Progression in the Program
In order to progress through the program, students must earn a grade of “C” or better in each required course and remain in good academic standing. A graduate student is in good academic standing when his or her cumulative GPA is 3.0 or above. Occupational therapy students are placed on academic probation for one term if their GPA falls below 3.0. Students on probation must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 the following term, to continue in the program. A student who receives a grade below “C” in any class, or more than two “Cs” in required courses, is dismissed from the program. He or she may petition the Program Director to return and repeat a failed course the following year, which would delay graduation.
Level I and Level II Fieldwork are integral to the program’s curriculum, and successful completion of fieldwork courses is a requirement for graduation. Level I Fieldwork is part-time introductory experience with clients that accompanies and enriches the coursework on campus. M.O.T. students also complete two terms of Level II Fieldwork (a total of 24 weeks full-time or the equivalent) at the end of the program. Level II fieldwork placements are typically in hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and public schools. Students are placed in facilities throughout Virginia and neighboring states, and are responsible for providing their own transportation and housing. Level II Fieldwork provides in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to children, adults and elders, under the supervision of a credentialed occupational therapist.
Fieldwork assignments are arranged by the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for the Department of Occupational Therapy, in collaboration with the student. Health and safety requirements, including a physical examination, proof of health insurance, drug screening and a criminal background check, must be met before a student may begin a practicum or fieldwork assignment with clients. Students should be aware that fieldwork facilities may deny a student’s participation in the clinical experience because of falsification of any documentation, a felony or misdemeanor conviction, failure of a required drug test, or inability to produce an appropriate health clearance, which would result in delayed graduation or the inability to graduate from the program.
Occupational therapy fieldwork is a learning experience, and not a paid internship. No letter grades are issued for Level II Fieldwork, because performance is evaluated using standardized criteria on a Pass/Fail basis. All Level II Fieldwork must be successfully completed within 24 months after required coursework has been completed.
Additional Information about Policies and Resources for Students
Please refer to the other sections of this catalog and to the Occupational Therapy Student Handbook, to learn about the university’s support services for students, and policies related to advising, tuition and fees, withdrawal and refunds, grievances and complaints, and student conduct.