Fieldwork Education

Go from student to practitioner

Fieldwork is a vital part of how you become an occupational therapist. 

You'll ease into the role of practitioner, apply your skills and learn from current occupational therapists.

Review Fieldwork manual (.pdf)

Fieldwork levels

There are two levels to your Fieldwork.

You’ll complete most of your Fieldwork during Level 2 – your final two semesters in the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program.

Level 1 Fieldwork

When it happens: Level 1 occurs during your first spring, second fall and second spring semesters in the program.

This means your Level 1 Fieldwork occurs at the same time as most of your academic coursework (classes).

What you’ll do: During Level 1, you can practice observation skills, develop professional behaviors and apply occupational therapy theory.

This includes on-site experiences at clinical sites and experiential learning in a variety of practice settings.

Level 2 Fieldwork

When it happens: Level 2 occurs during your final two semesters in the program (second summer and third fall).

All Level 2 Fieldwork must be completed within 24 months after completion of the didactic portion (courses) of the program.

What you’ll do: Level 2 marks your transition into the full responsibilities of an entry-level occupational therapist.

You’ll complete a pair of 12-week rotations at two types of practice settings.

For more information or questions

Our Academic Fieldwork Coordinators (AFWCs) want you to have the best experience possible.

They work directly with you and coordinate with Fieldwork educators at clinical sites.

Staying in touch

The AFWCs will begin meeting with you during your second semester in the MOT program. They continue to meet you throughout to prepare you for Fieldwork.

Fieldwork advising meetings for Level 2 placements occur in the first summer and second fall semesters.

The AFWCs will stay in touch throughout the program to answer your questions and provide support.

Fieldwork: People and places

You receive supervision from Fieldwork educators who are occupational therapists or related health care professionals. They help you gain hands-on experience in a variety of settings.

Examples of Fieldwork sites include:

  • Community-based health programs
  • Hospitals
  • Out-patient clinics
  • Schools

Fieldwork Education at Missouri State University is designed in accordance with the standards established by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

Onboarding requirements

Fieldwork sites will have requirements for you to meet before you can start your placement.

Below are common requirements of Fieldwork sites. Site-specific requirements will vary.

Your Fieldwork educator will provide you instruction and guidance for meeting these requirements.

  • Bloodborne pathogens certification
  • COVID vaccination
  • Criminal background check
  • Drug screening
  • Flu shot
  • HIPAA certification
  • N95 mask
  • Physical and updated immunizations
  • TB test

Want to become a Fieldwork educator?

Fieldwork educators are professionals who directly supervise students on-site during Fieldwork.

If you are a professional interested in becoming a Fieldwork educator, please contact us at occupationaltherapy@missouristate.edu.

Benefits of being a Fieldwork educator

  • Earn Professional Development Units (PDUs).
  • Enhance your professionalism and clinical skills.
  • Play a vital role in preparing the next generation of occupational therapists.
  • Have exposure to innovations through student research and projects.

Earning your Professional Development Units (PDUs)

Fieldwork educators earn Professional Development Units (PDUs) for both state licensure and National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) renewal.

For more information, please refer to the guidelines provided by the Missouri Board of Occupational Therapy and NBCOT.

Who can be a Fieldwork educator?

Missouri State’s occupational therapy program has relationships with a broad network of Fieldwork educators.

Level 1 Fieldwork qualifications

You must be one of the following:

  • Occupational therapist.
  • Occupational therapy assistant.
  • Regulated professional in a related field, such as a social worker, recreation therapist or physical therapist.

Level 2 Fieldwork qualifications

You must be a licensed occupational therapist with at least one year of full-time practice experience.