July 24, 2023

With a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, Cincinnati, Ohio native Colton Sayers knew he wanted to continue his education and pursue his doctorate. Through his years of being a clinician at an academic health center, he has been able to have many experiences in clinical work as well as mentoring, program development, and exploring the world of academia. He is now enrolled at Shawnee State University pursuing his Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (PP-OTD).

Colton Sayers

“Through these experiences I have found my love and passion through occupational therapy to assist individuals in living meaningful lives,” he said. “Going back for my clinical doctorate will help me advance my skills and role clinically, while also opening the door for opportunities in the future.”

Sayers felt intrigued to enroll in the PP-OTD program at SSU because of the flexibility of the online format of the program, which is designed for the working professional. As students can choose their own pace in the program, the degree can be completed in as little as 16 months.

“This has allowed me to continue to work full-time, which decreases the financial burden of an advanced degree program,” he said. “I am also able to take courses and complete assignments weekly at my own pace, without the feeling of needing to log in at a certain time.”

Being able to easily communicate within his classes, Sayers has felt a connection with his professors despite being an online student.

“Interacting with my cohort on different assignments and reading and giving feedback on their capstone projects has been a meaningful experience to be a part of,” he said.

Looking towards his future, Sayers is keeping his options open for his next career step. While he wants to continue in clinical work, he also wants to step in academia in some fashion. In his capstone project for the program, he is focusing on increasing education on the sexual and gender minority population to occupational therapy practitioners. He is interested in seeing how he can harness this education into his practice to help other occupational therapy practitioners, students, and faculty members understand different considerations to be aware of while treating individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community.

“My capstone faculty mentor has also been a great resource to bounce around ideas and meet with additional stakeholders for my project,” he said. “She is readily available to assist on my project designs which I feel does not happen often in larger programs.”

The PP-OTD program offers a career-focused curriculum, allowing students to advance their career as an evidence-based practitioner and deepen their understanding of occupational justice and the influence of policy on practice.

To learn more about the Post Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate at Shawnee State University, visit