Pi Theta Epsilon
Who We Are
Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE) is a specialized honor society for occupational therapy students
and alumni. Its mission is to promote research and scholarship among occupational
therapy students. PTE recognizes and encourages superior scholarship among students
enrolled in accredited educational programs across the United States.
The mission of Pi Theta Epsilon is to support the practice of occupational sciences and the practice of authentic occupational therapy by promoting research, leadership, and scholarly activities by its members. In this way, the organization serves not only the profession, but helps to ensure quality healthcare services for the general public.
The purpose of Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE), as stated in the society's constitution, are to:
- Recognize and encourage scholastic excellence of occupational therapy students
- Contribute to the advancement of the field of occupational therapy through scholarly activities, such as research development, continuing education, and information exchange between student and alumni members; and
- Provide a vehicle for students enrolled in accredited programs in occupational therapy to exchange information and to collaborate regarding scholarly activities.
- Stimulate, recognize, and reward clinical practice that demonstrates the principles of authentic occupational therapy; and
- Stimulate, recognize and reward educational systems that support excellence in scholarship, research, and critical thinking (related to authentic OT) in its students and faculty.
- Become practitioners of authentic occupational therapy;
- Endeavor to conduct research;
- Strive to attain the ideals of PTE; and
- Stimulate research through a program of awards and mentorship.
Pi Theta Epsilon began at the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 1958. In 1987, the American Student Committee of the Occupational Therapy Association (ASCOTA), now the Association of Student Delegates (ASD), surveyed existing chapters about standards to establish and maintain a national honor society. In 1988, the Board of Directors of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation agreed to provide sponsorship and assistance in achieving recognition as a national honor society. An advisory committee was established and an operating budget was provided to support Pi Theta Epsilon activities through 1994. Work was undertaken to increase the number of chapters, register a logo, and become recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS). By March 1995, there were 43 operational chapters in the United States. In 2008, the AOTF Bylaws were amended to include the PTE president as a voting member of the Foundation Board of Directors. There are currently 125 active chapters.
- Election of new members shall include those who have demonstrated superior scholarship.
- Rank in the highest 35% of their class in scholarship,
- Have a GPA of at least 3.5 on a scale of 4.0 since entering the occupational therapy program
- Have completed the number of credit hours used by the institution to designate one full academic term equivalency in al master's level program in occupational therapy.
- An eligible student need not apply for membership in the semester in which she/he becomes eligible, but may apply at any time until the beginning of the final academic semester/quarter prior to beginning fieldwork.
- A student must have at least one entire semester remaining after initiation before leaving for a fieldwork placement.
- A piece of scholarly written work, completed while enrolled in the occupational therapy program, shall be submitted as evidence of the applicant's ability.
- The applicant shall also submit a short essay (250 words) stating why she/he wishes to join PTE.
- Uniform review criteria shall be established as PTE policy.
Members of PTE are expected to be engaged in scholarly, research and leadership activities
to fulfill the mission of PTE. Below is a list of sample activities the Gama Epsilon
Chapter at the University of South Alabama has been engaged in.
- Assisted OT faculty with interview process of perspective students
- Assisted with annual Backpack Awareness day activity
- Guest speakers at monthly Pre-OT Club Meetings
- Assisted with a Sign Language class for OT students
- Camp Odyssey (2-day grief camp for local children) Volunteer Buddies
- Mentor incoming PTE officers and mentors
- Assisted with new OT student orientation and developed OT School Survivor Tips
- Attended the AOTA Student Conclave
- Attended the AOTA National Convention
- Attended Higher Education Day
- Attended ALOTA Conference
- Annual contribution to Mary J. Bridle Scholarship Fund
- Participated in development, conduct, write-up and presentation of a study titled: Book Bag Use Characteristics of MSOT students
- Developed and presented a Disaster Awareness Poster Presentation