Each assignment on an affiliation is an important measure of competency for the practice of Occupational Therapy. Therefore, it is important that students complete all assignments at or above a passing level. Failure to complete any individual assignment at an acceptable level of competence will result in a deficit in professional preparation, as the student will not have attained and/or demonstrated all the necessary competencies for passing the clinical affiliation, the certification examination and/or subsequent professional practice.
Students are expected to complete all assignments either during the working day or on their own time. It is expected that a student can spend up to two hours an evening in preparation for their next day or working on assignments outside of their routine in the clinic or fieldwork venue.
If a student is at risk of failing a fieldwork assignment the Fieldwork Clinical Supervisor is required to call the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator immediately to inform the Program of the student's status. If there is any question regarding minimum expectations for a student please do not hesitate to call the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator.
If a student is feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable with their performance it is their responsibility to contact the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. When a student's behavior has the potential to cause dismissal, the clinical supervisor should document the behavior, the plan of remediation, and the result. A Learning Contract may be utilized for this purpose. A student who is failing fieldwork may be asked to leave the fieldwork site before the date on which their assignment ends and will receive a failing grade. Other students may finish the full assignment and still fail. In either case, the decision to ask the student to leave or continue in the affiliation is based on assessment of: 1) the student's difficulties and the potential to remain in the fieldwork setting without being disruptive to patient/client care; 2) the student's response to supervisory feedback; and 3) the student's potential to change skills, judgments, and/or professional behaviors in a reasonable amount of time with normal supervision.
A student who fails to satisfactorily complete an assigned Level II fieldwork experience will be allowed one additional opportunity to complete an affiliation successfully. In order to repeat the fieldwork experience, the student must re-register for the same course during the next quarter in which the course is offered. When repeating a Level II fieldwork experience, the student will only be scheduled during the established time for fieldwork rotations. If failure occurs a second time, the process for dismissal from the Occupational Therapy Program will be initiated.
All clinical assignments are due on the announced time and date. A student may negotiate with the supervisor for an extension of time prior to the date the assignment is due. Assignments received after the due date (or negotiated date) can have clear consequences in the final evaluation of a student's competency. If assignments are not completed and turned in on the due date, the clinical supervisor should inform the student that he/she is jeopardizing his/her ability to successfully complete the affiliation. Use of the Learning Contract by the clinical supervisor is recommended (see Appendix).
Continued inability to complete work at the acceptable competency level or inability to submit work on time can result in the initiation of the process for dismissal from the clinical assignment.
Students receiving an INCOMPLETE as a grade for fieldwork are not required to pay tuition during the quarter when the INCOMPLETE is removed. However, the student must pay fees, notify the MWU registrar and financial aid departments, and assume responsibility for any additional expenses incurred due to the extended time frame.
Students are required to attend all scheduled days, meetings and/or rounds associated with the fieldwork affiliation. If the rotation requires or recommends students to participate in additional activities, the student is expected to do so. Part-time jobs or extracurricular activities are not acceptable excuses for absences. All students MUST notify the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator AND the Fieldwork Supervisor if they are going to be absent at any time from a rotation. All students are expected to be in daily attendance throughout each rotation unless prior arrangements have been made with their Fieldwork Supervisor AND the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. Unexcused absence from a rotation may jeopardize a student's success in fieldwork. The Occupational Therapy Program will monitor student attendance randomly. Being prompt and on time is an essential requirement.
Students are expected to consider their education as a priority. When activities other than those related to the educational program conflict with fieldwork, students are expected to change the non-educationally related activities. Making up time is permitted in emergency situations only. Emergencies include accidents, illness, or deaths in the family (things over which a student has no control). The following are not valid reasons to request a schedule change: Interviews, weddings, work scheduling conflicts, meetings unrelated to OT education, non-emergency doctor/dentist appointments, travel conflicts to and from the facility, and vacations.
Due to the minimum number of weeks required for fieldwork, students will be required to make up all time missed due to illness or emergencies. If there are any questions regarding making up time, please contact the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. Students who do not complete experiential time requirements for Fieldwork I or II are at risk for failing those courses.
Any discontinuation of Fieldwork II as a result of withdrawal, failure, or any other reason, must be requested formally as a leave of absence (see MWU Student Handbook). A leave of absence is not "automatically granted".
If a student receives a grade in a fieldwork course and believes the grade to be inappropriate, the student should discuss the matter immediately with the supervisor and seek to arrive at a mutual agreement. If after such discussion(s) the student still feels the grade received is inappropriate, the student may make an appeal to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. If the issue is not resolved at this level, an appeal may be made to the OT Academic Review Committee by submitting in writing the rationale for the appeal, attaching a copy of any graded assignments in question and/or any formal assessment of clinical competencies which are in question. The appeal can be made only after the course grade is given at the end of the quarter and must be made no later than three days after the course grade is given. The student should refer to the CHS section of the University Catalog for clear guidelines regarding the appeal process. Appeals should be undertaken only as a last resort and only after substantial discussion of the issue by the parties involved.
The curriculum for the Master of Occupational Therapy degree is a continuous, full-time program, extending 27 months from matriculation to graduation. The maximum allotted time for completion of this program is 40.5 months. It is also required that all Level II fieldwork must be completed within 18 months of completion of the didactic portion of the program.