Fieldwork at USC Chan
Students completing an entry-level degree at the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy will complete fieldwork in a variety of settings and practice areas. Fieldwork emphasizes applying knowledge and refining skills through supervised clinical interactions and professional role-modeling with clients, families and other health care professionals.
The Chan Division follows the Standards of the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® (ACOTE) for Level I and Level II 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, 2018, p. 41). Students are exposed to populations and settings related to a variety of practice areas.
“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” (ACOTE 2018, p.42).
Level I fieldwork is scheduled to take place in a practice setting related to the Practice Immersion course for one full day per week for nine weeks. The student is expected to follow the full-time schedule of the fieldwork site.
Students will complete a brief Level I fieldwork form to assist the Academic Fieldwork Coordinators with placements. Level I sites are located within the following 5 “in-area” counties:
- Los Angeles County
- Orange County
- Ventura County
- San Bernardino County
- Riverside County
Fall 2023 Level I Fieldwork
September 18 – November 17, 2023
Spring 2024 Level I Fieldwork
January 22 – March 29, 2024
Summer 2024 Level I Fieldwork
May 20 – July 22, 2024
Typically, the first Level II experience is during the summer after the first year in the program, and the second occurs during the summer after the second year, each for 12 full-time weeks. In alignment with accreditation standards, the second Level II fieldwork will be completed in a different practice area than the first Level II fieldwork, and students should be exposed to a variety of clients across the lifespan. Students will identify and rank available sites in order of preference through EXXAT, an online fieldwork education management platform.
Fall 2023 Level II Fieldwork (off-track)
August 21 – November 10, 2023
The first Level II fieldwork experience is full-time for 12 weeks during the summer of the second year in the program. Students will choose and rank available sites in order of preference through EXXAT, an online fieldwork education management platform.
The second Level II fieldwork is part of a fieldwork to capstone pathway that occurs across the entire third year of the program. In alignment with accreditation standards, the second Level II fieldwork will be completed in a different practice area than the first level II fieldwork, and students should be exposed to a variety of clients across the lifespan.
The second Level II fieldwork is 20 hours/week for 24 weeks across the fall and spring semesters. The Doctoral Capstone is completed in the same practice setting for 14 full-time weeks during the summer semester. Third-year course work in the e-OTD is offered remotely to allow students to complete the entire Level II fieldwork to capstone pathway in settings outside of the local area, including internationally.
Summer 2024 Level II Fieldwork
May 20 – August 9, 2024
Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 Part-Time Level II Fieldwork
September 23 – December 13, 2024
January 13 – April 4, 2025
Summer 2025 Level II Fieldwork
May 26 – August 15, 2025
Summer 2025 Capstone Experience
May 19 – August 22, 2025
Students have an opportunity to complete Level II fieldwork outside of the Southern California area. The out-of-area request process begins during the fall semester of the first year of the program. USC has agreements with sites in 38 states across the nation and several international sites, as well as the potential for developing new fieldwork placements in locations not currently represented.
- Students who plan to request accommodations for fieldwork should initiate contact with the Office of Student Accessibility Services (OSAS). Academic Fieldwork Coordinators are available to assist with this process.
- Students are responsible for living expenses, transportation, prerequisites, onboarding, and other school and incidental costs incurred during fieldwork.
- The Chan Fieldwork team utilizes the platform EXXAT for all things pertaining to fieldwork student data, site information, and placement processes. Enrolled students will receive an invitation from EXXAT to develop their profiles.
- Occasionally, fieldwork placements are cancelled due to circumstances beyond the control of the USC Chan Division. In the event of a cancellation, the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator will work with the student to secure another placement.
All entry-level USC OT students must complete the following prerequisites prior to participating in any level of fieldwork:
- Student Health Clearance (USC Student Health)
- Fieldwork Student Profile (EXXAT)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) Training
- Learning Style Inventory
- Bloodborne Pathogens Training
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification
- QPR Training - QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer)
Students may be required by their fieldwork site to complete additional site-specific requirements. Please do not complete these UNLESS informed by the fieldwork team or the site. Site-specific requirements may include one or all of the following:
- Live Scan Fingerprinting
- Background check and/or drug testing
- Site-specific application
- Site-specific orientation
- Site-specific HIPAA training
- Los Angeles County Fire Safety Training
- Mask fit testing