Supportive Friend


Seeking mentorship on your OT journey?

Want to help OT students of diverse backgrounds succeed?

The COTAD Mentorship Program was made for you.

About the COTAD Mentorship Program

Originally conceptualized by Dr. Natasha Smet, OTD, OTR/L, the COTAD Mentorship Program (CMP) is designed to support underrepresented occupational therapy students, new practitioners and prospective students. We hope that the CMP will enrich the personal and professional lives of mentees and mentors as they work together to achieve mutually agreed-upon goals. The CMP is the first formal national mentoring program which serves occupational therapy students from underrepresented backgrounds.


Why Mentorship Matters

As students and new practitioners begin their career journeys, mentors can offer guidance and support. Participation in a mentoring program affords the mentee the opportunity to learn about the individual multicultural groups to which his or her mentor belongs, as well as learning about professional organizations and associations within the profession. Mentoring relationships can ignite academic careers as mentees receive support and gain insight from mentors. Additionally, mentors engage in a self-reflective learning process as they help guide mentees through the challenges of rigorous occupational therapy curricula. In addition to offering professional advice, a mentor’s influence can provide invaluable emotional and psychological support for students experiencing conflict or challenging situations, which can aid in student retention in occupational therapy programs. 


Program Goals and Objectives

  • Promote personal, intellectual, and professional growth

  • Assist with personal and academic concerns through a one-on-one relationship

  • Support occupational therapy students to navigate resources offered through the professional association

  • Encourage students to fully explore and utilize resources for achieving academic success, networking opportunities, and professional development

  • Create a professional relationship with mentors who can serve as professional references

  • Encourage individuals to develop to their greatest potential

  • Helps an individual develop her or his own vision for the future

  • Foster caring and support as a strategy to develop active community partnerships



Participants are expected to connect with their mentor/mentee at least once a month for 12 months. A manual with guided activities will be provided to support these conversations.