Value added essay

The Value Added Essay must be submitted as part of the OTCAS application for VCU.

The need for a diverse OT workforce that is a reflection of an increasingly diverse population has been recognized by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in the Centennial Vision. This vision states that by the year 2017 Occupational therapy will be "a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society's occupational needs."

The VCU EL-OTD Graduate Admissions Committee is committed to the selection of the next generation of OT professionals to become leaders in the state and nation. The Committee's responsibility is to review the pool of applicants to compose a class where every member contributes in special and unique ways to the makeup of the group. The Committee does not conduct interviews. The majority of the Committee membership is made up of practicing clinicians who volunteer their time to review applications online. In lieu of an interview, they have chosen to require a second essay to ask the primary question that they would like answered in an interview. The Graduate Admissions Committee would like to know how your inclusion in the next class of Entry Level OTD students would "add value" to the composition of the class, enrich the lives of your future clients, and ultimately enhance the future of the profession.

Please compose an essay of no more than 600 words that shares with the Committee any life experiences, including travel, languages, cultural awareness, research, military service, part-time or full-time work experience, community service, leadership or family experiences that have contributed to your personal growth, understanding of people, and ability to care for others. The Committee is interested in constructing a class of highly capable, lifelong learners interested in capitalizing on the diversity of differences in backgrounds, ideas, thoughts, values, and beliefs. Students admitted to our program must be capable of succeeding in a very rigorous graduate program. Grade point averages and Graduate Record Exam scores help us assess those factors, but it takes more than academic success alone to become a successful OT. The Value-Added Essay, builds upon the OTCAS Personal Statement, and helps the Committee identify those special qualities about you that set you apart from the many other qualified applicants to the program.

Please compose a one page essay (no more than 600 words) that focuses on your unique qualities, and life experiences, (aside from your academic record), that will contribute to the composition of the next generation of occupational therapists.