Value added essay

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

The VCU EL-OTD Graduate Admissions Committee is committed to the construction of a class of highly capable, lifelong learners, capitalizing on the diversity of differences in backgrounds, ideas, thoughts, values, and beliefs. The Committee also recognizes the need for accepting and graduating classes of students that support the American Occupational Therapy Association’s commitment to building a globally connected and diverse workforce. 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. 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 academic factors, but it takes more than academic success alone to become a successful OT. 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 “Value Added Essay”, for applicants to describe personal qualities and experiences. The Value Added Essay, builds upon the OTCAS Personal Statement, and helps the Committee identify those special qualities that set you apart from the many other qualified applicants to the program.

The 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 addresses the following five (5) questions:

  1. Please describe your experience in one or more of the following: (a) undergraduate or graduate research, (b) developing instruction and/or teaching others in any setting (paid or volunteer work, military organizations, etc.), or (c) an experience offering your time and energy/services in local, national or international communities. Describe the lessons you learned from the experience(s), and any influence those experiences have had on your plans to pursue a doctoral degree in occupational therapy.
  2. Tell us about a specific experience you have had as a leader or in a supportive role to accomplish some type of goal.
  3. Tell us about an experience you have had working as a member of a team, and any lessons you took away from the experience.
  4. Describe a time that you were confronted with a challenge, and share with the Admissions Committee how you handled the situation.
  5. Describe the unique skills and qualities you believe you would bring to our program.