Level I Fieldwork Experience - OTD


Level I fieldwork experience is an in-depth clinical experience aimed to develop skill in the utilization of assessment, the development of treatment plans, the implementation of treatment, and the evaluation of patient's progress related to the treatment plan.

Western Michigan University requires completion of four level I fieldwork courses that provide hands-on practice in our university-based clinics supervised by faculty:

  • OT6501 - Level I Fieldwork A (2 credits)
  • OT6502 - Level I Fieldwork B (2 credits)
  • OT6503 - Level I Fieldwork C (4 credits)
  • OT6504 - Level I Fieldwork D (4 credits)

 The academic fieldwork coordinator and the WMU faculty members serving as fieldwork educators, ensure that the following three ACOTE (2018) standards are being met in all level I fieldwork courses.

ACOTE Fieldwork Standard C.1.8: Ensure that qualified personnel supervise level I fieldwork.

  • The supervision in for all WMU’s level I fieldwork experiences is provided by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
  • The Department Head approves workload for WMU faculty supervising fieldwork experiences and reviews the credential of the additional adjunct faculty hired to teach some of the Level I Fieldwork experiences. The level I fieldwork supervisor is the instructor of record for level I fieldwork courses.

ACOTE Fieldwork Standard C.1.9: Document that level I fieldwork is provided to students and is not substituted for any part of the level II fieldwork. Ensure that level I fieldwork is integral to the program’s curriculum design and include experiences designed to enrich didactic coursework through directed observation and participation in selected aspects of the occupational therapy process and include mechanisms for formal evaluation of student performance.

  • WMU’s level I fieldwork experiences allow students to practice the assessment, intervention skills, and documentation skills they have learned in the classroom curriculum with real clients in the community.
  • WMU provides clearly documented student learning objectives expected of each level I fieldwork.
  • WMU level I fieldwork experiences are one-semester courses with a formal midterm and final evaluation. Students are given a pass/fail score at the end of the course based on the performance evaluation results. The level I fieldwork evaluations are shared with the academic fieldwork coordinator. All level I fieldwork experiences must be completed successfully before registering for the level II fieldwork courses.  

Our clinics have individual goals, evaluation processes and treatment procedures based on the population served. Please learn more about Kalamazoo level I fieldwork clinics and Grand Rapids level I fieldwork clinics.


Level I Fieldwork Clinic Feature 

In April 2019, our level I fieldwork clinics were featured in the American Occupational Therapy Association's OT Practice Magazine. If you have an AOTA account, please read the Faculty-Facilitated Clinics With a Group Supervision Model written by WMU OT faculty members: Sara Clark, MS, OTRL, Holly Grieves, MS, OTRL, Nancy Hock, MOT, CHT, Michelle Suarez, PhD, OTRL and Tracy Young, MHS, OTRL.