Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson School of Health Professions

Main menu:

Fieldwork Educator Development

The Fieldwork Educator Certificate Program is a 2-day workshop which was developed under the direction of Caryn Johnson, Thomas Jefferson University's own Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. The program is held all over the country and throughout the year and offers a certificate to those who complete it.

Also, please feel free to contact the
TJU Academic Fieldwork Coordinators:

Caryn Johnson, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA 
(215) 503-9607

Susan Santalucia, MS, OTR/L
(215) 503-9629

The AOTA Self Assessment Tool for Fieldwork Educator Competency is useful in helping you identify your strengths and weaknesses as a fieldwork supervisor. The Fieldwork Educator Certificate program is actually structured around this framework. It addresses 5 areas of competency: practice, administration, education, supervision and evaluation as they relate to training fieldwork students. No one expects you to be fully competent in all of these areas right off the bat. You can use this tool to identify what you want to work on now, and areas you would like to address in the future. This website will provide practical guidance in the four areas below: The Administrative Competencies include skills related to developing and running a fieldwork program at your site, such as developing contracts, schedules, etc. The Education Competencies include skills related to providing a well-rounded and educational experience for your fieldwork student, such as how to structure learning opportunities, facilitating clinical reasoning, etc. The Supervision Competencies include skills related to effective communication with your fieldwork student, such as providing feedback, role-modeling, supervisor-student collaboration, etc. The Evaluation Competencies include skills related to fairly and reliably evaluating your fieldwork student, such as using the Fieldwork Performance Evaluation, and writing site-specific learning objectives.

Administrative Competencies

The AOTA Self Assessment Tool for Fieldwork Educator Competency defines Administrative Competency (AOTA, 2009) as developing and/or implementing an organized program in keeping with legal/professional standards and environmental factors (physical, social, and cultural)

Specific Competencies Include:

  • Initiating support for a FW program
  • Designing a FW Program
  • FW contracts/letter of agreement
  • Advance student preparation concerns (drug screen, child abuse clearance, criminal check, etc)
  • Program evaluation
  • Developing a FW manual and other student resources
  • Developing an Orientation
  • Working with AFWC’s
  • Expanding Your Fieldwork Program

Additional Resources:

View example of Site-Specific Learning Objectives from AOTA’s website and other exemplar sites that work with TJU students.

View the TJU Curriculum to better understand the educational path your fieldwork student is taking.

Education Competencies

The AOTA Self Assessment Tool for Fieldwork Educator Competency defines Education Competency (AOTA, 2009) as:

  • facilitating the student’s development of professional skills for entry-level practice.
  • evaluating student performance for achievement of entry-level practice.

Specific competencies include:

  • Learning Theories
  • Teaching to diverse student populations (age groups, culture, disabilities, etc)
  • Understanding Learning and Teaching Styles
  • Skills for Teaching
  • Developing Clinical Reasoning
  • Occupation-Based Fieldwork
  • Evidence-Based Fieldwork

Supervision Competencies

The links below are designed to enhance your supervision skills. Professional behavior is heavily emphasized in our curriculum and students will arrive at your setting having a keen self-awareness and strategies to develop professional behaviors. Tools like the AOTA Fieldwork Experience Assessment Tool (FEAT) are great for opening conversations about the student’s learning experience.

The AOTA Self Assessment Tool for Fieldwork Educator Competency defines Supervision Competency (AOTA, 2009) as monitoring and guiding student achievement of entry-level practice.

Specific Competencies Include:

  • Understand styles and models of supervision
  • Communication and feedback  
  • Progressing supervision throughout the learning cycle
  • Supervision in special situations (at-risk students, advanced students)

Evaluation Competencies

The AOTA Self Assessment Tool for Fieldwork Educator Competency defines Evaluation Competency (AOTA, 2009) as:

  • facilitating the student’s development of professional skills for entry-level practice.
  • evaluating student performance for achievement of entry-level practice.

Specific Competencies Include:

The FWPE is used to provide formative feedback on student performance at midterm and summative feedback at the end of the experience. Case examples using the FWPE for Level II Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistant students provide new supervisors with the opportunity to practice scoring case studies.

Thomas Jefferson University requires site-specific objectives for every Level II Fieldwork experience.  Click here for a PowerPoint presentation that will help you develop your own site-specific objectives. Some excellent examples include:

For those of your starting to develop Site Specific Learning Objectives (SSLOs) from scratch, you may find this checklist valuable. Developed and generously shared with us by NEOTEC, Inc. (the New England Occupational Therapy Education Consortium), the checklist provides a user-friendly structure for developing SSLOs. Simply check the items that apply to your setting, fill in the blanks and customize to the degree desired.

The following are links to forms used with Level I and Level II TJU students.

Level I Students –

  • Student Evaluation of Level I Fieldwork Experience (blue form)
  • Philadelphia Region Fieldwork Consortium Level I Fieldwork Student Evaluation 2nd ed (green form)

Level II Students –

  • Student Evaluation of Level II Fieldwork Experience (SEFWE)
  • Fieldwork Performance Evaluation (FWPE)