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.

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