The University of Findlay’s traditional and weekend college occupational
therapy programs follow standards for education established by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Listed
below is the fieldwork section of the STANDARDS which refer specifically to
fieldwork. As you will see there are several standards that require
increased communication between the fieldwork site and the educational
program. As the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Heather Meredith, MOT,
OTR/L is responsible for maintaining compliance with the below stated
Fieldwork education is a crucial part of
professional preparation and is best integrated as a component of the
curriculum design. Fieldwork experiences should be implemented and evaluated
for their effectiveness by the educational institution. The experience should
provide the student with the opportunity to carry out professional
responsibilities under supervision and for professional role modeling. The
academic fieldwork coordinator is responsible for the program’s compliance with
fieldwork education requirements. The academic fieldwork coordinator will:
Document the criteria and process for selecting
fieldwork sites. Ensure that the fieldwork program reflects the sequence,
depth, focus, and scope of content in the curriculum design.
Ensure that the academic fieldwork coordinator
and faculty collaborate to design fieldwork experiences that strengthen the
ties between didactic and fieldwork education.
Provide fieldwork education in settings that are
equipped to meet the curriculum goals, provide educational experiences
applicable to the academic program, and have fieldwork educators who are able
to effectively meet the learning needs of the students.
Ensure that the academic fieldwork coordinator
is responsible for advocating the development of links between the fieldwork
and didactic aspects of the curriculum, for communicating about the curriculum
to fieldwork educators, and for maintaining contracts and site data related to
Demonstrate that academic and fieldwork
educators collaborate in establishing fieldwork objectives, identifying site
requirements, and communicating with the student and fieldwork educator about
progress and performance during fieldwork.
Document a policy and procedure for complying
with fieldwork site health requirements and maintaining student health records
in a secure setting.
Ensure that the ratio of fieldwork educators to
student(s) enables proper supervision and the ability to provide frequent assessment
of student progress in achieving stated fieldwork objectives.
Ensure that fieldwork agreements are sufficient
in scope and number to allow completion of graduation requirements in a timely
manner in accordance with the policy adopted by the program.
For programs in which the academic and fieldwork
components of the curriculum are provided by two or more institutions,
responsibilities of each sponsoring institution and fieldwork site must be
clearly documented in a memorandum of understanding. For active Level I and
Level II fieldwork sites, programs must have current fieldwork agreements or
memoranda of understanding that are signed by both parties. (Electronic
contracts and signatures are acceptable.)
Documentation must be provided that each
memorandum of understanding between institutions and active fieldwork sites is
reviewed at least every 5 years by both parties. Programs must provide
documentation that both parties have reviewed the contract.
Level I Goal
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. The program will:
Ensure that Level I fieldwork is integral to the program’s
curriculum design and include experiences designed to enrich didactic
coursework through directed observation and participation in selected aspects
of the occupational therapy process.
Ensure that qualified
personnel supervise Level I fieldwork. Examples may include, but are not
limited to, currently licensed or credentialed occupational therapists and
occupational therapy assistants, psychologists, physician assistants, teachers,
social workers, nurses, and physical therapists.
Document all Level I fieldwork
experiences that are provided to students, including mechanisms for formal
evaluation of student performance. Ensure that Level I fieldwork is not
substituted for any part of Level II fieldwork.
Level II Goal
The goal of Level II fieldwork is to develop
competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists. Level II fieldwork
must be integral to the program’s curriculum design and must include an
in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to clients,
focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation and
research, administration, and management of occupational therapy services. It
is recommended that the student be exposed to a variety of clients across the
life span and to a variety of settings. The program will:
Ensure that the fieldwork experience is designed
to promote clinical reasoning and reflective practice, to transmit the values
and beliefs that enable ethical practice, and to develop professionalism and
competence in career responsibilities.
Provide Level II fieldwork in traditional and/or
emerging settings, consistent with the curriculum design. In all settings,
psychosocial factors influencing engagement in occupation must be understood
and integrated for the development of client-centered, meaningful,
occupation-based outcomes. The student can complete Level II fieldwork in a
minimum of one setting if it is reflective of more than one practice area, or
in a maximum of four different settings.
Require a minimum of 24 weeks’ full-time Level
II fieldwork. This may be completed on a part-time basis as defined by the
fieldwork placement in accordance with the fieldwork placement’s usual and
customary personnel policies as long as it is at least 50% of a full-time
equivalent at that site.
Ensure that the student is supervised by a
currently licensed or credentialed occupational therapist who has a minimum of
1 year of practice experience subsequent to initial certification, and is
adequately prepared to serve as a fieldwork educator. The supervising therapist
may be engaged by the fieldwork site or by the educational program.
Document a mechanism for
evaluating the effectiveness of supervision (e.g., student evaluation of
fieldwork) and for providing resources for enhancing supervision (e.g.,
materials on supervisory skills, continuing education opportunities, articles
on theory and practice).
Ensure that supervision
provides protection of consumers and opportunities for appropriate role
modeling of occupational therapy practice. Initially, supervision should be
direct and then decrease to less direct supervision as is appropriate for the
setting, the severity of the client’s condition, and the ability of the
Ensure that supervision provided in a setting
where no occupational therapy services exist includes a documented plan for
provision of occupational therapy services and supervision by a currently
licensed or credentialed occupational therapist with at least 3 years of
professional experience. Supervision must include a minimum of 8 hours per
week. Supervision must be initially direct and then may be decreased to less
direct supervision as is appropriate for the setting, the client’s needs, and
the ability of the student. An occupational therapy supervisor must be
available, via a variety of contact measures, to the student during all working
hours. An on-site supervisor designee of another profession must be assigned
while the occupational therapy supervisor is off site.
Document mechanisms for requiring formal
evaluation of student performance on Level II fieldwork (e.g., the American
Occupational Therapy Association Fieldwork Performance Evaluation for the
Occupational Therapy Student or equivalent).
Ensure that students attending Level II
fieldwork outside the United States are supervised by an occupational therapist
who graduated from a program approved by the World Federation of Occupational
Therapists and has 1 year of experience in practice. Such fieldwork must not
exceed 12 weeks.