Fieldwork education is a crucial part of the preparation of the occupational therapy assistant. Fieldwork (FW) I and II experiences are integrated into the KVCC OTA curriculum design and reflect the sequence and scope of the curriculum to strengthen the ties between didactic and FW education. Fieldwork experiences provide students with opportunities to carry out professional communication and skills/actions with supervision from a qualified professional. Supervisors provide technical and professional behaviors role modeling. (Adapted from ACOTE, 2006 Standards)
KVCC has in excess of 150 fieldwork sites. This number is large as to be adequate to meet the needs of all students. The academic fieldwork coordinator for the KVCC OTA Program is Julie Larouche MS, OTR/L. The fieldwork coordinator is specifically responsible for the program’s compliance with fieldwork requirementsof ACOTE Standards, Section C. Some duties include: selecting and reserving sites, providing guidance regarding immunizations, background checks/fingerprinting, and collaborating with students to ensure “the best fit” for each student’s educational needs.
All KVCC OTA students participate in five (5) diverse Fieldwork Experiences. All students will participate in one (1) non-traditional setting, a pediatric setting, a physical disabilities settings, and a setting which focuses on psychological/social factors that influence engagement in occupations.
Level I Fieldwork
Level I Fieldwork “The goal of Level I fieldwork is to introduce students to the fieldwork experience, to apply knowledge to practice, and to develop understanding of the needs of clients”. (ACOTE, 2006 Standards)
Level I Fieldwork at KVCC OTA occurs in the summer session at the end of the first academic year. This Fieldwork Experience consists of three one-week sessions in a variety of settings. FW I is primarily observation with limited participation.
Level I fieldwork is a 2 credit course. Students must successfully complete all prior academic coursework and must register for this summer course prior to its commencement. Academic coursework is associated with all three sessions.
Level II Fieldwork
“The goal of Level II fieldwork is to develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapy assistants. Level II fieldwork must be integral to the program’s curriculum design and must include an in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation. It is recommended that the student be exposed to a variety of clients across the life span and to a variety of settings”. (ACOTE, 2006 Standards)
Fieldwork II consists of two eight-week fieldwork experiences during the spring semester of the second year (a total of 16 weeks F/T). During Level II fieldwork, students will participate as entry-level OTAs with duties and skills commensurate with service competency. The Level II Fieldwork experiences are in two different settings. It is not customary to have a Level I and Level II experience at the same site.
All OTA students must complete Level II Fieldwork within 18 months following completion of academic preparation. Fieldwork Level II is only offered spring semester.
The fieldwork component(s) of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program are to be undertaken only by those students who: a) have successfully completed all prerequisite course work; b) who are current with all required immunizations; c) who are CPR certified; and d) who have demonstrated professionalism, self-awareness, and an ability to work with others (as noted in essential performance skills and through the rubric standards).
Immunization tracking and CPR deadlines are student responsibilities. It is recommended that all immunizations and CPR certification be completed prior to the start of the first semester. All immunizations and CPR certification are required to be complete by the end of the first academic semester.
OTA Faculty have the right and responsibility to assess academic and professional fieldwork readiness for and with each student. This is a collaborative effort between each student and faculty. The process is outlined in the OTA student handbook.
Students must be aware that placement assignments are not guaranteed and may require reassignment to a different placement at any time before or during a fieldwork rotation. Fieldwork placements are developed through a collaborative process between the fieldwork site, student, and fieldwork coordinator. Priority is given to educational need, experience, and availability of sites.
Fieldwork education centers throughout New England are used by the OTA program. Students may have to commute a distance to a fieldwork site or assume a temporary residence. Students are responsible for accessing and/or providing their own travel and living expenses. In some cases, housing and/or meals are provided at no charge or at a discount by the fieldwork site. While not a requirement, students are strongly advised to have a car available.
It is important to note that a Felony Conviction may make a student ineligible to complete Level I and or Level II fieldwork.
There are associated costs to fieldwork. Sites require immunization documentation, Healthcare Provider CPR, fingerprinting and background checks for student participation. These requirements are additional student expenses and typically range between $100.00-$300.00, although they can be higher. Please be aware that these requirements and/or costs may change/increase at any time.