Cultivating Leaders in Care: Establishing an Intercollegiate OT Student Leadership Society

The aim of this capstone project is to create an inclusive, intercollegiate leadership society for occupational therapy students.

Student Name: Rianna LaFleche
Mentor Name: Brittany Adams, OT, OTD, MS, OTR
School: Western New England University (WNE)
Capstone Setting: Academia - WNE, Springfield, MA
Virtual/In-Person/Hybrid: Hybrid

Capstone Objectives:

  1. Develop and implement an inaugural chapter of an inclusive, intercollegiate OT student leadership society that is not based on grade point achievements.
  2. Develop a society manual that outlines the policies and procedures for existing and future chapters to be established.

Method/Design/Approach:

This project consisted of distributing a survey across OT schools in Western MA within the first 2 weeks to understand the needs of student leaders, followed by four online zoom meetings with board members, one workshop event and concluded with a focus group to further inform the future of the society. Through these meetings, students collaborated to develop a society manual, initiatives for the society and a sustainability plan.

Results/Outcomes:

The conclusion of this project will be at the end of July and will be updated following that.

Future Directions for Project:

TBD at the conclusion of the project in July.

Influence on OT Career:

This project has allowed me to gain confidence and acquire skills in leadership and management that I will be able to utilize in practice. I will be able to help lead effective teams to provide meaningful client centered care.

@brittany20, I can totally see your as the mentor on the project! Such needed work! @rianna, as of 3 weeks ago (when I first dug into the literature on leadership development :joy:) I am huge supporter in leadership skill building. Every OT at every level deserves training in this!

I’m curious about the intercollegiate model you’ve created. How many schools do you see participating? Do you see this as regional? Do you see the society manual as something other regions could build on to create their own leadership society?

In my region, we have 3-4 schools participating and I think it’s a good number. I do see it as something that different regions can create and it’s been a fun way to build connections with students from other OT schools from my experience so far! The manual will serve as a way for other regions to create their own society, but I also envision that they will be able to have their own By Laws of some sort to allow the society to suit their needs. I think the manual will also evolve as the society is sustained.

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