Community-based Fieldwork

Fieldwork Program Overview

The Marquette University OTD Fieldwork Program is designed to link education to practice to foster the advancement of student skills and experiences in traditional and non-traditional practice settings.  Marquette University’s integrative fieldwork program links clinical and community service-learning experiences that reflect the mission of the university, college, and OT program, to the scope and content of the curriculum. OT program faculty work collaboratively to ensure that fundamental tenets of the curriculum are reflected in and supported by the fieldwork program which in turn, supports the students during their fieldwork experiences. 


Level I Fieldwork

The goal of Level I fieldwork is to integrate foundational knowledge and skills presented in the classroom into clinical practice under the guidance of OT faculty and staff to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of individuals, groups, and local populations and a broader appreciation of the occupational nature of human beings through participation in active, collaborative, and inquiry-based learning that meets identified community needs.

Emphasis is placed on exploration and development of professional and clinical skills, transitioning into the role of servant leader where one must instinctively strive to enrich the lives of the individuals with whom they interact through the therapeutic process. Students will cultivate a deeper understanding of the role of occupational justice, whole-person practice, personal and professional education, and discerning judgement play in developing a well-rounded practitioner who understands the true meaning behind a holistic approach to care.

Students complete three Level I fieldwork experiences during the second, third, and fourth semester of the program in mental health, pediatrics, and adulthood respectively. The Marquette University OTD Program has partnerships with various community organizations in the Milwaukee area for Level I fieldwork. Examples of Level I fieldwork placements include On Your Marq, GiGi’s Playhouse of Milwaukee, Guest House of Milwaukee, Indian Community School, and Marquette School of Dentistry.


Level II Fieldwork

The goal of Level II fieldwork is to develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists. Level II fieldwork must be integral to the program’s curriculum design and must include an in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation and research, administration, and management of occupational therapy services. It is recommended that the student be exposed to a variety of clients across the lifespan and to a variety of settings.  

Students complete two 12-week Level II fieldwork placements during the sixth and seventh semester of the program. Examples of Level II fieldwork placements include school-based practice, inpatient rehabilitation, mental health, outpatient neurological, outpatient orthopedic, and home health services.

Students meet with the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator early in the program to begin discussing their interest in practice setting and location for Level II fieldwork. The Marquette University OTD Program has 200+ clinical affiliations nationwide for Level II fieldwork. International opportunities for Level II fieldwork are also available based on availability. Students have the chance to propose specific sites and locations for Level II fieldwork and new clinical affiliations can be established based on student needs and site availability.