Fieldwork experiences are crucial components of the Murray State University MSOT curriculum. Fieldwork allows students the opportunity to apply knowledge and practice skills gained within the education program in real-life settings and situations with real clients. Fieldwork experiences are collaboratively designed by Fieldwork Educators and the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator (AFWC). The AFWC works closely with students to provide professional advisement and ascertain the highest degree of success on fieldwork possible. Students are assigned fieldwork placements based on multiple considerations including fieldwork site availability, student academic and professional experience needs, student interests, and others. At Murray State University, students prepare for fieldwork in their Clinical Practicum courses and complete two (2) Level I Fieldwork experiences. After fulfillment of the required didactic coursework, students complete two, 12-week Level II Fieldwork experiences. MSU’s Occupational Therapy Program maintains fieldwork contracts with over 100 locations across the country in a variety of settings across the lifespan.

Level I Fieldwork*

Students complete a one week (~ 40 hours) of Level I Fieldwork during the spring and summer semesters of the first year of the occupational therapy program. These experiences are designed to orient students to various practice settings and client populations within the occupational therapy scope of practice. Each Level I Fieldwork experience occurs in conjunction with the MSU OT Program curriculum design and corresponding courses.

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (2020) states, “The goal of Level I fieldwork is to introduce students to fieldwork, apply knowledge to practice, and develop understanding of the needs of clients.”

Level II Fieldwork*

Students must successfully complete two, Level II Fieldwork experiences (12 weeks each). These experiences occur during the final two semesters of the MSU OT Program and are performed in various practice settings and population of clients served by occupational therapy. Each Level II Fieldwork experience occurs with corresponding Professional Fieldwork courses within the MSU OT Program curriculum. All students must complete both Level II Fieldwork experiences within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the MSU OT Program.

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (2020) states, “The goal of Level II fieldwork is to develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists. 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 and research, administration, and management of occupational therapy services.”

* There is a possibility that you may need to relocate for one or more of your fieldwork rotations (Level I and/or Level II) and you are not guaranteed to be placed in a specific geographical area or at a specific facility.

Fieldwork Educator Resources

Additional articles for reference

  • Cohn, E., Dooley, N., Simmons, L. (2001). Collaborative fieldwork model. Haworth Press, Inc., pp. 69-83.
  • Dunn, L.S., Arias, S., Beyer, A., Hermes, E., & Radcliff, S. (2020). Student perspectives of the effective behaviors of occupational therapy Level II fieldwork educators. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 4(4).
  • Evans, M., Barnes, M., and Cohn, E. (2002, January/February). Perceptions of level I and level II fieldwork in the same site. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 56, 103-106.
  • Johnson, C., Haynes, C., & Oppermann, J. (2007). Supervision competencies for fieldwork educators. OT Practice, 12(22), 1-7.
  • Stutz-Tanenbaum, P., Hooper, B. (2009). Creating congruence between identities as a fieldwork educator and a practitioner. Education Special Interest Quarterly published by The American Occupational Therapy Association, 19(2), 1-4.


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