Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

James Therrell, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Patricia Shopland, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Clayton Alford, Ed.D.


In occupational therapy education, fieldwork is essential to preparing students for licensure and practice. Fieldwork is where students are afforded opportunities to assimilate knowledge gained through didactic coursework into newly constructed knowledge developed through practice in authentic clinical environments. The classroom and the field represent diverse and unique teaching and learning environments which students are required to successfully navigate. Facilitating student success these environments requires the efforts of educators and the students themselves. Understanding educator perspectives about student readiness for practice in fieldwork settings can advance organized professional educator development, lead to improved academic curriculums, and more productive communication between academic and field educators. This qualitative case study sought to elucidate perspectives regarding student readiness from the viewpoint of occupational therapy academic and field educators. Data for the study was collected from open-ended survey questions, interviews, and a focus group. Results of the study revealed that educators in both the academic and clinical learning environment value similar characteristics of student readiness for transition to fieldwork. The study also revealed a limited ability in all the educators to clearly articulate the educative processes they employ to improve student readiness. These findings provide evidentiary support that academic programs might use to address their admissions criteria and their curriculums. In addition, the results of this study support the growing need for organized educator preparation and development programs in the profession.

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Education Commons