The purpose of fieldwork experience is to provide students with the opportunity to integrate academic knowledge with the application of skills at progressively higher levels of performance and responsibility. The goal of fieldwork is to develop competent, entry-level generalist occupational therapists. Students in Fieldwork Level I and Level II affiliations assume the roles, tasks and responsibilities of professional clinicians. Level I fieldwork refers to those clinical assignments associated with didactic coursework. Level II fieldwork refers to those 12-week clinical assignments following the successful completion of all academic coursework. Satisfactory completion of all fieldwork requirements is a condition for completing the Occupational Therapy Program at CSUDH and is required of all students who wish to be eligible for the examination and certification by the NBCOT. For purposes of clarification, "Academic Fieldwork Coordinator" (AFWC) refers to the university Occupational Therapy Program faculty member in charge of the fieldwork education program; the "Fieldwork Educator" (FE) is the clinician at the site who is responsible for student intern supervision and evaluation.
Fieldwork Level I experience is an integral part of the curriculum design. Our curriculum is structured so that four semesters are focused on a developmental stage and service-delivery-related populations: adolescent, pediatric; adult, and geriatric. For each of the four semesters, students serve at a fieldwork site that reflects the population which they are studying in their didactic courses. Through the weekly fieldwork experience throughout each of the four semesters, students are able to observe first-hand the population about whom they are studying. This experience serves to enhance the curricular focus of personal, environmental, occupational, and performance issues across the lifespan, achievement of a population health perspective, client enablement, and support and promotion of occupational justice. Students also learn the importance of collaboration and joint action among health professionals.
The goal of Fieldwork Level II is to develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists. Fieldwork Level II includes an in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation and/or research, administration and management of occupational therapy services. It is recommended that students be exposed to a variety of clients across the life span and to a variety of settings. The fieldwork experience shall be designed to promote clinical reasoning and reflective practice, to transmit the values and beliefs that enable ethical practice, and to develop professionalism and competence as career responsibilities.