OTA Program Fieldwork

Building off your skills lab experiences, fieldwork plays a critical role in your OTA education, helping you make the transition from student to practitioner. During the program, you will complete supervised fieldwork in diverse areas of occupational therapy. Divided into two levels, Fieldwork I and Fieldwork II, the experiences give you direct access to clients of all ages and situations in a real-world rehabilitation setting.

student helping elderly woman with stretch bands
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Level I Fieldwork

Level I Fieldwork introduces you to the fieldwork experience so you can develop a basic comfort level when working to understand client needs. The intent is to enrich your online coursework through direct observation and select participation, not to develop independent performance. 

Level II Fieldwork

Level II Fieldwork allows you to apply the theoretical and scientific principles you learned during your didactic coursework. You are given the opportunity to address actual client needs and develop a professional identity as an occupational therapy practitioner in an interdisciplinary context. 

Fieldwork Hours

Your OTA fieldwork experiences will take place throughout your curriculum on a set schedule, allowing you to apply your knowledge in the real world. Your fieldwork includes:

Three-day intensive experience in group-model level I fieldwork focused on psychosocial conditions and practice.

Three-day intensive experience in level I fieldwork working in a variety of practice settings with a variety of populations that may include aging, developmental disability, pediatrics, physical disabilities, and mental health.

8 weeks full-time in a traditional model level II fieldwork working in a physical disabilities practice setting.

8 weeks full-time in a traditional model level II fieldwork working in an emerging practice setting or special interest area.

student assisting man with pill containers
student high-fiving elderly woman

Fieldwork Settings

During the program, you can expect to complete your fieldwork in four approved practice settings.

Common OTA practice settings are hospitals, schools, nursing homes, outpatient centers, and mental health facilities. We conveniently offer fieldwork opportunities across the United States—a dedicated fieldwork coordinator will work with you to identify the best possible locations for your needs.

Note: A felony conviction can affect a person’s ability to be placed in fieldwork.

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The Ultimate Guide to Occupational Therapy and OTA

Get answers to your questions about the field, about the OTA career path, and about St. Catherine University’s Online OTA program.

book with cover title: Occupational Therapy Assistant Explained