Program Requirements

Tennessee occupational therapy students and practitioners are invited to be a part of TNOTA's Occupational Therapy Mentorship Program. Practitioners must have an active Tennessee license, and students must be currently in their second year of an OT/OTA program in Tennessee. Mentees may be students or practitioners and will be paired with experienced practitioners for mentorship. TNOTA welcomes all students and practitioners who meet the below criteria to apply for the TNOTA Occupational Therapy Mentorship Program. See below for further criteria, requirements, and the UPDATED FAQs!

MENTOR Criteria & Requirements 

  • Must have an active Tennessee occupational therapy license  
  • Must be an OT or OTA
  • Must have 2 years experience practicing occupational therapy 
  • In order to mentor a current practice area, the OT or OTA must have at least 1 year experience in their current practice area. 

MENTEE Criteria & Requirements 

  • OT and OTA practitioners must have an active Tennessee license 
  • Students must be attending an OT or OTA program in Tennessee
  • Students must be a second year OT or OTA student in Tennessee by the beginning of the Mentorship Program Cycle 

The TNOTA Occupational Therapy Mentorship Program is an 8-month program. TNOTA will provide a List of Suggested Topics for reference throughout the program cycle. Mentorship Resources will also be available. Each month, mentor and mentee pairs will choose a topic to discuss. By applying for this program, you agree to meet either virtually (i.e. FaceTime, Zoom, Skype), via phone call, or in-person at least once per month. This helps ensure a mutually beneficial relationship. Also, by applying you agree to complete a required pre-program survey prior to the start of the program and post-program survey at the end of the 8 months. If you complete both surveys, you will be entered into a drawing to win an Amazon gift card. The survey data will be used to further the success of the TNOTA Occupational Therapy Mentorship Program. TNOTA will offer 2 CEU events during the program. The CEU events will be FREE for TNOTA members. 

Pairings will be based on the number of mentors and mentees, area of interest, and practice area, as well as location and other personal and professional characteristics. TNOTA will take diversity, equity, and inclusion into account when assigning mentorship pairings. While we will make every effort to pair all applicants, we cannot guarantee a mentorship pairing during this fourth Mentorship Program cycle. At the end of this 8-month Cycle, if you wish to continue your mentorship pairing or request a new pairing, you will have an opportunity to communicate your preference. ALL mentors and mentees must apply for the following program cycle if you wish to participate in the next Mentorship Program Cycle. Please email [email protected] with any questions.  


Program Benefits

  • Clear month-to-month guidelines
  • List of Suggested Topics provided 
  • Certificate of Completion provided 
  • Opportunity to build professional relationships
  • Opportunity to create a project to use in future OT practice or to be published on the TNOTA website (pending board approval)


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Do I have to have a TNOTA paid membership to apply? 

A: NO! This is a change from the previous cycle. ALL OT/OTA practitioners with an active TN License are able to apply for the Fifth Cycle of the Mentorship Program. TNOTA has many resources and advocacy initiatives for all OT practitioners and students, and we would encourage participants to consider becoming at TNOTA member. See more information on Membership Information and FAQsAdvocacy Resources, and the Student Section


Q: Will I be guaranteed a pairing for the program?

 A: Although we will try our best to pair all applicants, we cannot guarantee pairing due to the varying number of applicants, practice areas, and other professional areas of interest. 


Q: When will the next (fifth) cycle of the Occupational Therapy Mentorship Program begin?

A: The next (fifth) cycle of the Occupational Therapy Mentorship Program will begin February 1, 2024. 


Q: What does the Program timeline look like?




Q: Why is mentorship crucial?

 A: The following two quotes best answer this question:

    • “Mentoring is an essential component of occupational therapy practice around the globe. It is both a relationship and a process between at least two individuals that provides support and an exchange of knowledge and expertise” ( Doyle et al., 2016; Williams & Kim, 2011).

    • “Mentoring affords personalised learning for professional growth. Research across disciplines has shown mentoring to positively affect behaviour, attitude, motivation, job performance, organisational commitment, and career productivity and success” (Doyle et al., 2019).


Q: Who can apply to the mentorship program as a MENTOR?

A: An OT or OTA with an active Tennessee license and 2 years experience practicing occupational therapy. In order to mentor a current practice area, the OT or OTA must have at least 1 year experience in their current practice area. 


Q: Who can apply to the mentorship program as a MENTEE?

