In addition to course work, occupational therapy students are required to complete a series of related fieldwork experiences. These fieldwork experiences provide the student with an opportunity to translate theory into practice and to observe or define the roles of occupational therapy in various clinical settings. Fieldwork experiences are woven throughout the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters and carry specific academic and clinical requirements.
Level I Fieldwork Experience – OTH 6812, OTH 6816 & OTH 6850
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. Level I fieldwork is integral to the program’s curriculum design and includes experiences designed to enrich didactic coursework through directed observation and participation in selected aspects of the occupational therapy process. Students are required to complete three Level I fieldwork experiences (approximately 40 hours each) in the clinical settings of psychosocial dysfunction, adult physical dysfunction and pediatrics.
Level II Fieldwork Experience – OTH 6848 & OTH 6849
After the conclusion of 2 years of coursework, occupational therapy students complete two 3-month fieldwork rotations. These occur in May and then in August. Students are assigned to fieldwork in a variety of clinical settings according to availability, student preferences, type of experience offered, and when indicated, the student’s needs. Students are required to select one site primarily oriented towards treatment of adult physical dysfunction. Fieldwork must be completed on at least a half-time basis and must be concluded within one year of completion of occupational therapy coursework.
The University of Florida maintains fieldwork contracts with a variety of settings around the United States and internationally. Students are supported in their choice of fieldwork settings with multiple resources to assist them in making their selection including information from previous students, materials sent from the fieldwork sites and information obtained from fieldwork site visits by the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator.
Capstone Experience and Capstone Project – OTH 6985 & OTH 6911
During the final semester of the program, students complete a 14-week capstone experience and related capstone project. The Capstone is an integral part of the University of Florida Doctor of Occupational Therapy program’s curriculum design. The experience provides an in-depth learning experience that is designed to develop student’s towards entry level clinician-scholars. Students begin the capstone project by completing a literature review and needs assessment in the spring and summer of year 3. In the fall of year 3, students participate in the capstone experience. Successful completion of all course work, including fieldwork level I and II, is required before beginning the capstone experience.
The student lead capstone experience and capstone project can be completed in a variety of settings and will focus on one or more of the following areas:
- Clinical skills in an in-depth area of practice
- Research skills
- Program development
During the Doctoral Mentorship II course, one year prior to starting the capstone experience, students will contact potential site mentors and be matched with faculty mentors. A site mentor is an individual with expertise in the student’s chosen area(s) of focus. The site mentor does not have to be an occupational therapist. The faculty mentor is an occupational therapist with expertise in the student’s chosen area(s) of focus. The process of mentoring a capstone student is collaborative with mutually agreed upon goals and objectives prior to the start of the capstone experience. The student will have several planning meetings with the site mentor and faculty mentor to facilitate the capstone process. The Capstone Coordinator will be available to guide the student, site mentor, and faculty mentor as needed.