Edited Poll: Should the ACOTE mandate for OTD entry be held in abeyance until further information can be gathered

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Edited Poll: Should the ACOTE mandate for OTD entry be held in abeyance until further information can be gathered

  • Hello,
    I attended the ALC meeting last week and believe a survey should also be created to gather feedback on the mandate to move to the OTD as the single point of entry for the profession. Based upon several of the hands up votes during the combined sections meeting, there was definitely not consensus that the OTD should be the single point of entry for the profession.
    Please consider taking this 1 question survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SC6CN2Y (share the link freely)
    Here are a few of the points I would like to raise:
    1. We have yet to be presented with the actual data provided to the ACOTE council members who voted on this move. A call for transparency and to make the data available to all stake holders was requested at the ALC meeting. Please respond with a timeline of when that request may be fulfilled.
    2. I am very perplexed that the open comment session followed the Healthcare Policy session by Sharmilla Sandhu and that with so many unknowns with the direction that CMS is going, it would seem we would need to diversify our educational options and not put all of our efforts toward moving to the OTD and bachelor’s for OTA.
    3. Several individuals made a number of very important points one being that the Dept of Ed. is encouraging multiple points of entry for professions, not narrowing it to just 2. There has been feedback provided that the move to an entry level doctorate will hurt practice areas like school system OT practitioners, why can we not stick with the 4 points of entry: OTD and Masters for OT and Associate and Bachelor’s for OTA? This would allow those who want to obtain their OTD to do so, while allowing others to obtain a master’s degree possibly saving thousands of dollars in tuition as there are more tuition dollars for master's degrees than doctoral degrees. Let's learn from our colleagues in PT with their level of burnout trying to payback their high student debt.
    4. For the last several years at the ALC meetings there has been discussion about the importance of preparing legacy plans as there will be a great number of faculty who will be retiring within this period. By moving to the OTD as the main point of entry, we will have even more vacancies and an inability to fill them with qualified "terminal degree" faculty, especially in the SACS region which is very strict. Perhaps if we give ourselves more time with the multiple points of entry into the profession, we would be able to build our pool of qualified faculty.
    In summary, I do not see this next decade of uncertainty in reimbursement, healthcare, and doctoral student funding, to be the appropriate time for our profession to mandate a move to a single point of entry of the OTD. I request the mandate for transition to the OTD decision also be held in abeyance until further information can be solicited.
  • Hello Dr. Bell,

    I only see one button to select--if this is a poll, shouldn't there be other options such as not in favor, abstain, etc?

    Thank you.

  • Dr Bell,

    This platform is not very accessible to majority of OT practitioners. Could you be able to make this poll on Survey monkey or any other platform and share on social media sites like closed OT groups on facebook,  Linkedin, research gate etc where there are over 17,000-18000 therapist or more can have access to this poll so their voice can count as well. Thanks....It can be posted on ot4ot , pediatric OT, School based physical and occupational therapy, and various other Facebook OT groups. This is a very important topic and majority of stakeholders should have their say in it.  Thanks

  • Brij Maliya,

    Therapists who want to have a voice in AOTA decisions should join AOTA and participate in AOTA sponsored surveys to shape our profession.  

  • delete

  • People concerned about the decision to move to the OTD in 2027 may be better served to contact ACOTE directly. That is how the BS in OTA requirement was put in abeyance. This "poll" is really more of a petition and does not allow ACOTE to understand how many people are in opposition or the variety reason people may be in favor of or opposed to the OTD mandated.  People can contact ACOTE directly at  Accreditation Council for Occcupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of The American Occupational Therapy Association(AOTA) (http://www.aota.org). Located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-2682.

  • I am not in favor or against of this decision. I am just looking for transparency in making decision. Most of the practitioners and stakeholders are preferring to write to the agencies that oversee the authority and actions of ACOTE as an accreditation agency.  These agencies are the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA).  Checks and Balances are part of the treasured values of America.

    ACOTE has a moral responsibility to make decisions that are evidence-based and decisions that do not have conflict of interest for one party.   AOTA as an advisory body has an obligation to offer a transparent advice to ACOTE, that shows collective  representation of all stakeholders.

    This decision has some consequences some positive and some negatives. Evidence-based practice is something that AOTA preach and it should be practiced in practice policy decisions by AOTA.  SO far no transparency has been offered by ACOTE/AOTA in their decision.  AOTA 2015  survey overwhelming rejected this mandate.

  • Dr Bell, Your survey has been shared on multiple platforms outside of OT connection. Please let people know how and to whom do you plan on sharing the results? Will you be sharing it with AOTA, ACOTE or others agencies that monitor or  oversee ACOTE like  the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), US Department of Education,  and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA).     Thanks.

