Level II Fieldwork
According to the Standards for an Accredited Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist, Level II Fieldwork (Section 10) is defined as the following:
The goal of Level II fieldwork is to develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists. Level II fieldwork shall be integral to the program’s curriculum design and shall include 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 the student 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. (1999)
Students in the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Master’s program participate in full-time Level II fieldwork for twelve weeks, once during the summer after the second semester and again during the summer following the fourth semester of the program. Both Level II fieldwork placements provide intensive training and mentoring in clinical occupational therapy practice.
Site Selection Guidelines
The following guidelines are provided to assist the student in the selection of Level II fieldwork experiences:
- You can only select Level II fieldwork within a clinical immersion that you have completed.
- You must select two different fieldwork settings for each Level II fieldwork experience. For example, if you choose physical disabilities for your first Level II fieldwork experience, you may choose pediatrics for your second.
- If you would like to research potential fieldwork sites, you can review the fieldwork files in Room G36. The files include information about the sites such as brochures, program information, student objectives, past student evaluations of the facility, and the types of fieldwork experiences offered.
- Since all sites have a limited number of spaces, you will choose ten sites and rank them in order of preference.
- If you are matched with a site requiring an interview, you must schedule it as soon as possible with the site contact person. If after the interview, it is determined that this is not a good match, contact the Division Fieldwork Coordinator immediately to arrange another site selection. It is appropriate to write a letter of thanks following an interview.
- No fieldwork site can be guaranteed due to center cancellations or circumstances beyond the control of the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. In the event of a cancellation, you will work with the Division Fieldwork Coordinator to find another site.
Out of Area Fieldwork
Students have an opportunity to select Level II fieldwork out of the Southern California area. The out of area request process begins in the fall semester each year. USC has contracts with over 750 fieldwork sites across the nation and there is the potential for developing new fieldwork sites in areas not currently represented. The contract process can take up to several months so students are encouraged to contact the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator to begin planning upon entering the program. Priority for out of area placements will go to students requesting to return to their home state.
Please keep the following in mind:
- You must be registered for fieldwork to receive a grade. For full-time fieldwork, register for OT 486 (2 units). For part-time fieldwork, register for OT 486 (1 unit). Follow the Schedule of Classes for registration deadlines.
- Second year MA-II students who are doing a summer fieldwork must register for OT 486 (2 units) before completing spring classes and prior to the date of graduation.
- If it is necessary for you to repeat a fieldwork, you will need to register for OT 486 in the corresponding session. Consult with the Division Fieldwork Coordinator should this occur.
- The spring USC student health insurance fee covers summer fieldwork. If you are enrolled for a fall fieldwork, you will automatically be enrolled in student health insurance as well. Student Health Services works in conjunction with student health insurance; therefore those fees will also be charged. Consult with the Student Health Center about further coverage questions.
- You will be responsible for your living expenses and other school and incidental costs incurred during the course of your fieldwork experience at the facility.
- You are also responsible for contacting the fieldwork site several months in advance to ensure that they are aware of your arrival and to complete any additional site requirements. If you require reasonable and necessary accommodations, inform the Division Fieldwork Coordinator who will guide you through the process of informing your fieldwork site supervisor(s).
- The Personal Data Sheet (Appendix A of your Fieldwork Manual) contains important information about you for the fieldwork sites. All information must be completed and returned to the Division Fieldwork Coordinator when requested.
In order to be eligible for the NBCOT exam, you are required to complete two, full-time, twelve-week fieldwork experiences for a total of 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork. Circumstances requiring prolonged absences jeopardize the attendance requirement; you may need to remain at the facility until the required number of weeks has been completed. This is determined by the fieldwork site supervisor and the Division Fieldwork Coordinator.
There are no excused absences except those required by the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy or the fieldwork site. All other time must be made up. Contact the Division Fieldwork Coordinator if you have any questions.
Some fieldwork sites have flex schedules. There may be alternate work schedules required during the week such as working a ten-hour day and/or working weekends.
You may be required to complete additional work outside of work hours to prepare for your patients. Remember that you are preparing for a professional career in which this type of work is a standard part of patient treatment.
Each fieldwork site determines the holiday observances and/or leave time that will be granted to employees and students. If the fieldwork site supervisor determines that you are not meeting the minimum number of hours for attendance, you may be required to make up those days. Contact the Division Fieldwork Coordinator if you have questions.
You are given a grade of Credit or No Credit based on the final scores of the AOTA Fieldwork Performance Evaluation for the Occupational Therapist. This final score is determined by your direct supervisor at the fieldwork site. You must achieve at least the minimum passing score to receive a grade of Credit. Grades are submitted to the Grade Department at the close of the semester for which you have registered.