Frequently Asked Questions
What is the clinical component of the program?
Clinical and practical experiences take place throughout the program. During the first year, there are many opportunities to gain experience working in community-based organizations. These experiences are designed for you to engage in service learning with a variety of clients and health care professionals. During the second year, one-week intensive clinical experiences are arranged in a variety of health care facilities in and around Charleston. Finally, during the last two semesters of the program, two full-time clinical experiences, spanning almost seven months, are arranged throughout the state and region.
What is fieldwork education?
Fieldwork education is an integral component of the occupational therapy course of study that provides students with opportunities to integrate didactic learning with clinical experience. The purpose of fieldwork education is to develop a cadre of competent, entry-level occupational therapy practitioners through guided observations and clinical interactions that combine critical thinking and the performance of clinical skills.
Do I decide where I will complete my fieldwork?
The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator consults with students for selecting appropriate fieldwork sites. Selecting sites requires careful consideration of many factors including personal preferences for geographic location, areas of practice, housing availability, and financial resources. Due to limited availability of fieldwork sites and fieldwork educators qualified to supervise students, there is no guarantee that students will receive their preferred choice of fieldwork placements, particularly in the state of South Carolina; therefore, students should be prepared to complete fieldwork in geographic locations other than South Carolina. Fieldwork away from Charleston may occur during both the didactic coursework and clinical practicum portion of the curriculum.
Are there costs associated with completing fieldwork?
Yes, students should anticipate incurring costs beyond tuition, fees, and books for fieldwork. Costs related to fieldwork include but are not limited to clinical education compliance and credentialing (CPR, drug screening, vaccinations, and other facility requirements), clothing/uniforms, food, housing, transportation, etc. because students may need to travel beyond the Charleston area or even away from SC for Level I and Level II Fieldwork experiences. For instance, two weeklong clinical correlates (Level I Pediatric Fieldwork - Spring, Year 1 & Level I Physical Dysfunction Fieldwork – Fall, Year 2) and two 12-week clinical practicums (Level II Fieldwork - CP 1: Spring Year 2 & CP 2: Spring & Summer, Year 2) are requirements for the successful completion of the program.