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OTD Experiential Component

The experiential component is an integral part of the program’s curriculum design and includes an in-depth experience in one or more of the following: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development.

Guided advisement and reflection is started in the student’s first semester. Coursework and faculty mentorship facilitates the student ‘s  creation of a learning plan tailored to their values, interests, and goals and contributes to the student's development of  both generalist and advanced skills in occupational therapy.  The student’s individual learning plan must reflect connections to the curricular themes of scholarship, leadership, service or clinical excellence and to their culminating project completed in the Spring of Year 2.  A faculty mentor and expert mentor will supervise and assist the student during the experiential component to successfully complete their individualized learning plan. 

As a requirement of the doctorate of occupational therapy degree, students will complete a 16 week (640 hour) experiential component.  The student must successfully complete all didactic coursework, fieldwork I and II’s, as well as a competency prior to proceeding to the experiential component.  Fieldwork hours cannot be applied towards the experiential component hours.

Students must complete their Level II fieldwork and experiential component within 24 months of completing their didactic coursework.

Click on linked Experiential Component titles below for a written and video summary of each experiential component.

2016 Experiential Component Projects

Melanie BenchicAdvocating for Occupational Therapy’s Role in the Area of Cancer Related Cognitive Dysfunction
Nora BrolsmaDeveloping a Community Accessibility Program: Access Music City
Amelia BrownCommunity Reintegration Programming at TriStar Skyline Medical Center
Ashley ByersCreating a Sensory Modulation Room at Greenhouse Ministries
Bethany CrainCurriculum Adaptation and Volunteer Training for the Special Kids Sunday School Class at First Baptist Church of Hendersonville
Allison DaviesA Hand Up for New Hope: Expanding Current Programming at Greenhouse Ministries 
Elizabeth DavisA Daily and Community Living Skills Training Program for Adolescents with Different Abilities
Heidi EstrightDeveloping a Resource of Accessibility for the Upper Cumberland Region
Hannah Gilbert“We Are All Able”: Exploring Students’ Perceptions of Disability and the Differently-Abled
Brianna GriffinSupporting the Inclusion and Belonging of Individuals with Disabilities at Faith Communities in the Nashville Area
Samantha GrishaberTennessee Orthopaedic Alliance Upper Extremity Functional Measure: Development and Content Validity Testing
Abby HawkinsParenting Strategies in Transracial Foster Care Placements
Lauren HodurskiTechnology for Cancer Survivors: A Review
Katie HoganEducating Parents and Therapists about Therapeutic iPad Use
Evan JackmanThe Get Lost Initiative: Promoting Outdoor Play
Caitlin KleinDevelopment of Culturally Relevant Resources for Volunteers at World Relief Nashville
Gabrielle LaGaceRevisions of a Sensory Based Movement Program for Preschoolers
Rachel MarshallCreating Programs to Establish Self-Determination and Socialization Skills for Students with Cognitive Disabilities
Krystina McBrayerCreation and Translation of Wheelchair Resources into Spanish in Conjunction with United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Wheels for Humanity
Sydney McClainDeveloping a Live-In Program for Belmont OTD Students at Homeplace, Inc.
Emily McLearranGreenhouse MINIStries: A Place for Children to Grow
Jayme Mills Intensive Pediatric Powered Mobility Training for Very Young Children with Disabilities: A Pilot Study
Evan PendygraftEffects of an Ergonomically Designed Food Vendor Hawker on Physiological and Musculoskeletal Aspects of the Body when Compared to a Current Hawker Design
Kelly PhippsPostural Care and Sleep in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Caryn PirkoCurriculum Research and Design for the State College of Florida Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
Allison RichardsonEffectiveness of REBOOT Combat Recovery: Examining Spirituality/Religiousness, Spiritual Wellbeing, Social Participation, and Social Isolation in Service Members and their Spouses
Jane Owen RobbinsThe Effect of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention Course on Perceived Stress, Dispositional Mindfulness, and the Cultivation of Therapeutic Use of Self in Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Students at Belmont University
Emily ShimpServing Seniors Through Immanuel Nashville
Chelsea Skaggs – Supporting Hospice Volunteers
Mary Beth ThielDevelopment of Instructional Enhancement Materials at Nashville State Community College
Laura WebreckExpanding the After-School Journey Program for Refugee Adolescents in Smyrna, TN
Nicole WrightAccess Music City: Tourism Accessibility for Individuals with Visual Impairments

