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Occupational Therapy


The doctoral capstone is an integral part of the program’s curriculum design. The goal of the capstone is to provide an in-depth exposure to one or more of the following: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and theory development.

The capstone consists of two parts: the capstone experience and the capstone project. The capstone experience is a 14-week, 560-hour experience that takes place during the final semester of the program under the supervision of a faculty capstone mentor and a site-based mentor. The project is completed by the student to demonstrate synthesis and application of knowledge gained throughout the program and which will be of benefit to the capstone location.

At Wingate University, capstones are completely student selected and designed under the supervision of the Doctoral Capstone Coordinator and faculty mentor. This allows the student to design a capstone experience and project that aligns with their passions or topics of interest.  

Capstone Archive

Katelynn Bodin

Outstanding Doctoral Capstone Student Award

2024 Student Recipient
Katelynn Bodin

This award is presented to the graduate who demonstrates outstanding critical thinking and servant leadership during their culminating capstone experience with the creation of an exemplary project with distinct value to their community site and the field of occupational therapy.

Andrea Maxwell

Outstanding Capstone site Mentor Award

2024 Mentor Recipient
Andrea Maxwell from Wingate Elementary School

This award is presented to a mentor who provides exemplary guidance to a student throughout their capstone process, creates meaningful opportunities to further the student’s advanced learning, and strives to foster a collaborative, supportive environment to build a capstone project that is mutually beneficial to the community site and students’ learning.

Published Capstones

As part of the final capstone course, students complete a manuscript that may be eligible for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Some of the capstone manuscripts that have been published are linked below.

  • Smith, M. N., & Douglas, R. R. (2022). The role of school-based occupational therapy practitioners in providing tier 1 services to enhance sensory processing and self-regulation strategies within the classroom. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 1-11. Click here.
  • Urban, T. M., & Douglas, R. R. (In Press). Occupational therapists’ role in sexual education for teens and young adults living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy.
  • Kototello, M., Sithong, C., & Sinclair, W. (In Press). What motivates low-income older adults to age in their homes: A qualitative study. Home Healthcare Now.

Previous Award Recipients

The capstone experience greatly influenced my career path and helped me discover and connect with an area of OT that I am greatly passionate about and excited to learn more about. This environment really supported my learning, curiosity, and creativity, while providing the assistance and freedom I needed. I am so excited to continue working with Thrive and at peace that this is the perfect opportunity to support my growth as an OT and wellbeing as a person.

Rose W.
Class of 2023

An occupational therapy student poses at her internship.
This Doctoral Capstone Experiential helped me gain confidence in myself as a student, advocate, and future practitioner. Throughout OT school, I have struggled with self-doubt but the outcomes of this experiential and the feedback received from my site mentor, NCOTA leadership, and my faculty capstone advisor have helped me know that I am capable of achieving the goals that I set and making an impact.
Chelsea W.
Class of 2023
Lyndsi poses with her internship mentors.

This capstone experience has certainly grown me professionally. I feel more confident in my skills initiating group discussions, presenting information, developing rapport, conducting a needs assessment, time management, professional communication, and much more. During this experience I have learned how I work best, how to set objectives and achieve them, how OT can be implemented within a community setting, and gained a new understanding of the quality of work I can achieve as an occupational therapy practitioner.

Lyndsi P.
Class of 2023


Dr. Melissa Sweetman
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