Free
Research Article  |   October 1987
The Possible Effects of a Change to Master’s Entry Level in Occupational Therapy
Author Affiliations
  • Doris Pierce, OTR, is a Project Specialist for the Research Project for the Science of Occupation, University of Southern California, Department of Occupational Therapy, Downey, California 90242
  • Jeanne Jackson, MA, OTR, is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Southern California
  • Mary Rogosky-Grassi, MA, OTR, is the Manager of Occupational Therapy at Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Mary Ellen Thompson, OTR, is the Assistant Director of Rehabilitation Services, St. Francis Hospital, Lynwood, California
  • Beverly Menninger, MA, OTR, is a Staff Occupational Therapist at Newport Harbor Adolescent Hospital, Newport Beach, California
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Features
Research Article   |   October 1987
The Possible Effects of a Change to Master’s Entry Level in Occupational Therapy
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1987, Vol. 41, 658-666. doi:10.5014/ajot.41.10.658
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1987, Vol. 41, 658-666. doi:10.5014/ajot.41.10.658
Abstract

One of the most challenging debates facing the profession of occupational therapy centers on whether or not the standard for entry level into the field should be upgraded. The occupational therapy baccalaureate degree has been viewed as too limited in scope and professional training, and the master’s degree has been forwarded as the standard for entry into the profession. However, upgrading the entry level standard raises several questions. This study considered 25 areas that would be affected by upgrading the entry level from the baccalaureate to the master’s level in occupational therapy and in related health professions. A model was developed to provide a framework for analyzing how a change in entry level will affect the current status of occupational therapy as a profession. Although the parallel material is drawn from other health professions, the considerations are similar to the ones faced by occupational therapy. This comparison is especially important because a major change in entry level education has far-reaching repercussions that must be considered before any groundwork is laid for upgrading educational requirements.