2015 Experiential Component Projects

Michelle AbtSocial Services Professional’s Knowledge and Perceptions of Low Vision and Integration of Low Vision Educational Materials
Laura BachmanActivity Development for Horse Boy Learning
Elizabeth BaldwinPromoting Meaningful Participation in Leisure Activities for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in Supported Residential Living
Samantha BarnesCreating Meaningful and Purposeful Activities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities Attending a Day Program in Nashville, Tennessee
strong>Maria Binney – Creating a special needs ministry
Kacey BungerAn Inclusive Before and After School Child Care Program
Marcie Campbell – Occupational Therapy Evaluation Protocol for Pediatric Patients with Complex Movement Disorders
Kristen CookePediatric Curriculum Evaluation and Design in an Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
Katelyn Corpus – College for Life Summer Program Proposal
Cantrell EllisAwareness of Conflict Between Nurses and Therapists and Preferred Conflict Management Styles
Shelley FlemmingEnvisioning Inclusion: Creating a Design Plan for Inclusive Playgrounds for Buddy Break
Peter Fraser – Men’s Health Issues and Promotion Initiatives through a Health Literacy Perspective
Morgan Gilley – Self-Management Strategies for Adolescents Who Are Cancer Survivors
Claire GreccoYEWTHS ROC: Nashville Initiative
Alexandra GrootExploring International Education Opportunities for Belmont OTD Students
Tara HarperThe ROC Wheels Family Guide: A Caregiver Education Manual for Wheelchair Provision in Less-Resourced Countries
Amanda HassenModified Aquatic Programming: Swimming on the Spectrum
Katherine KorsgardResources to Improve the Oral Health of Children on the Autism Spectrum
Kara LarsonSchmoga: Yoga-Based Self-Regulation Programming for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the School Environment
Cayce MarshallUsing the Model of Human Occupation to Explore the Role of Occupational Therapy in Hospice
Kari MasonAdapting Cross Fit for Enhanced Participation with Injured Warriors/Veterans
Anna Cole McTishPromoting the Full Inclusion of Campers at the National Ability Center
Caitlin MillerNashville Accessibility
Emily MooreThe Development of the “Success Screen” for the Residents of the Park Center Emerging Adults Program
Erika Muether – Existing Roles of Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Transition Planning with an Emphasis on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Middle School and High School
Jordan MurphyWorkforce Development at Room In The Inn
Jevorius PrinceThe Importance of Implementing Physical Activity into the Classroom
Megan RahhalStudent Perceptions of Occupational Therapy and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
Shelley Singh
Jamie St. Laurent – Ergonomic Musician Chairs: Effects on Comfort and Playing-Related Pain in Musicians
Daniel TeagueDeveloping a Business Plan for a Company Specializing in Home Modifications
Channing TinchAdvocacy for Occupational Therapy Student Leadership
Kimberly WalkerNeeds and Assets Assessment of Milan African American Youth
Tracy Wussow – Professional Behaviors Interactive Workbook

