Fieldwork is an integral
part of the student’s occupational therapy education and is a requirement for
graduation and professional certification. The fieldwork experience is a
dynamic educational process in which occupational therapy students are able to
experience the roles, responsibilities, and rewards of facilitating
occupational therapy services. According to the American Occupational Therapy
Association (2009) “the purpose of fieldwork education is to propel each
generation of occupational therapy practitioners from the role of student to
that of practitioner” (p. 393). The students completing the NAU Occupational
Therapy entry-level doctoral degree will be required to complete Level I and
Level II Fieldwork experiences.
Level I Fieldwork
Students will actively
participate in three Level 1 Fieldwork rotations. Level I Fieldwork experiences
will occur in three semesters and are integrated with the academic courses,
beginning with the summer semester of the first year, and fall and spring
semester of the second year. These experiences will be completed for a minimum
of 40 hours for each rotation and will occur over the course of the semester or
during the last week of the semester. Each sequence of fieldwork will be
individualized for every student to gain knowledge of working with a variety of
clients that have conditions and diagnoses across the lifespan in diverse
The students may
complete these rotations in traditional settings, such as a hospital, school
district, or skilled nursing facility, and in emerging practice areas, such as
community based mental health clinics, productive aging, and health and
wellness centers. Students will be supervised by qualified personnel, which may
include an occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistant, nurse,
social worker, physical therapist, or teacher.
Council for Occupational Therapy Education (2011) states, “The goal of Level I fieldwork is to introduce
students to the fieldwork experience, to apply knowledge to practice, and to
develop understanding of the needs of clients” (p. 34). Each Level 1
Fieldwork experience will facilitate
professional and practice based
skills that the student acquires through coursework up to the point of
placement and will progress in expectations and rigor to promote the
progression into a successful Level 2 Fieldwork student.
Level II Fieldwork
Students will actively
participate in a minimum of two Level 2 Fieldwork rotations. Level 2 Fieldwork
experiences will occur in two semesters, with the first one beginning towards
the end of the summer semester of the second year and continuing through the beginning
of the fall semester of the third year. The second rotation will be completed
for the remainder of the fall semester of the third year. These experiences
will be completed full-time for a minimum of 24 weeks.
The students may
complete these rotations in traditional and/or emerging practice settings. Fieldwork
students will be supervised by a qualified practitioner, which will include a
licensed occupational therapist who has a minimum of 1 year full-time practice
experience and is prepared to serve as a fieldwork educator.
Council for Occupational Therapy Education (2011) states, “The goal of Level II fieldwork is to develop
competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists” (p. 34). These
rotations will provide the student with an opportunity to take the learned
knowledge obtained from the academic program and apply it to clinical practice.
Each student will develop competencies that are unique to the setting that they
are in and will ultimately develop the student into a clinician and a practice scholar. Upon successful
completion of both fieldwork rotations, the students will have vast knowledge
and experience with diverse clients who have various psychosocial, cognitive,
and physical performance impairments, and the diverse service delivery models
that are representative of current occupational therapy trends. The semester
following the last Level II Fieldwork rotation will be the student’s residency
Please contact Oaklee Rogers, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Assistant Clinical Professor at
Oaklee.firstname.lastname@example.org to become a fieldwork educator or if you have fieldwork related questions.
Additional information for fieldwork
educators and fieldwork students will be coming soon!