Level I Fieldwork
Level I fieldwork introduces students to the fieldwork experience. Students develop a basic comfort level with client needs and communication. “Level I fieldwork is not intended to develop independent performance, but to include experiences designed to enrich didactic coursework through directed observation and participation in selected aspects of the occupational therapy process” (AOTA, 2021). Under the supervision of licensed practitioners, students complete six level one experiences in conjunction with didactic classes in the areas of: Group Dynamics, Community Applications, Assessments, Mental Health, Pediatrics, and Adults. Students also get to pick an area of their choice to complete an additional level I experience during their second year of classes. Level I fieldwork experiences may also be completed on non-campus days and during normal working hours. Level I fieldwork is NOT substituted for any part of level II fieldwork.
Level II Fieldwork
The continuation of our curriculum leads students to Level II fieldwork. Students complete 24 weeks of full-time clinical practice, typically in two, 12 week rotations, under the supervision of an occupational therapist. Initially, clinical supervision is direct and then decreases to less direct supervision as appropriate for the client and setting. Level II fieldwork is designed to promote clinical reasoning and reflective practice to expand on principles learned in the didactic portion of our program developing students into generalized, entry-level therapists. Upon successful completion of Level II Fieldwork, the students are eligible for graduation and the NBCOT exam. Fieldwork sites are arranged between the university and participating clinical facilities. Students pay regular tuition during this period. Level II fieldwork must be completed within 24 months of academic coursework completion. No part of Level I fieldwork may be substituted for Level II fieldwork.
Doctoral Capstone Experience
The Doctoral Capstone Experience (DCE) provides students with an in-depth experience that culminates in a high quality scholarly project. Students decide on an area of focus during the introduction to the DCE course. This area may include: clinical practice, administration, advocacy, leadership, theory, research, program development, community practice or education/teaching. Once students have decided on their area of focus they move into the design portion of the project. In this class, students finalize their literature reviews, needs assessments and individual objectives for their projects. Students are then able to participate in the 14-week (560 hour) capstone experience being mentored by an expert consistent with the student’s area of focus. Upon completion of the capstone experience, students disseminate their projects and are ready for graduation and the NBCOT exam. No more than 20% of the 560 hours can be completed off site from the mentored practice setting(s), to ensure a concentrated experience in the designated area of interest. Time spent off site may include independent study activities such as research and writing. Prior fieldwork or work experience may not be substituted for this doctoral capstone experience.