2014 Experiential Component Projects

Justine Antoine - Developing Successful Kindergarteners
Brianne Bricker - Provision of Community and Technology-Based Resources for Oregon Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Rachel Cales - Implementation of the Eden Alternative into Occupational Therapy at Signature HealthCare
Taylor Clark - Adults’ with Amputation’s Perspective on Phantom Pain Management and Quality of Life: A Qualitative Study and Literature Review
Nathan Cruse - Moving Forward: Advocating for the Inclusion of Athletes with Disabilities in Mainstream Running
Kelly Denison - Educating Burmese Parents of Elementary School Students, Who Are Newcomers to Nashville, About Metro Nashville Public Schools
Lauren Foster - Play-Based Curriculum Designed for Camp Brick
Rebecca Francisco - Development of Curriculum to Facilitate Work Experiences for Friends Life Participants
Jamie Freese - Manual Design For The Best Buddies Friendship Walk
Ashley Ganus - Project Grow: Connecting Caregivers with Resources in a Zambian Orphanage
Megan Gianneschi - An Academic Experience in Occupational Therapy
Carrie Henson - Empowering Grandparents Program
Mark Ivey - The Lived Experience of Stroke Survivors and Their Family Caregivers:  A Mixed Methods Study
Jackie Katzenstein - Increasing the Awareness and Understanding of the Relationship between Domestic Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury within Shelter Life
Morgan King - First Annual Adaptive Leisure Day
Lauren Lax - College 101: Life Skills-Pathfinder Program
Larae Murray - The Effects of Tension Management Techniques on Muscle Activation in Violinists
Jennifer Nogueros - Sexuality and Occupational Therapy for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury: The Unspoken ADL
Whitney Owens - Giving Back to the Community: Addressing a Need of Youth Life Learning Centers
Danielle Paulsen - Integrating Services for the Council on Aging of Greater Nashville
Rachel Rarig - Video Documentary:  Perceptions of Wheelchair Users on Accessibility
Rachel Restko - Community Accessibility: Advocating For Individuals With Mobility Impairments
Erica Revel - Autism “Egg” Stravaganza
Mary Riggins - Influencing Participation & Inclusion of Children with Special Needs: Strategies for Camp Counselors and Volunteers
Sarah Ritchey - A Study of the Mentoring Process at Teach for America
Lindsey Scheller - Enhancing Education in the NICU
Amanda Sisco - The Lived Experience of Individuals with Disabilities
Hannah Steuber - Uncovering the Attitudes and Perceptions of Occupational Therapists Towards Animal-Assisted Therapy
Alex Stuerke - Health Care Transition Planning
Brittni Thompson - Managing Challenging Behaviors for Caregivers of Individuals with Dementia
Michelle Tibbs - Fitness Center Accessibility and Disability Awareness

2013 Experiential Component Projects

Amanda Alford - Promotion of Collaboration between Therapist, Teachers, and Parents through Technology
Philusa Chua - Best Buddies Tennessee: Volunteer Education and Promotion of Occupational Therapy
Lynnsey Creamer - Development of Curriculum to Support Inclusion at the Maryland Farms YMCA Youth Activity Center
Jennifer Dutchess - Coping with Cognitive Dysfunction and Learning Deficits: A Guide of Best Practice Strategies for Working with Individuals Experiencing Cognitive Impairments Secondary to Psychiatric Disorders
Melissa Green - Sensory Based Activities, Strategies, and Environmental Modifications for Youth Villages Inner Harbour Campus Children’s Unit
Ashley Griffin - Determining the Feasibility of Providing Occupation-Based Services to Prenatal Women on Bed Rest
Rebekah Hart - Developing Statistical Normative Data for the Dynavision-D2 Visuomotor Assessment and Training System
Sarah Hayes - Sensory Processing and Mental Health
Rebecca Helm - Grant Search to Fund an Accessible Fishing Pier
Mary Beth Long - Eleanore’s Project: Providing Inclusion and Participation for Children in Developing Countries through Assistive Technology
Delma Maldonado-Gomez - Mapping Assistive Technology through Client-centered Help (MATTCCH) Model: Development of an Evidence-Based Model for Matching Individuals with Brain Injury with Assistive technology
Alison Martin - A Participatory Action Qualitative Research Study on the Perceived Barriers and Facilitators to Campus Access for Individuals with Mobility Limitations
Eva McCain - Curriculum Development for Survivors of Domestic Violence And Abuse
Marshell McCall - Exploring Best Measure of Success in Community Living Skills in the Adolescent Population
Cassie Moore - Cleft Lip and Palate Education for the Parents of Children Affiliated with the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City, Guatemala
Jessica Norman - Education for Teachers on Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC), Inclusion, Collaboration, and Obtaining Grants for IPADS for use as AAC
Summer Scandrani - Increasing Independence in Self-Care Skills at Friends Life
Katie Schneller - Designing an Activity Resource Manual and iPad Training Power Point for Empower Me Day Camp
Cassie Swihart - Cleft Lip and Palate Education for the Parents of Children Affiliated with the Moore Pediatric Surgery Center in Guatemala City, Guatemala
Annie Taylor - Improving Outcomes for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury
Kristin Walker - Animal-Assisted Therapy Business Concept: Essentials to Starting an Occupational Therapy Practice Incorporating Animals
Julie Walters - Perceived Role Changes and Generational Differences Experienced by Grandparents Who are Serving as Primary Caregivers of their Grandchildren

