Jeanine Biese

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Ronald Williamson, EdD, Chair

Committee Member

Jaclynn Tracy, PhD

Committee Member

Neal Rogness, PhD

Committee Member

Elizabeth Francis, PhD, OTR


In an uncertain economy, many students of higher education are drawn to the security of careers in health care, such as Occupational Therapy (OT). It is important that as admissions committees evaluate an increasing applicant pool they select students who will be successful in the programs and therefore maximize the number of graduates into the professions. Some health care admissions programs look only at the applicant’s grade point average (GPA) and/or results of standardized tests such as the Graduate Records Exam (GRE). There is a gap in the literature in regard to how to select students who have traits linked to successful clinical performance and professionalism. This research attempts to evaluate an admissions procedure to measure these traits or non-cognitive variables as they relate to professionalism for OT and possibly other health care fields. The key research question was: To what degree is the Grapczynski Admissions Profile (GAP) a valid and reliable tool for selecting successful OT students? The theoretical foundations of this study include the theory developed by Grapczynski and Kane (1990) that identified five core areas for the field to be professionalized, and the Parsons Thompson Model (Thompson, 1976), which provides a framework for understanding the organizational levels that influence the admission process. The results of the study included a moderately high degree of face validity and moderately high agreement between the reliability raters for the Research component of the GAP. The qualitative data gave support for most of the core areas of the GAP related to professionalism in the field of OT. This qualitative data also included suggestions for improvement of the GAP. With this information, improvements can be made to the GAP and additional research can be done from this base with the hope of further improving validity and reliability of this admissions tool.