Fieldwork & Capstone

What Is Fieldwork?

JWU’s OTD Fieldwork program matches students with a variety of placements both within RI and throughout the nation. Each student is assessed individually and placed based on strengths, interests, and geographical choice.

Fieldwork experiences provide opportunities to apply classroom knowledge about evaluation, direct treatment, advocacy, and research to real-life settings. Engagement in fieldwork experiences encourage students to exemplify the professional values and behaviors of leadership, integrity, and social consciousness that comply with the program’s goals.

Throughout fieldwork, refine skills of observation, evaluation, implementation, communication and leadership while demonstrating the professionalism required of all entry-level doctorate students in the program.

Fieldwork sites are NOT selected with a lottery system and students should expect to be placed in at least one setting of their choice.


Level I/II Fieldwork

Level I Fieldwork
Level I fieldwork experiences provide an introduction to mental health, pediatric, adult and older adult populations. Some fieldwork experiences represent current practice, while others offer a glimpse into designing programs for the future of health care in community and population related work.

Level II Fieldwork
These 12-week experiences allow students to enhance and develop skillsuntil they emerge as an entry-level therapist.

You can be expected to be matched with a setting that both highlights their skills and challenges you to become a better professional and practitioner.

While Level I placements will be local to JWU, Level II placements can be found in and around Rhode Island and New England, but students can be placed nationwide in a variety of emerging and traditional settings.

The flexibility offered through the university’s summer and fall Level II placements will allow for inter- and intraprofessional experiences and placements that support creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Students will find JWU’s fieldwork experiences to be unique, challenging, and creative, all integrated within a supportive environment with expert faculty and small cohort size.


Doctoral Capstone

Capstone and Doctoral Capstone components are integrated into a curriculum that’s focused on interprofessional aspects of occupational therapy that bring the student outside the realm of healthcare and into a community rich with opportunity.

The doctoral capstone provides students opportunity to relate theory to practice and demonstrate synthesis of advanced knowledge in a practice area of student interest through completion of 14 weeks of community-based, full-time, on-site placement, as well as a culminating project.

In preparing for your doctoral capstone, you will complete as series of introductory and competency capstone tasks as well as work closely with your capstone faculty mentor to define a problem that relates to occupational therapy and develop a plan to address it.

While some students may publish the findings of their capstone project, all students will present their capstone projects at a JWU research symposium at the completion of the doctoral capstone.

A doctoral capstone may take place at sites such as outpatient mental health clinics, community gardens, homeless shelters, on campus, and at transportation centers, to name just a few. At JWU, we take a personalized approach in working closely with you to identify and place you at a site that best addresses your area of focus and most effectively serves as a catalyst to address your capstone project.

Doctoral Capstone Project

In this course, students apply advanced knowledge to practice by integrating the doctoral capstone experiential learning and activities into a culminating doctoral capstone project.

This project demonstrates a synthesis of new, advanced knowledge learned in the program, the transformation of students’ views of the world of occupational therapy, and how it fits within the broader world and the expected outcomes of the program, in order to develop advanced skills beyond a generalist level.