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2023 NCOPE Education Summit

Envisioning Future Needs

The NCOPE 2023 Education Summit on Challenges and Opportunities in O&P Education and Training: Envisioning Future Needs brought together 49 attendees including O&P faculty, clinicians, technicians, owners, residency directors, researchers, and administrators. The participants 1) explained the challenges affecting the sustainability and vitality of O&P education programs in relation to workforce and practice demands for the profession, 2) prioritized the challenges affecting the sustainability and vitality of O&P education programs, and 3) suggested recommendations, specific to NCOPE’s responsibilities, to develop a skilled O&P professional workforce. The summit took place in Minneapolis, MN at the University of Minnesota on August 3-4, 2023 and was facilitated by Lowell Aplebaum, FASAE, CAE, CPF, CEO at Vista Cova, LLC.

Pre-Summit Survey

Survey instrument and results

Supporting Documentation

  • Committee members reviewed the previous education summit reports to determine the theme for the 2023 Summit: sustainability and vitality of O&P academic programs and alignment with current and future workforce needs (JPO, 2023).
  • NCOPE produced a JPO Supplement, 2023 including articles from various perspectives.

Planning Committee

  • Robin C. Seabrook, Executive Director at NCOPE
  • Sue Spalding, Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Washington
  • Mike Madden, Instructor and Program Coordinator at Bluegrass Community & Technical College
  • Sheryl Sachs, Prosthetist Orthotist Clinician at Dankmeyer Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic
  • Jonas Ljung, Prosthetist Orthotist Clinician at Hanger Clinic
  • Josh Utay, Prosthetist Orthotist Clinician at Scottish Rite for Children
  • Scott Bretl, Assistant Professor and Program Director at Alabama State University

Identifying Challenges and Opportunities

Challenges that impact the sustainability and vitality of O&P education programs were identified in a pre-summit survey. During the summit, through a collaborative and iterative process, attendees discussed the challenges and opportunities for technician, assistant, practitioner, and residency education programs. With the goal to address the most urgent challenges facing the sustainability and vitality of O&P education, the attendees developed recommendations for each program level.

Final Report

The 2023 Education Summit describes the format and process of the meeting and includes notes from the small group conversations. Find the list of prioritized challenges and recommendation in the executive summary.

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