Student Scholarship and Research
Honors in the Discipline
The Department participates in the College Honors in the Discipline program as outlined in the college catalog. The purpose of Honors in the Discipline is to recognize outstanding graduates majoring in Occupational Therapy and to provide an advanced learning experience for the highly motivated student in a supervised independent study. This learning experience allows the student to explore an area of interest in a supportive environment. Eligibility requirements for invitation to achieve Honors in the Discipline include a 3.5 GPA in the major in the middle of the junior year. Invitations are sent to eligible junior OT students around February 1. Eligible students must plan and carry out a scholarly project that is presented to a faculty/clinical educator committee and is presented to the campus community on Scholarship and Creative Arts Day (scheduled in April each year). The project must be reflective of scholarship in one of the domains outlined by Boyer (1992): the scholarship of discovery (contributions to professional knowledge/research), the scholarship of integration (interpretation/sharing of knowledge across disciplines), or the scholarship of application (application of professional knowledge in order to tackle meaningful problems), and in an area of professional interest. A judgment by the committee that the project is outstanding/excellent leads to the designation of Honors in the Discipline for the student. Honors are recorded on the student's transcript and in the commencement program. Students who participate in the Honors in the Discipline program are required to register for 4 credits (OT 492/OT 494) in their senior year. More specific information is provided with the official invitation to eligible students. In the past few years honors in the discipline students have presented their work at state, national, and international occupational therapy conferences.
During the graduate year all students participate in a faculty-led scholarly project that serves as an opportunity to apply and integrate professional reasoning, critical thinking, and practical research skills around a topic of interest. During the fall semester students generally write a literature review and/or research proposal and submit a proposal to the Institutional Review Board as necessary. They typically defend their project in the middle of November. During the late fall, winter, and early spring, students and their faculty mentor gather and analyze data and craft a final manuscript. In April of each year they present their work to their colleagues, families, faculty, and clinical practitioners at the Graduate Research Symposium, which is a part of Elizabethtown College's Scholarship and Creative Arts Day. Final manuscripts are published in ECJOT (Elizabethtown College Journal of Occupational Therapy). Many of the completed projects are also presented at state, national, and international OT conferences.