Welcome to clinical education in the Cleveland State University Master of Occupational Therapy Program!
The mission of our Clinical Education Program is:
To promote occupational therapy students’ successful transition from academia to entry-level clinical practice through provision of high quality fieldwork opportunities.
This website offers information and resources for current and prospective students and fieldwork educators. For additional information about the clinical education program, please contact Susan Levy Wayne, M.Ed., OTR /L at email@example.com or (216) 687-3570.
Our clinical education program is provided in two parts, as described by AOTA. Students complete two Practicum/Level I experiences as their initial clinical experiences which complement current course work. Practicum experiences are the beginning hands-on opportunities--the first step in the process of synthesis and application of academic knowledge.
Practicum I places students in community-based settings (schools, home health care, work hardening facilities, adult day programs) while Practicum II introduces the medical model of practice (hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities). Students will attend different sites for each Practicum experience and will not be placed at sites where they have already worked or volunteered, or where they will be doing Level II Fieldwork.
Both Practicum experiences will consist of one day of clinical time each week accompanied by one weekly classroom session for the duration of the semester in which they occur. Level I sites will be assigned by the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator in conjunction with the class instructor.
The focus of these clinical learning experiences includes observation, written and verbal communication, professional behavior and individual and group participation with patients/clients. For details, see the example of a course syllabus. The Level I experiences provide an opportunity for students to begin making connections between the classroom and practice settings. Students are not expected to perform independently at this level. Supervision on a Level I experience may be provided by a wide range of professionals which, in addition to an occupational therapist, may include social workers, teachers, nurses, counselors and physical therapists.
AOTA requires that fieldwork students complete 24 weeks of full-time clinical education in addition to Level I experiences. At CSU , this is completed in two separate, 12 week, Level II experiences. Both experiences are usually completed directly following completion of all academic course work. Occasionally, due to unforeseen circumstances, a student may need to postpone Level II Fieldwork. In this case, fieldwork experiences may be delayed, but must be completed within 24 months of conclusion of all academic coursework.
As the capstone courses of the curriculum, Level II Fieldwork courses provide the opportunity for students to acquire and implement the skills, roles, attitudes and reasoning of an entry-level generalist therapist. Students will choose two of these three areas of practice for their fieldwork experiences: adult physical disabilities, pediatrics and mental health. The Level II Fieldwork will be coordinated with the Level I courses to include a variety of ages, practice settings and disabilities. The ultimate goal of Level II Fieldwork is for students to function at or above minimum entry-level competence by the conclusion of the experience. Following successful completion of both fieldwork experiences, the student will be eligible to sit for the NBCOT examination.
Students in the CSU Occupational Therapy Program are required to complete one of their Level II Fieldwork experiences out of town. “Out of town” is defined as 100 or more miles from the CSU campus. Traveling to fieldwork sites in different regions allows the student to broaden his/her experience and deepen his/her understanding of the depth, breadth and possibilities within the profession of occupational therapy. If a student is truly not able to travel out of town for three months, that student should petition the faculty to waive the out of town requirement, clearly stating the reasons the waiver is necessary.