A: An OT and OTA practitioner with a Tennessee license.  Students attending an OT and OTA program in Tennessee and at least in their second year of the program by the beginning of the Mentorship Program Cycle may also apply.  


Q: What is an occupational therapy Mentor vs. a Mentee? 

A: A MENTOR is an experienced practitioner who takes on the role of an advisor and “works closely with a mentee for the purposes of teaching, guiding, supporting, and facilitating professional growth and development” (Nolinske, 1995; Taylor, 1992; Yates et al., 1997).

A MENTEE is an occupational therapy practitioner or student who is supported, advised, and encouraged by the mentor.

We strongly encourage a mutually beneficial relationship where both parties work equally to keep in communication. 


Q: How many mentees can a mentor have during a program cycle?

A: A mentor can choose to have 1 or 2 mentees. 


Q: Does being a MENTOR qualify for CEUs? 

A: A licensed occupational therapy practitioner mentoring a licensed occupational therapy practitioner can qualify for CEUs. Please see link for more information:


Q: What areas can I be mentored in? 

A: All practice areas including acute care adults and pediatrics; early intervention; geriatrics; inpatient rehabilitation; home health pediatrics and adults; mental health; NICU; outpatient adults, neuro, orthopedics, pediatrics; school-based; skilled nursing; and other areas of practice.  Non-clinical areas such as academia, advocacy, entrepreneurship, leadership, policy, research, telehealth, and other non-clinical areas will also be available for mentorship.


Q: How long is each Cycle? 

A: Each Cycle will be eight months. At the end of the 8 months, you will have an opportunity to communicate your preference to continue your mentorship pair or request a new mentorship pairing by completing the post-program survey. You MUST also complete an application for the next Cycle prior to the application deadline. 


Q: How will mentors and mentees interact, and what is required during the program? 

A: Monthly interaction/discussion between Mentee and Mentor is required as well as agreement that one interaction per month is completed virtually (i.e. FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, etc.), via phone call, or in-person. The completion of a pre-program survey and post-program survey, as well as future surveys if you choose to continue in the program. 


Q: How will I be paired with a mentor that has similar professional experience so that it’s easier for us to connect? 

A: Pairings will be based upon number of mentors and mentees, geographic region, current practice setting or interests, practice setting experience (for practitioners), other relevant areas of interest (advocacy, leadership, research, etc.), other professional involvement and experience, Level I and Level II fieldwork placements (for students), other personal and professional characteristics, among other application information. 


Q: What will the mentor and mentee discuss monthly?

A: TNOTA will provide a List of Suggested Topics for reference throughout the program Cycle. TNOTA also offers Mentorship Resources.


Q: What do you use the survey data for?

A: The survey data will be used to further the success of the TNOTA Occupational Therapy Mentorship Program. 

Quotes From Program Participants

 What did MENTORS find most beneficial regarding TNOTA’s Occupational Therapy Mentorship Program?

“It was very enjoyable to connect with OT and COTA students to get an understanding of the program they are enrolled in. I think we had valuable conversations that provided the mentee insight into the “real life” therapy world.”

“I enjoyed being able to mentor OTs and COTAs and mentoring them from the end of their schooling to the start of their career.” 

“Networking and helping others achieve personal and professional goals.”  

“I think it’s great to provide students and new practitioners with a support system like the mentorship program.”

“Love giving back in a meaningful way that also works with my busy schedule.” 


What did MENTEES find most beneficial regarding TNOTA’s Occupational Therapy Mentorship Program?

“The openness and honesty of my mentor. She was available at all times to help with any problem I had regarding school or the OT journey and made me feel very competent after we met.”

“Having a OTR/L mentor that was more than willing to answer all of my questions and give me advice in all areas involving level 2 fieldwork, NBCOT prep, interprofessional teamwork, the future of OT and the impact of COVID-19, and my future as an OT as a whole.”

“I honestly feel like the program increased my professionalism. My mentor really helped me understand my value to the OT profession.” 

“Being able to connect and have a source for guidance of someone who has been in my shoes and helped me through some conflicts in fieldwork.”

“Being able to learn from an experienced COTA, and being able to work through treatment ideas or issues that would come up at work.” 


Please email [email protected] with any questions.


View TNOTA Membership Benefits Here!


Mentorship Committee

 If you'd like to learn more about our initiatives or have questions, please contact the Mentorship Committee at [email protected]