Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Pey-Shan Wen

Second Advisor

Dr. Carolyn Podolski


There are many instances in college when a collegiate athlete experiences an injury. That injury will require hours of intense physical therapy. Once months, sometimes years, of therapy come to pass, athletes still find themselves unable to compete at the elite level at which they once did and are expected to. They are now forced to sit down and come to terms with this injury, realizing it has permanently ended their athletic college career. Many collegiate athletes do not know where to turn for help when career-ending injuries happen. There is a significant gap when it comes to the long-term care of student-athletes who acquire injuries while participating in collegiate sports because there is a large disparity in taking care of NCAA athletes' well-being.

A systematic review was completed to look for information regarding NCAA injury policies and procedures, collegiate athletes with career-ending injuries, their quality-of-life post-career-ending injury, and life post-sport. Information was found on these topics; however, few articles mentioned solutions to the problems that arise for collegiate athletes who experience career-ending injuries. Because of this, we asked the question of whether an occupational therapy-based transition program can improve community reintegration for collegiate athletes experiencing career-ending injuries. This project aims to develop a multi-faceted program manual to identify and address the individualized needs of collegiate athletes who have experienced career-ending injuries and help them successfully reintegrate into their communities.

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