Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

John Fleming


Doctor of Occupational Therapy


The evidence for the benefits and challenges of an entry-level baccalaureate occupational therapy assistant education is lacking. Therefore, as many occupational therapy assistant programs consider transitioning from an associate degree level to a baccalaureate degree level, they must rely on considerations from other healthcare professions. This doctoral project reviews the evidence from nursing, dental hygiene and respiratory therapy.

The aim of this project is to increase awareness of current literature on the potential benefits of an entry-level baccalaureate health care education and its implications for the occupational therapy education community. This knowledge was disseminated through three different knowledge translation methods. The first method was to educate occupational therapy practitioners, students and faculty via a Minnesota Occupational Therapy Association virtual continuing education event. The second method was to inform readers of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Academic Education Special Interest Section Quarterly Newsletter through an article submitted for publication. The final method was to inform attendees of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s 2022 Education Summit through a professional presentation.

Completion of these three knowledge translation projects provided a deeper understanding of an entry-level baccalaureate degree in three healthcare professions. This information may be translated to the potential benefits and challenges for the occupational therapy assistant degree. However, the need for continued research is needed as more baccalaureate occupational therapy assistant programs obtain accreditation and have graduates in the workforce. Future research should evaluate the outcomes of these graduates on both technical and clinical skills.