showing 87 percent of applicants to OT programs are female and 43-65 percent of applicants are white. Of UT Health San Antonio’s 2018 OTD matriculants, 38.1 percent are white, 45.2 percent are Hispanic, 4.8 percent are black, 7.1 percent are Asian, and 4.8 percent reported two or more races.
Joseph noted that the department’s transition to an entry-level OTD program in 2018, and that 24 percent, or 10, of 42 matriculants in 2018 are male, up from 18 percent, or 7, in 2017.
“We are looking at those demographics to see if that is a trend that a doctorate in OT is a draw for male candidates,” he said.
The department uses a holistic interview process involving both faculty and students, which gives applicants an opportunity to hear from students about their experiences with the program. In addition, the department regularly reviews data, including a new student survey, to understand what is drawing students to the profession and the program.
“We want all students who are interested in becoming occupational therapists to understand that opportunity is there,” Joseph said. “The object is to make all students aware of the allied health professions. It’s open to all students.”
OT faculty also gave the following poster presentations at the summit:
• “The Outcome of a Teaching and Learning Theories Fieldwork Seminar on Occupational Therapist’s Self-Efficacy,” Dr. Clegg.
• “Effective Methods for Teaching the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework 3rd Edition Domain and Process for Integration in Clinical Reasoning Skills,” Dr. Joseph.
• The Learning Benefits of Using 3-D Printing to Fabricate an Assistive Device,” Ana Allegretti, Ph.D., OTR., assistant professor.