OTA Program Fieldwork

Building upon your skills and lab experiences, fieldwork is critical in your OTA education, helping you transition from student to practitioner. Coursework and labs are how you can learn and practice your initial skills, but fieldwork provides the real-world firsthand patient care experience you’ll need to practice as a professional.

Your OTA program fieldwork will take place 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.

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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 rather than to develop independent performance.


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.

During Level II Fieldwork you will experience life as an occupational therapy assistant. Our two full-time, 8-week courses allow you to work one on one with clients, under the supervision of a registered occupational therapy practitioner.

During Level II Fieldwork you will:

  • Learn in a real-world occupational therapy environment
  • Work with clients in need of various OT services
  • Develop your professional network before starting your career as an OTA

St. Kate’s has more than 500 clinical affiliation agreements so you can gain valuable educational experiences in a variety of health care environments.

Fieldwork Hours

Your OTA program fieldwork experiences will occur on a set schedule throughout your curriculum, 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 in various practice settings with multiple populations, including 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.
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Fieldwork Settings

You can expect to complete your OTA program 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.

For More Information

Want to learn more about St. Kate’s level I or II fieldwork and how it will enhance your educational experience? Speak to an admission counselor.

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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