The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of the purpose of Level I fieldwork. Academic faculty members, fieldwork supervisors, and students were asked to rank their 10 most valued choices from a list of proposed objectives. Responses were tabulated by frequency, summed, and analyzed.

The results show that objectives from the category of student involvement in the occupational therapy treatment process were ranked most frequently and that objectives associated with understanding the clinical program and facility were ranked the least often. Statistically significant differences between academic and fieldwork educators were identified on two items: (a) “Receive feedback on beginning strengths and weaknesses in professional behavior” and (b) “Opportunity to develop a treatment plan.” Both academic and fieldwork educators differed significantly with students on six items: (a) “Develop an awareness of the patient as a whole person,” (b) “Develop a beginning awareness of patterns of practice in occupational therapy delivery systems.” (c) “Participate in supervisor/supervisee relationship and experience working out communication and personality differences,” (d) “Introduction to evaluation and treatment techniques,” and (e) “Opportunity to develop a treatment plan.” By clarifying the perceptions of the academic faculty, the fieldwork supervisors, and the students, Level I fieldwork will be strengthened and improved.

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