Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Ane Turner Johnson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Monica Reid Kerrigan, Ed.D.

Committee Member 2

Cecile Huynh. Sam, Ph.D.


Mentorship, Onboarding, Role change, Socialization, Transition, Work-Role Conflict


Occupational therapists; College teachers; Identity (Psychology)


Educational Leadership | Higher Education


Transitioning can be a daunting experience for occupational therapists shifting to an academic job as new faculty with new roles, responsibilities, and expectations. As newcomers to academia, occupational therapists can become overwhelmed by meeting the demands of the academic roles of teaching, scholarship, and service. Through a heuristic approach, I explored the lived experiences of occupational therapists who transitioned to academia from the clinical setting to better understand role change, work-role conflict, and academic identity development during the transition process. The person-environment-occupation-performance model provided a framework to understand the findings and give meaning to the OT faculty transition experience. The study showed that onboarding and mentorship play a significant role in the socialization of new occupational therapy faculty to their academic roles and the development of their academic identity during the transition from clinician to academician. Consequently, a lack of or ineffective onboarding and mentorship can lead to misunderstanding and difficulties in socializing, adapting, and developing an academic identity. Socialization involves teaching and learning, acquiring skills and values through engagement with the onboarding process, senior faculty, and institutional insiders who serve as mentors to new faculty.

Available for download on Saturday, April 19, 2025