Supervised Fieldwork Education is an integral part of the academic process and professional preparation. Fieldwork compliments academic preparation by providing opportunities to apply knowledge and practice skills and allows the student to begin to be able to demonstrate professional competence.
Fieldwork education is, therefore, a crucial component to SHU's Graduate Occupational Therapy Program. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education requires two levels of experience which are referred to as Level I and Level II Fieldwork Education.
Level I Fieldwork Education
The Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy is unique in its approach to Level I Fieldwork Education in that it is integrated into classes throughout the Program. Level I Fieldwork is integrated in the first academic year spring and summer semesters and the second academic year fall semester as part of the mental health, adult/geriatric, and pediatric/adolescent curriculum. The purpose of Level I Fieldwork is for students to begin to integrate academic learning with clinical practice. Placement will be determined by the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator with the assistance of the course instructor.
Fieldwork experiences are to be structured around the assignments provided by the course instructors, with emphasis on developing basic professional behaviors; observation of typical and atypical development; observation of clients with a variety of conditions; observation and description of treatment, evaluation and behavior of clients; recognition and description of conditions of dysfunction and identification of role functions of the occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant in various intervention settings.
Level II Fieldwork Education
Level II Fieldwork is an in-depth experience in delivery of occupational therapy service to clients. Full time students will participate in Level II Fieldwork during the spring and summer semesters of the second academic year. Level II Fieldwork is full time for 12 weeks. All Level II fieldwork must be completed within 24 months of course work completion.
The purpose of Level II Fieldwork is to apply previously learned theoretical concepts to actual practice and professional situations and to demonstrate appropriate methods of data collection to determine the needs and intervention goals of assigned clients. Students are expected to progress to an entry level of competence in all areas of practice specific to the fieldwork site.
The program currently has contracts with sites all across the United States. The Academic Fieldwork Education Coordinator works with each student to identify placements that provide an appropriate range of experiences with different age groups and disability conditions. The Fieldwork Coordinator remains in contact with the fieldwork site and is available for support or problem-solving throughout the Level II Fieldwork period.
Here is what occupational therapy fieldwork supervisors have said about our students:
- “...has been an exemplary student. She exhibits the professionalism, compassion, and abilities that any employer would want to hire.”
- “...has been a tremendous asset to this facility. Her clinical skills matched with her professional behavior and positive attitude have not only made her an excellent OT student but will contribute to being the competent and capable OT she is becoming.”
- “...professional behavior is outstanding. Many of the staff commented on how nice it was to have such a great team player.”
- “...is a fine representative for the OT profession. I would hire her to work here.”
- “...has established warm working relationships with all her clients who have voiced that they are very sorry to have her leave.”
- “...worked well with all the staff members and she is respected by everyone who knows her.”
Sheelagh Schlegel, MPH, OTR/L
Academic Fieldwork Education Coordinator