Abstract

This study compared professional values and goals of three levels of occupational therapy students: (a) seniors in baccalaureate programs (n = 337), (b) students in professional master’s programs (n = 95), and (c) students in postprofessional master’s programs (n = 62). Demographic characteristics including gender, age, and college background were also examined. Significant differences were identified between the baccalaureate group and the postprofessional master’s group for three professional goals: (a) making a theoretical contribution to the profession, (b) performing research in the profession, and (c) educating occupational therapy students. Significant differences were also noted for four professional values. Intellectual stimulation was more often chosen by postprofessional master’s students; exciting life and comfortable life were more often chosen by baccalaureate students, and helpfulness was more often chosen by the baccalaureate and postprofessional master’s students. It was concluded that determining the professional values and goals of occupational therapy students may generate implications for career counseling, recruitment, increased work force, decreased attrition, and future curriculum planning.

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