Document Type (Journals)

Educational Innovations


The purpose of this project was to develop and evaluate student learning outcomes of a role-emerging fieldwork Level II placement in a local homeless shelter. A role-emerging fieldwork placement denotes any placement in which there is not an identified occupational therapy program or no on-site occupational therapy (OT) supervisor. The project ran from January through June 2017 at a local homeless shelter with 1 Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT) student from a local university completing their first Level II fieldwork rotation from January through March, followed by 2 MOT students completing their second rotation from April through June. Fieldwork supervision was provided by an off-site fieldwork educator to meet the minimum Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) standard of 8 hours per week of direct supervision. Student experience was evaluated using the Fieldwork Experience Assessment Tool (FEAT) after the first week of the rotation, at midterm, and during the final week. Students reported decreased stigma towards the population, increased skills in occupational therapy practice, and improved confidence in their clinical decision making. Role-emerging fieldwork placements can provide a productive learning opportunity for selected students to explore the occupational therapy role in non-traditional settings. This paper will describe the creation of the role-emerging fieldwork project, development of student-run occupational therapy programming in a homeless shelter, student feedback regarding progress towards learning objectives, and describe student attitudes towards role-emerging fieldwork placements.


Quinn Tyminski, OTD, MSOT, OTR/L is an occupational therapist at the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to transitioning to academia, she spent 4 years practicing in a nonprofit community-based treatment setting, specializing in homelessness and mental illness.

Declaration of Interest

The author reports no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.