Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy
Kimberley Persons, DHS, OTR/L, CLA
Stephanie Adams, DHSc, OTR/L
Alyssa Klenotich, MS
Introduction: With the higher education student populations facing greater prevalence of mental health conditions and greater presence of students with disabilities attending higher education, there is a greater demand than many higher education resources can meet. Therefore, there is a need to revise the current student support structure. This project advocated for the role of occupational therapy (OT) program development in higher education student disability services.
Purpose: The primary aim of this project was to develop, implement, and evaluate a virtual 4-week occupation-based pilot program. The initial pilot participants included students receiving accommodations from the Student Accessibility and Accommodations (SA&A) Office within all OT programs at St. Catherine University. The focus of the program was to enhance occupational balance via education and accountability of academic and non-academic skills, such as time management, study skills, and mindfulness.
Approach: An extensive literature search, two scoping reviews, review of existing survey data, and a needs assessment was conducted to gather background information prior to program implementation.
Outcomes: Nine participants registered for the program. Although there was some attrition, adequate participation was achieved to receive feedback via the program surveys for future program revision and re-implementation. Overall, participants stated several program strengths, and changes in occupational balance and behaviors associated with time management were noted.
Recommendations: The SA&A Office and the OT profession can continue this this partnership in developing creative initiatives, such as programming, to support students.