Document Type (Journals)

Educational Innovations


The purpose of this article is to explain how an occupational therapy (OT) program in a university setting developed a virtual Level II community-based fieldwork program in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. This virtual fieldwork program, guided by the PRECEDE-PROCEED Planning Model (PPM), was designed to help keep students on track with their academic goals while providing them with experiential learning that would increase their confidence in OT program planning and promote their professional development. Outcome measures for this study consisted of a pre-and post-fieldwork survey that asked participants to rank their self-perceived confidence in five distinct areas of community-based OT program development. Some portions of Section III in the Student’s Evaluation of the Fieldwork Experience (SEFWE) form were also used to examine students’ feedback after participating in this virtual fieldwork program. Retrospective data analysis of pre-post survey results showed improvements in students’ perceived confidence with certain aspects of OT program development in community settings. Within the core function of program development, occupation-based approaches to community-based programs can be used to inform, educate, and empower people and populations about important health issues while simultaneously offering students rich opportunities for professional development and identity. Dissemination of this information can be helpful to other OT professionals who are developing alternate fieldwork programs in response to the pandemic and beyond.


Tara Collins, DHS, OTR/L is the Senior Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Community Engagement Coordinator at Touro College Long Island campus. Her research interests are in clinical fieldwork and community-based wellness programs.

Virginia E. Koenig, OTD, MSA, OTR/L is the OT Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Faculty at Touro College, NY. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on OT FW program and course curriculum development initiatives. Her work on health literacy has been recognized by the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research as a Featured Impact Case Study.

Stephanie J. Dapice Wong, DPT, PT, OTR/L, CAPS, Associate Professor, is the Chairperson of two OT programs within Touro College, NY. She is a licensed occupational therapist, physical therapist, and a certified aging in place specialist

Michelle Buccinna, OTD, OTR/L is the Director & an Assistant Professor at Touro College. She has extensive clinical experience in the provision of occupational therapy for pediatrics and adults across the continuum of care, specializing in neurologic and orthopedic conditions. Her research is focused on continuing education, evidence-based practice, and occupation-based practice.

Rena B. Purohit, JD, OTR/L is a full-time faculty member and the Academic Coordinator within the OT Program at Touro College. She teaches courses in pediatrics and is currently conducting a needs assessment for the development of an autism advocacy center.

Shifra K. Leiser, OTD, OTR/L is assistant professor at Touro College's OT Program in NYC. She also serves as Touro's OT Coordinator of Recruitment, Enrollment and Retention. Shifra specializes in neurodevelopmental therapies, is SIPT-certified and is also a certified HANDLE Practitioner and Instructor.

Debra Cullinane, OTD, OTR/L is a full-time faculty member at Touro College’s Long Island Program. She has extensive experience in adult physical disabilities, gerontology, and adult homecare. Her research is focused on providing client-centered occupations for older adults in the community and in assisted living centers.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report 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.