OTA Program Fieldwork

Student from St. Catherine University's Online OTA program works with a patient.Building on your coursework and 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 720 hours of Level I and Level II supervised fieldwork in diverse areas of occupational therapy. Fieldwork provides you with direct experience with clients of all ages and situations in a real-world rehabilitation setting.

Level I Fieldwork

Level I Fieldwork introduces you to the fieldwork experience so you can develop a basic comfort in understanding client needs from an occupational therapy perspective. 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.

The Fieldwork Experience Explained

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 720 hours of fieldwork will be broken out as follows, with the intent to provide students with a broad exposure to a variety of client populations:

  • Three-day intensive experience in an innovative precepted group-model level I fieldwork focused on psychosocial conditions and practice.
  • Three-day intensive experience in an innovative precepted group-model 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.
  • 320 hours in a traditional model level II fieldwork working in a physical disabilities practice setting.
  • 320 hours in a traditional model level II fieldwork working in a setting that compliments other fieldwork experiences. This can include an emerging practice setting or special interest area.

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 offer fieldwork opportunities across the United States—a dedicated fieldwork coordinator will work with you to identify the locations that meet your educational needs.

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

Contact us to learn more about our OTA fieldwork.

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