Fieldwork experiences are required by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) as a part of the academic education and training process to become an occupational therapist. Fieldwork in the occupational therapy program consists of two phases:
- Fieldwork Level I is generally scheduled at the completion of the first two semesters of occupational therapy school and consists of each student attending an institution or business that practices occupational therapy under the direction of a clinical coordinator. Level one fieldwork experience can be performed in many different occupational therapy settings, and generally allows the students “real world” experiences under the direction of a licensed occupational therapist. Here at ACU, we anticipate that all fieldwork level one experiences can be completed in Abilene. However, a student may choose to complete a fieldwork level one in another city, such as over Christmas break, should the student choose to do so and the site the student is wishing to complete the fieldwork is in compliance with ACU standards for fieldwork level one.
- Fieldwork Level II experience is incorporated into the curriculum to be completed at the end of all occupational therapy coursework. Level two experiences generally consist of two to three month assignments at various occupational therapy settings under the direct supervision of a clinical instructor. The clinical instructor must be a practicing occupational therapist with at least one year of clinical experience and follow AOTA guidelines for meeting particular milestones to pass the level two fieldwork experience.