OTA Program Fieldwork

Student from St. Catherine University's Online OTA program works with a patient.

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. You may help someone suffering from arthritis learn new ways of adapting to cook for themselves or perform duties around the house. Or maybe you’ll work with children, teaching them how to navigate social situations. Depending on where you choose to do your fieldwork, the possibilities are endless.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.


Get Started Today

*Lab Travel will be required for 6 weekends throughout the course of one year, you are not required to reside in this state.

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