Integration of Fieldwork Education & Outreach Experiences
Competence is achieved when future practitioners apply the OT process. Fieldwork experiences allow the opportunity to use evidence based interventions to meet the occupational needs of a diverse population. These experiences provide opportunities for OT students to apply theoretical and scientific principles learned from the academic program. Working with actual client needs within the context of varied practice environments enhances the didactic education and skills. Both fieldwork and service experiences provide diverse opportunities for the learner to develop advocacy, leadership, and managerial skills and the opportunity to develop entry level competencies.
As learners progress through community assignments, performance expectations will become progressively more challenging. Two types of fieldwork will occur:
- Level I Fieldwork Experiences: Occur concurrently with academic coursework. These experiences are designed to enrich didactic content through supervised experiences and participation in selected aspects of the occupational therapy process. Level I experiences will occur during Semesters 1-5.
- Level II Fieldwork experiences: Occur at the conclusion of the didactic phase of the occupational therapy curricula. These experiences are designed to develop competent, entry-level, generalist practitioners. Level II fieldwork assignments will provide comprehensive experiences for the delivery of occupational therapy services to varied clients and settings. Level II experiences require the learners to focus on the advancing application of purposeful and meaningful occupation and evidence-based practice. Level II experiences will occur in the last 6 months of the program.
The fieldwork experiences allow for real world reinforcement of didactic learning experiences. Students will have the opportunity to compare the didactic content with client-based experiences from a variety of practice settings. The learners will apply their critical reasoning skills and adult learning experiences to address new and innovative situations. Learners will also be expected to seek out additional information and evidence that supports their decision-making processes. These learning experiences will serve to foster the development of a competent, OT health care professional.