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ASOT OTD Student Handbook: Fieldwork

This FW handbook is a part of the overall ASOT OTD Program Student Handbook
A General Description of Fieldwork
The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT) Occupational Therapy Doctoral (OTD) Program's curriculum includes fieldwork as integral, credited courses of the academic experience. Upon successful completion of all fieldwork courses, students will be awarded a grade and be eligible to advance to the next course according to the OTD Program of Study.
The fieldwork experience is crucial to the preparation of an occupational therapist. When students engage in fieldwork, students are provided with real-life learning experiences at carefully selected fieldwork agencies by applying their knowledge into actual therapy assessment/intervention activities in a variety of healthcare delivery settings. Fieldwork learning experiences provide students with the opportunity for carrying out professional responsibilities under appropriate supervision from and professional role modeling by on-site fieldwork educators. A fieldwork educator is the individual identified by the agency as the lead person who guides and supervises occupational therapy students during fieldwork learning experiences.
All ASOT OTD students will engage in two types of fieldwork education: Level I and Level II Fieldwork. Each student is carefully matched with fieldwork agencies to provide well-rounded learning experiences for both levels of fieldwork education. Fieldwork locations are assigned to students based upon compliance with Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) standards and availability of fieldwork sites. Students will be matched with settings inside and outside of the Louisville-Metropolitan area. 
Fieldwork sites are chosen to partner with ASOT based on the following criteria:
  • The fieldwork agency's personnel demonstrate an active interest in participating as fieldwork educators for ASOT students.
  • The fieldwork agency's delivery models, services, and programs will provide the student with experiences that support and enhance the learning objectives of ASOT and align with ASOT's and Spalding University's missions.
  • The designated fieldwork educator has professional credentials, qualifications, and experience that meet or exceed the ACOTE standards pertaining to fieldwork education.
  • The inclusion of the agency as a fieldwork partner adds depth and scope to the objective of providing the students with a range of fieldwork experiences in settings with varied populations, service delivery models, and programs for clients across the life span.
  • ASOT and the fieldwork agency will enter into a formal agreement of partnership for fieldwork education by virtue of a memorandum of understanding or contract.
Students may suggest agencies for ASOT's consideration to pursue a fieldwork partnership (following the above criteria); however, students will not engage in any communication with leaders/employees at the agency of interest to discuss new fieldwork partnerships, negotiations, reservations, etc. This policy includes students wishing to communicate with new or existing agencies to create a fieldwork opportunity without seeking direction from the Academic Fieldwork Director.
Ongoing communication and collaboration with all fieldwork agencies are necessary components of this OTD program. The objectives for each fieldwork experience are collaboratively developed by the faculty and fieldwork educators to ensure consensus and maximize learning opportunities for the student.
In order to ensure the safety of and reduce risks to clients, students, faculty, affiliating agencies, and Spalding University, OTD students must comply with the following requirements prior to and during any off-campus learning experience (unique learning experiences, service learning, observations, fieldwork, etc.). Failure to comply with any of these requirements may jeopardize a student's enrollment status in the program.
  • Complete criminal background checks upon admission into the program, at the beginning of Level I fieldwork, and per request of the fieldwork agency according to its student in-processing requirements.
    • Background check results must be clear of felonies prior to the first day of fieldwork.
  • Maintain current immunizations, vaccinations, CPR certification, and proof of personal health insurance. 
  • Complete drug screens upon request of the fieldwork agency. (This is not an ASOT requirement, but it may be a requirement for students to engage in fieldwork at some agencies.)
  • Complete education on infection control and prevention, HIPAA/HITECH compliance, and corporate responsibility.
  • Disclose and seek accommodations for health conditions/disabilities from the Office of Student Accessibility prior to any fieldwork experience that have potential to affect their ability to safely learn or perform tasks during fieldwork.
In addition, OTD students are provided materials through ASOT Fieldwork Orientation and at the fieldwork agency about how to keep themselves, their clients, and their environments safe.  Please click the following links to view Fieldwork Emergency Preparedness Tips, the ASOT Electronic Media Policy, and the Incident Reporting Policy for all OTD students enrolled in this program, and specifically while engaging in fieldwork education.
If students experience challenges impacting their emotional and/or mental health at any point while enrolled at Spalding University, students are encouraged to visit the Counseling Center which is free to Spalding students.
Other Fieldwork Considerations: 
Lodging: The student is responsible for obtaining housing and related fees for any fieldwork experience. Finding housing arrangements may be necessary if volunteering to complete a Level I Fieldwork experience or if assigned to an agency for Level II Fieldwork experience if beyond what a student identifies as a reasonable commute.
​​Transportation: Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to any fieldwork experience. It is advisable for students to arrange for the consistent use of a car. Students with cars are responsible for carrying the appropriate automobile insurance. Public transportation is accessible to some fieldwork agencies.
Please Note: If a student violates HIPAA regulations, the AOTA Code of Ethics, and/or ASOT's Statement of Professionalism during any fieldwork experience, s/he is subject to dismal from the ASOT program and the University.