Submission Date


Document Type

Entry Level Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

First Mentor

Julia Santini

Second Mentor

Karen Rohrer


Through the completion of a doctoral capstone experience, an entry-level occupational therapy doctoral student is able to further develop advanced skills. The doctoral capstone experience is during the student’s last semester in the program and is 16 weeks long. The doctoral capstone experience consists of both a culminating project and the experience itself. The capstone project is “comprised of a literature review, needs assessment, goals/objectives, and an evaluation plan based on specific focus areas” (ACOTE, 2020). The Nova Southeastern University Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy Doctoral Capstone Manual states that “the goal of the doctoral capstone project and experience is to develop an occupational therapist with skills that are more advanced or those beyond the level of a generalist” (NSU OTD Program, 2020, p. 41). The areas of focus for my capstone project were advanced clinical practice skills and program development. I worked with my mentor at an outpatient neurorehabilitation clinic that was a part of a larger hospital system, Christiana Care. At that clinic I was able to treat a full caseload of individuals with various neurological diagnoses. In addition to advancing my clinical skills, I developed a community resource list for individuals with Parkinson's disease which encompassed the state of Delaware and parts of surrounding states. I was also able to participate in various other learning opportunities such as shadowing a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders, attending the Parkinson’s Symposium for the healthcare system, shadowing in the acute care and inpatient rehab settings, and completing continuing education courses.