The AOTA/AOTF Leadership Mentoring Program, 2007-2010, addressed the critical need to systematically enhance the emergence of new leaders within the academic community. Participation was open to occupational therapy program directors at both the OT and OTA levels.
is a roster of fellows of this cornerstone program.
The program was based upon Mentoring Circles®, an innovative group-mentoring method developed by the Mentoring Company. This process introduced participants to contemporary leadership theory and practice, and engages them in a standardized leadership assessment process. Participants used The Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) as a reliable tool for identifying personal leadership practices from five general categories: Challenging the Process, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Enabling Others to Act, Modeling the Way, and Encouraging the Heart.
The AOTA/AOTF Leadership Mentoring Program offered individuals the opportunity to participate in a series of sixteen mentoring sessions led by a Catalyst Mentor. The group mentoring process is grounded in the needs of the participants who will identify the specific mentoring topics. The Catalyst mentor used real-time stories from her personal experience to efficiently transfer best practices that promote leadership. From time-to-time, Guest Mentors joined the mentoring circle to address specific topics identified by the group.
The Leadership Mentoring Program assisted OT programs in faculty development by helping faculty achieve their goals in moving out of entry-level to the post-baccalaureate degree as required by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), the educational certifying body of the profession of occupational therapy.
AOTF's investment in the Leadership Mentoring Program built on its long history of faculty development. Previous projects include:
- Curriculum Mentoring Project
The first of these programs concluded at the end of 2002. This program, called the "Curriculum Mentor's Project," was designed as a year-long pilot study to determine what effect a mentor could have on the development of increased scholarship across faculty and student participants in a master's entry level program in occupational therapy. Five schools were selected from the applicant pool and worked with their mentors for a 12-month period.
- Regional Workshop Series
The second program, the "Regional Workshop Series on Curriculum Revision," ran from 2001-2003. In this program, designed collaboratively by AOTA, ACOTE, and AOTF, twenty-two schools grouped by geographic locales shared a series of three workshops, each school usually hosting one workshop. Both academic and fieldwork faculty join in the exploration of topics designed to move the program into the graduate education mode, to ensure that the concept of occupation is grounding the curriculum, and that new and innovative fieldwork methods and sites are represented in each program.