Fieldwork

Occupational therapy student doing fieldwork

Fieldwork is the opportunity to engage in practice-based learning and experiences which develop the student’s integration of classroom knowledge and laboratory skills (AOTA, 2018). The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) provides guidance and minimal requirements expected for fieldwork for all occupational therapy education programs (AOTA, 2018). At Texas Woman’s University, Level 1 Fieldwork falls under the Application thread of the School of Occupational Therapy’s Curriculum Design. As an integration of the three components woven and integrated in the curriculum design, application is designed to guide students on their journey of learning and reflection that will lead to competence. Within the curriculum design, these two Level 2 Fieldwork courses fall into the Mastery thread, which expects students to integrate all other components: foundation, knowledge, skill and application into clinical application for 24 weeks at a fieldwork site location.

Level 1 Fieldwork

TWU requires one Level 1 experience (40 hours) during the Level 1 FW course; however, students are engaged in additional experiences via the Experiential Passport. Level 1 experiences are to be no less than 40 hours in length and most occur across the entire semester (3-4 hours weekly). Passport experiences vary in length and are not considered FW1. In Fall of their first year, students select preferred cycle (spring, summer or fall) and potential preferred site location using a Wishlist application within the EXXAT STEPS database. Students are assigned to preferred semester and site, as available in Fall Year 1. Year 2, students are engaging in one FW 1 experience, as assigned, in either Spring Y2, Summer Y2 or Fall Y2. 

Fieldwork 1 Course: Occupational Therapy Experiential Learning and Reflective Practice: FW1 (6441) was developed in collaboration with faculty to reflect psychosocial practice, social factors and/or mental health. Within the course, students are as assigned to various sites where the educators, in collaboration and mentorship with the fieldwork faculty, are guided to use a psychosocial lens within their site experience to facilitate each student’s level 1 experience. Within the course shell, the students are guided through assignments that addresses practice in behavioral health, or psychological and social factors influencing engagement in occupation within a variety of settings. Students are guided through assignments that highlight the distinct needs and opportunities with clients and populations addressing practice in behavioral health, or psychological and social factors. 

Level 2 Fieldwork

TWU requires two Level 2 experiences (2 X 12 full time equivalent weeks) during the Level 2 FW course. Level 2 experiences are to be no less than full time equivalent, unless an accommodation is arranged through the disability support services offices for an alternative arrangement, and occur during the entire assigned semester following didactic coursework. In Fall of their second year, students select from a wide variety of confirmed fieldwork rotations using the Wishlist application within the EXXAT STEPS database.  Students are assigned to preferred sites for Spring Year 3. Towards the end of Spring 3, the students repeat the process to select from confirmed slots using the Wishlist application of the EXXAT STEPS database.  Students are assigned their final fieldwork 2 rotations for Year 3 Fall, by the end of the Spring 3 semester.  All fieldwork rotations are assigned based on faculty, student and site collaboration and “best fit” for the site experience.

Summer Year 3 is reflective and Capstone preparatory coursework.

Fieldwork 2 Course: Occupational Therapy Fieldwork & Reflective Practice I & II (6616 & 6816) occurs after most of the didactic components are completed.  Each level two rotation is assigned as a full time 12-week experience and is aligned with the Spring or Fall semester course.  Within the course shell, the students are guided through assignments and discussions that facilitate reflective practice and professional growth during the fieldwork rotations.  The interplay among knowledge, skills, and application is designed to guide students on their journey of learning and reflection that will lead to competence as entry level occupational therapist after fieldwork 2.  At the completion of each fieldwork course, the students translate their knowledge and experience through class presentations on reflective clinical practice.

Become a Fieldwork Educator

We would love to have you join our fieldwork community and support occupational therapy practice. With a long, rich history in occupational therapy education in the state of Texas, TWU’s School of Occupational Therapy alumni and friends are often frequent hosts to our students. Please email otfieldwork@twu.edu to initiate a conversation about starting the process and becoming a TWU fieldwork site.

Resources for Fieldwork Educators

Texas Woman’s University School of Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Resources

American Occupational Therapy Association

AOTA Commission on Educations: Level 2 Guidelines

AOTA Fieldwork Resources

Page last updated 12:41 PM, April 12, 2022