Who Sets Fieldwork Requirements?
The standards for an accredited educational program for the Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant are the official Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) documents that govern the length and types of fieldwork required for all students.
How Many Hours Are Required for Level I and Level II Fieldwork?
For Level I Fieldwork, AOTA does not require a minimum number of hours. Methodist University facilitates three, 30-40 hour Level I rotations that provide our students with the educational learning environment and with quality supervision to meet the expected outlined goals of the course. For Level II Fieldwork, the ACOTE standards require a minimum of 24 weeks full-time experience for occupational therapy students. This may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, but may not be less than half-time, as defined by the fieldwork site. All students must complete the fieldwork required by Methodist University to qualify for graduation and eligibility for the NBCOT exam and state licensure.
Are There Mandatory Types of Level II Fieldwork Required for All Students?
The standards recommend that the student be exposed to a variety of clients across the life span and to a variety of settings. While AOTA does not mandate specific types of fieldwork, such as pediatrics or physical disabilities, we reserve the right to require specific types of fieldwork placements and experiences for our OTD students based on learning needs.
Will I Have to Travel for Fieldwork Rotations?
Fieldwork sites and reservations are made one year in advance. Some fieldwork sites are within the Fayetteville city limits and others are located across and outside of North Carolina. Student assignments and considerations are based upon student interest, needs, and fieldwork site availability. As part of the Methodist University policy, OTD students are expected to have access to transportation during fieldwork courses which includes the required fieldwork rotations.
Can You Do a Level II Fieldwork Outside of the U.S.?
Methodist University supports international education opportunities for students and faculty. These opportunities will be explored on a case by case basis. For students wishing to pursue international fieldwork experiences, the student must consult with the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFWC). Methodist University must be able to establish a legal contract with the international site and assure supervision as dictated by ACOTE standards; for example, the Level II fieldwork student must be supervised by an occupational therapist who has graduated from a program approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and has had one year of OT clinical practice experience from initial date of certification. Also, the fieldwork rotation shall not exceed 12 weeks. International placements are not guaranteed.
Can I Set Up My Own Fieldwork Site Agreement?
The AFWC contacts all fieldwork affiliates to inquire on placement availability and then executes the process for establishing Affiliation Agreements. The OTD Program has also established a designated process for students to engage in and share fieldwork placement interests with the AFWC. Students can request a new site affiliation be established according to the procedure outlined in the Fieldwork Manual.
It is the responsibility of the AFWC to ensure Methodist University and the fieldwork affiliate agree on the stated rights and responsibilities of each party, and to assure that a current contract is in place prior to any fieldwork rotation. The AFWC considers all aspects during the selection process, including student preferences, however, NO PLACEMENT is guaranteed.
Additional Fieldwork Information:
A summary of all the fieldwork educational rotations, targeted goals, and the requirements are provided in the At-A-Glance Fieldwork Chart.