  • Dr. Bell -

    Thank you for modifying your poll to allow respondents to respond both positively and negatively and also with comment.

  • As of this afternoon the poll has had the following results. I have emailed the results in pdf format and excel format with all 84 comments to the emails of acote-transition@aota.org and to Neil Harvison. This is cut and pasted directly from survey monkey as of 4:17pm.  It is my hope that this feedback will be seriously considered by ACOTE.


    I am IN FAVOR of holding the ACOTE mandate for OTD entry in abeyance until further information can be gathered

    61.31% 290

    I am NOT N FAVOR of holding the ACOTE mandate for OTD entry in abeyance until further information can be gathered

    38.69% 183

    TOTAL 473

  • Any updates on this Cynthia? I fear that most clinicians who are opposed are not even seeing this post....they are too busy working with patients, being scrutinized for any time on a computer that does not involve writing patient notes!!!! :0)  thanks for disseminating thus far....

  • Thanks for starting this conversation Cindy. ACOTE has been making some questionable decisions without full transparency or due diligence.

  • : Consider that the decision to mandate OTD level actual continues the pattern of children not being served

    Please consider advocating changing the Aota  stance to truly protect the public, especially children in schools. The public will just turn to other professions as they did with PT  in children's education being reduced and increase children not getting service when promised on IEPs and with the rise in health coaches which have less education but provide similar developing of healthy routines in medical based OT.  

    I would like you to hear the reaction of my fellow OTs employed in the school system and myself to your approval of changing our profession to doctorate level.

    Regards to Medical field

    ·         In the nursing field, they have made separate degrees so a Nurse practitioner is at a higher level.  Even medical Doctors have a long residency, then more education for a speciality.  We were not able to open a home health case, nurses are and they are not required to have a doctorate level!  So doctorate level does not make for better knowledge and open borders as nurse have done this without a doctorate entry level.

    ·         Health coaches to not require more than a bachelor degree and certification.

    Mental Health

    ·         Expanding  to  an all Doctorate level entry will narrow our ability to be hired.

    *      ALL  Children's hospital have a long waiting list to get OT services in my state.


    ·          Mental Health field does not pay enough for a person to recoup the expense of getting the degree.

    Educational Field

    Children in Early Intervention and Educational Setting ( Many OTs have been employed in school)

    ·         Education does not even have a Doctorate level in the pay scale of every day workers! My school district does not include Doctorate level for even of teachers with Doctorate and there is no pay increase above Master’s + 60 credits. So you will not get pay raise except for experience and my co-workers find that the pay will not be worth the cost of education. If you come in at a Master’s level , then you get experience you can relate the Doctorate to and your employer will help you get additional education in a program.

    ·          In education there is a level one and level two that you get to after getting experience. Many teachers go back to school for Master’s to get level two and increased pay. The school helps with this expense.

    ·         PT has been reduced in schools and replaced with adaptive physical education teachers when it comes to direct service.

    ·         OT’s will no longer be cost effective in school

    ·          Already services of OT’s have been promised and not given as in the PILCOP lawsuit in PA. (previously bought  to AOTA'a attention - I can send you more information) I have also in the past asked the AOTA to stand up for children in need of OT in their educational setting. Pt  has even longer wait and service promised not given than OT, which shows how the change negatively impacted the children in education and early intervention.

    I am still waiting an answer from previously requested help to AOTA ... what has our profession  done to change the fact that  OT  daily children are denied service even though promised in IEP's to be getting it? (PILCOP and I have other inside information)  

    Occupational therapist  are called to  rely on their own experiences” and expand our borders.  In book edited by Frank Kronenbergs et al,  Occupational Therapies Wiithout Borders. Many of the contributors and author did not have a Doctorate level degree. So the increase to a doctorate level does not benefit children but continues to limit services provided to them.  As child advocates my fellow  therapist and I are outraged by this change.

     Now this change will continue to have our profession become too costly for both the person seeking to be an OT and for the service provider! Children in educational setting  and the those in mentally health setting will lose out as this does not promote expansion. If done in the way Nurses and teacher do with levels of degree it would promote expansion and help individuals to have employers pay for the higher education.

    Please consider advocating creating a doctorate level that simply expands on the master’s level does not replace it. Those in education would be encouraged to expand to that level with the help of their school system and it would not hurt children and truly expand our boarders. It is not too late to change this, only if you as a leader speak out.


    Marianne Infante, OTR/L, M.Ed.


    "With Understanding and Goodwill, you are obligated to seek to change their attitudes, let them know where you stand against anything that hurts a child."

                                                                          Martin Luther King, Jr

  • My dissertation survey will be going out this week titled :







    It is an attempt to gather thorough data on this topic.  Please, if you are an MOT PD I would appreciate your responses:)  Thank you, Maureen Erickson MPA, OT/L, WFOT