2012 Experiential Component Projects

Amber Alverson - Framework for a Free Rehabilitation Clinic
Amanda Attas - The Creation of an Online Research Portfolio for Permobil and Advocacy Videos for Users First Alliance
Kristin Barnes - Development of a Business Plan for an Inclusive Preschool and Pediatric Therapy Clinic
Alex Christiansen - Assistive Technology Resource for Postsecondary Educational Institutions
Ali Cole - Establishing an AMBUCS Chapter in New Jersey
Caitlyn Fisher - Cognitive Support Technologies for Cognitive Rehabilitation
Megan Floyd - Barriers of Travel for Individuals Living with Parkinsons and Their Travel Partners
Tracey Friedman - The Establishment of a Prison Pet Program for Inmates Who Train Dogs for Individuals with Disabilities
Amy Haynes - Community Based Fall Prevention Program for the Well Elderly: A Social Model
Rachel Higdon - Mercy Children’s Clinic Healthcare Transition Initiative
Ashley Hutcheson - Designing an Educational Session for Future and Seasoned Teachers in Special Education
Kristin Lidvall - Perceptions of Families with Disabilities: Theme Park Barriers and Facilitators
Hannah Page - Educational/Instructional Video on the Use of a Power Wheelchair
Kate Rungee - Occupational Therapy Dance Workshop
Amanda Russell - Occupational Therapy Informational Packet for General Education Teachers in the Franklin Special School District
Julianne Russell - Creating a Support Group for New Parents
Jessica Rutledge - Prevocational Curriculum for the Center for Living and Learning
Megan Self - Program Development in Juvenile Arthritis and Transitioning
Christopher Stamps - Fighting Obesity In Mississippi: Development of a Business Plan for a Health and Wellness Center
Jaclyn Williamson - Development of a Mentor/Mentee Wheelchair Skills Training Program for Pediatric Wheelchair Users
Amanda Woodall - Home Modification Interventions for Aging in Place

2011 Experiential Component Projects

Rebecca Anderson - Mentoring Up:  A Guide for Transitioning from the Student Role to the Professional Role
R. Bergstresser-Simpson - Advocating for Wheelchair Users
Sara Best - Bridging the Gap Between Occupational Therapists and Early Childhood Educators
Amanda Bird - Meeting the Needs of Older Adults for Program Development
Beth Bright - Effective Treatment Planning: The Role of Managers in Utilization of Occupation-Based Activities in Treatment
Ellie Brooks - School-Based Transition Planning: Developing Self-Advocacy Among Students with Special Needs
Amanda Cobb - Therapists' Perceptions of Client Outcomes When Using Animal-Assisted Interventions
Jessica Deal - Incorporating Occupational Therapy into Gymnastics: Enabling Participation of Children with Special Needs
Rachel Enlow - Facilitating Fine Motor Development Among Children in the Classroom Setting
Carleigh Evans - Advocating for a Healthy Lifestyle for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
Chelsea Fisher - Try Out: Wellness Curriculum to Promote Interest in Activities Among Elementary School Students
Jessica Henry - An After-School Program for Children on the Autism Spectrum in Montgomery County
Kim Hyojin - Activity Programming and Environmental Modification for Residents at Homeplace Group Home
Kristi Jarrett - Stroke Rehabilitation: A Look at Best-Practice
Erin Jenks - Promoting Collaboration Between Occupational Therapists and Future Educators
Rachel King - Planning a Service Trip to Ecuador
Julie Kluska - Daily Living Skills for Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care
Anna Ledbetter Smith - Developing Fine Motor and Handwriting Skills in Children from YES
Stephanie Long - Increasing Awareness of Occupational Therapy as a Career Among High School Students in a Rural Setting
Lauren Medley - The Benefits of Collaboration Between Vision Therapy and Occupational Therapy
Mary Moore - Stroke Rehabilitation
Lori Moot - Training Babysitters to Care for Children with Autism
Cheryl Smith - Promoting Positive Attitudes in Children Toward Diversity in an Elementary School Environment
Tish Turner - Reducing Agitation in Clients with Dementia
Courtney Wilkes - Wheels in the Paint: Advocating for Individuals with Disabilities Through Participation in Sports

School of Occupational Therapy
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