Free
Poster Session
Issue Date: July 01, 2015
Published Online: February 09, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2020
Relationship of Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examination Scores With Level II Fieldwork Performance
Author Affiliations
  • Rush University
  • Rush University
  • Rush University
  • Rush University
  • Rush University
  • Rush University
Article Information
Cardiopulmonary Conditions / Education of OTs and OTAs / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Relationship of Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) and Graduate Record Examination Scores With Level II Fieldwork Performance
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505120. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO5035
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505120. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO5035
Abstract

Date Presented 4/17/2015

Admission into occupational therapy programs is an increasingly competitive process. It is important for programs to be strategic in admitting students who will be successful in both academic and clinical requirements. The results of the study may provide an evidence-based rationale for selecting applicants.

SIGNIFICANCE: Admission into occupational therapy programs across the country is an increasingly competitive process, with most having more applicants than spaces available. Thus, it is important for admissions processes to be strategic in admitting students who will be successful in both academic and clinical requirements. Exploring whether a relationship between preadmission academic performance and clinical performance exists can assist in determining candidacy.
INNOVATION: Occupational therapy master’s programs across the country consider mainly preadmission factors when selecting program candidates but may have difficulty weighting the importance of each criterion. This study’s results may alter how occupational therapy programs across the country determine candidacy.
APPROACH: Is there a relationship between preadmission criteria and clinical performance as measured by Level II fieldwork scores? The results of the study may provide an evidence-based rationale for selecting the most qualified applicants.
METHOD: In this study, a retrospective analysis of the independent variables—preadmission cumulative grade point average GPA (CGPA) and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) subscale scores—and the dependent variable of Fieldwork Performance Evaluation (FWPE) scores will be completed. Data will be analyzed to obtain descriptive and correlative statistics. On the basis of results of a bivariate linear analysis, regression models will be built for each FWPE score (IIA and IIB) to determine the predictive value of each independent variable. Seven master’s level occupational therapy programs from each geographic region of the United States will serve as the setting. Participants will include approximately 700 students from entry-level occupational therapy master’s programs.
RESULTS: In a pilot study of 108 participants from one program, a significant relationship was found between undergraduate CGPA and FWPE IIA scores (r = .20, p < .05). There was also a significant relationship between GRE–Written and FWPE IIB scores (r = .20, p < .05). The regression model for FWPE IIA included undergraduate CGPA, which was the only significant association in the bivariate analysis; however, this model did not produce a significant result. The regression model for FWPE IIB included GRE–Written in the first block and undergraduate CGPA in the second block. This model suggests that GRE–Written is a significant predictor of FWPE IIB scores (β = 4.2, R2 = .042, p = .05). When undergraduate CGPA was entered into the model, the relationship between GRE–Written remained significant (β = 4.16, R2 = .045, p = .05), but the impact of undergraduate CGPA was not significant (β = 4.16, R2 = .045, p = .05). Statistical regression procedures from a pilot study will be repeated for the current study with a national sample. The results of the national study will be presented.
CONCLUSION:The pilot study provided results to consider during the admission processes of occupational therapy programs. The most commonly used admission criteria for occupational therapy programs have not been well studied in relationship to clinical outcomes. A widely used admission criterion, undergraduate CGPA, was noted with no predictive ability on clinical performance, although past research has shown a strong relationship with occupational therapy program CGPA. The GRE has been shown to have a weak relationship to occupational therapy program CGPA, but this study has indicated that the GRE–Written score has a relationship, although weak, to clinical performance. Successful student clinical performance is essential to entering the field of occupational therapy, and presentation of national study findings will provide further insight on this topic.