Fieldwork at USC Chan
Level II Fieldwork
According to the Standards for an Accredited Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist, Level II Fieldwork (Section C) is defined as the following:
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. It is recommended that the student be exposed to a variety of clients across the lifespan and to a variety of settings (2012).
The Level II Fieldwork experience within the University of Southern California occupational therapy professional program is an integral part of the application of the conceptual model to occupational therapy practice situations. Level II fieldwork is when students organize previously learned basic knowledge and synthesizes and applies this knowledge to the Systems Model of the Human as an occupational being within the practice environment.
Students in the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy professional program participate in two 12-week full-time Level II fieldworks experiences. The first Level II experience is typically during the summer after the first year in the program, and the second occurs during the summer after the second year. Both Level II fieldwork placements provide intensive training and mentoring in clinical occupational therapy practice. The USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy strongly recommends that Level II Fieldwork experiences be completed within 6 months of completion of the academic coursework in occupational therapy.
Site Selection Guidelines
The following guidelines are provided to assist the student in the selection of Level II fieldwork experiences:
- You must select Level II fieldwork sites in a practice area in which you have completed the practice immersion course.
- It is strongly recommended that Level II Fieldwork be completed in more than one practice area and that the student is exposed to a variety of clients across the lifespan. For example, if you choose adult physical rehabilitation for your first Level II fieldwork experience, you may choose pediatrics for your second.
- 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 the interview as soon as possible with the site contact person. If, after the interview, it is determined that this is not a good match, please contact the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator immediately to arrange another site selection. It is appropriate to write a thank you letter following an interview.
- No fieldwork site can be guaranteed, due to center cancellations or circumstances beyond the control of the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. In the event of a cancellation, the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator will work with you to find another site.
Students have an opportunity to complete Level II fieldwork outside of the Southern California area. The out-of-area request process begins in the fall semester each year. USC has affiliation agreements with over 850 sites in 38 states across the nation, as well as the potential for developing new fieldwork sites in areas not currently represented.
Please keep the following in mind:
- Students must be registered for fieldwork to receive a grade. For full-time fieldwork, students register for OT 586 (2 units). Follow the Schedule of Classes for registration deadlines.
- Second year MA-II students who are doing a summer fieldwork must register for OT 586 (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 586 in the corresponding session. Consult with the Division Fieldwork Coordinator should this occur.
- The spring USC student health insurance fee covers summer fieldwork. If students are enrolled for a fall fieldwork, they 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 Eric Cohen Student Health Center about further coverage questions.
- Students are responsible for living expenses and other school and incidental costs incurred during the course of Level II Fieldwork.
- Students are also responsible for contacting the fieldwork site/educator well in advance to ensure that the staff is aware of your arrival, and to complete any additional site requirements. If a student requires reasonable and necessary accommodations, it is recommended that he/she contact the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for assistance with the process of informing the fieldwork site supervisor(s).
- The Personal Data Sheet (Appendix A of the Fieldwork Manual) contains important information about each student for the fieldwork site. All information must be completed and returned to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator upon request.
In order to be eligible for the NBCOT® exam, you are required to complete two, full-time, 12-week fieldwork experiences for a total of 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork. Circumstances requiring prolonged absences jeopardize this attendance requirement. Students who are absent may need to remain at the facility until the required number of weeks has been completed. This is determined by the fieldwork site educator and the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator.
There are no excused absences except those required by the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy or the fieldwork site. All other time must be made up. Contact the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator if you have any questions about absences.
Some fieldwork sites have flex schedules. The student will be expected to assume the schedule of his/her fieldwork educator during the fieldwork experience.
Students may be required to complete additional work outside of work hours to prepare for fieldwork. Students are preparing for a professional career in which this type of commitment is a standard part of professional conduct and participation.
Each fieldwork site determines the holiday observances and/or leave time that each student will be granted. If the fieldwork site educator determines that a student is not meeting the minimum number of hours for attendance, the student may be required to make up those days. Contact the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator if you have questions.
Upon completion of fieldwork, students are given a grade of Credit or No Credit based on the final scores of the AOTA Fieldwork Performance Evaluation for the Occupational Therapy Student. This final score is determined by your direct educator at the fieldwork site. Students 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 the student is registered.