Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jeria, Jorge

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Occupational therapists--Training of--United States; Universities and colleges--United States--Admission


This investigation uses action research to locate sites of the hidden curriculum in higher education, specifically the admission processes and practices of a master's in occupational therapy program at a private, urban university that has a religious affiliation. The occupational therapy faculty who serve as members of the program admission committee and other university staff who are involved in the admission process participated in this study. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding, using adult education critical theory, of how an occupational therapy program selects students for admission. This examination of the admission processes, through a collective of its educators, created the opportunity for the participants to become aware of and critically examine their own practices. Throughout this study this collective posed questions, explored assumptions embedded in their practices, and examined institutional practices and those of the occupational therapy profession. Using the lens of reproduction and resistance theories, this analysis found sites of the hidden curriculum, which included the physical environment, the body/person, institutional practices, and professionalism. Specifically, the group focused on the “good occupational therapist,” group exclusivity, the physical environment, temporal constraints, personal presentation, and the history of the status quo in the occupational therapy practice community and academic institution. Although the investigator was able to find plentiful evidence of reproductive practices in the admission process and policies of the master's in occupational therapy program at this institution, there was little evidence of resistance to the status quo.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [146]-157).


vii, 173 pages




Northern Illinois University

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