Objective. This study investigated whether and how faculty clinical practice (FCP) was being implemented in occupational therapy professional education programs.
Method. Chairpersons and faculty members from all accredited entry-level occupational therapy curricula in the United States were asked to complete questionnaires about their involvement in FCP. The chairperson questionnaire consisted of primarily closed-ended questions that addressed the organization of faculty practice within their programs, whereas the faculty questionnaire was primarily open-ended and addressed faculty members’ individual involvement in FCP as well as the perceived benefits and drawbacks. Responses were analyzed for 39 program chairpersons and 136 faculty members were analyzed.
Results. Twenty-five chairperson respondents reported that their educational program had FCP, and 44 faculty respondents indicated involvement in FCP during the past year. FCP was more prevalent in public-funded institutions and academic health centers. Faculty members primarily engaged in FCP in order to stay current, enhance teaching, and develop networks. They reported increased credibility with students as an important benefit of clinical practice. The primary reasons faculty members did not engage in clinical practice were insufficient time and institutional policies.
Conclusion. Although many faculty members in occupational therapy education programs value clinical practice as a part of their educator role, it is necessary to negotiate responsibilities and rewards to prevent role overload and comply with institutional policies.