Making the OTD Capstone Matter

Earn 1 hour of continuing education by joining OT Potential after taking this course.

The number of OT entry-level doctoral (OTD) programs has been expanding rapidly. In 2017 there were 7 programs. As of 2023, there are 95, with an additional 76 in development. 

The article we’ll explore in this course presents early stage research on the doctoral capstone experience and employment opportunities. It backs up what I have now personally observed through mentoring a student: that doctoral students are uniquely prepared for more diverse job opportunities, and sometimes jobs are even created due to the clear value of the capstone experience. 

There seems to be a benefit for the profession as a whole, in terms of increased awareness. (Our Achilles heel!)

After we review the article, I’ll welcome our own student, Alana Woolley, and her capstone coordinator, Daniel Rortvedt. Our goal will be to help you decide if you should be a capstone mentor, and shed light on the experience from 3 perspectives.

Primary Journal Article Explored

When you log in, be sure to check out the OT Potential Club’s written breakdown of the following research article. Then, share your questions and thoughts with fellow practitioners.

Capstone Resources

Supporting Research and Journal Articles

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to recognize how the OTD capstone experience can influence employment opportunities.
  • You will be able to identify how the OTD capstone can boost overall awareness of the OT profession.


Intro (5 minutes)

Breakdown and analysis of journal article (5 minutes)

Discussion on practical implications for OTs (50 minutes)

  • 00:17:11 Dan and Alana Backstory
  • 00:20:13 Article Impressions
  • 00:26:46 Advice for finding the right focus area and mentor
  • 00:33:15 Advice for saying “yes” to a student?
  • 00:38:13 How does the capstone experience feel different from the rest of your education?
  • 00:43:09 What are 3 pitfalls mentors/mentees should avoid?
  • 00:48:10 Due to capstone, have you seen a ripple effect of OT awareness?
  • 00:50:19 What is one way the capstone process could be improved?
  • 00:53:54 What is one piece of advice you have for capstone mentors or students?
This course on Making the OTD Capstone Matter is AOTA approved!

This course is an independent/self-study course delivered via podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play & more. Explore your listening options on the OT Potential Podcast page.

If you need accommodations to take this course, please contact us and we will address your needs on an individual basis.

If this course were to be canceled, please see our cancellation policy on our terms page.

In order to receive a certificate for this course, you must first listen to the podcast in its entirety. Then, you will need to take the test (found at the top of this page) and earn 75% or higher. If you pass, a certificate will be automatically generated and sent to your email.

Target Audience/Educational Level

Our target audience is occupational therapy practitioners who are looking to learn about Making the OTD Capstone Matter.  The educational level is introductory.

Financial and Non-financial Disclosures

It is the policy of OT Potential to disclose any financial and non-financial interest the provider or instructor may have in a product or service mentioned during an activity. This is to ensure that the audience is made aware of any bias of the speaker.

We here at OT Potential have no financial stake in this topic. Our guests, Alana Woolley & Daniel Rortvedt also have no financial disclosures.


Alana Woolley, OTD Student

Alana Woolley, OTD Student

My name is Alana Woolley and I am currently completing my final semester as an OTD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am privileged to be partnered with OT Potential for my OTD capstone project, which focuses on knowledge translation and how continuing education courses can most effectively impact evidence-based practices in the clinic. My research is aimed at understanding and tackling the barriers that practitioners face when it comes to transforming new information into clinical action, and draws heavily on Universal Design for Learning principles and Adult Learning theory, in addition to classic OT models and frameworks. I am excited to connect and collaborate with OTP members over the course of this project (and beyond)!

My years of working with children and their families as an educator, caregiver, and program leader are what led me to the field of OT – and I am excited to build my practice around supporting pediatric mental health and familial wellness. Some of my favorite occupations include bike riding, playing board games, and making things with my hands. 

Daniel Rortvedt, MS, OTD, OTR/L

Daniel Rortvedt, OTD, OTR/L

Daniel Rortvedt, OTD, OTR/L is doctoral capstone coordinator and a clinical assistant professor in the occupational therapy program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was previously an assistant professor in the Master of Occupational Therapy program at Elmhurst University. He completed his post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy at Boston University, an MS in occupational therapy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and BA in English and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He has practiced widely as an occupational therapist and assistive technology consultant. He owned and operated Designed for Access, LLC (2018-2022), providing consultation and training for school districts and organizations with regard to assistive technology and telehealth provision. Daniel serves on the editorial board of WORK:  A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation and holds a part-time appointment in the online post-professional occupational therapy doctorate program at Boston University.

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L

Sarah’s passion is helping fellow OT practitioners translate evidence into daily practice. Sarah earned her BA in religion from St. Olaf College, then earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from New York University in 2011.

Since then, she’s worked in numerous facilities, including a critical access hospital, an acute trauma hospital, and a state inpatient psychiatric hospital. Sarah is the founder/owner of OT Potential. Read more about OT Potential here.

This course was designed to meet your continuing education requirements

We designed the courses in the Club to meet the requirements for “online” and “independent/self-study” courses. For more details read our blog post: Can I earn OT CEUS from a podcast? To verify the requirements from your specific state (within the US), check out our post, OT Continuing Education Explained. If you are outside of the United States and have questions, please contact us.

We are proud to be an AOTA Approved Provider and to meet the requirements for your NBCOT renewal.

We are AOTA approved!!
We report course results to CE Broker every 24 hours!
Works for NBCOT PDUs!

See our other OT courses!

  • Advocacy in Pelvic Health
  • Hopes and Fears for AI
  • OT and Habits
  • Making the OTD Capstone Matter
  • OT and Pediatric Constipation
  • Knowledge Translation and OT

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