Date of Award



© 2020 Jean A. McCaffery

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

William Boozang

Second Advisor

Debra Welkley

Third Advisor

Katherine Post


Topic, Problem and Purpose: Experiential learning and occupational therapy student preparedness. Occupational therapy education programs must prepare occupational therapy students for practice. Traditional observational Level I Fieldwork presents challenges to achieve student-learning objectives and often places the burden of supervision on practicing therapist. The purpose of this study was to explore occupational therapy students’ perceptions of preparedness for Level II Fieldwork following participation in a skill-based experiential learning opportunity as an alternative to traditional observational Level I Fieldwork.

Research Question and Sub-Questions: What is the graduate occupational therapy student’s perception of preparedness for intensive Level II Fieldwork following a skill-based, experiential learning opportunity? Sub-Question 1: What is the occupational therapy student’s perception of comfort level with skill performance when exposed to a learning experience within a clinical context? Sub-Question 2: What is the occupational therapy student’s perception of comfort level with skill performance when interacting with client-participants within an experiential learning environment?

Participants and Research Design: A retrospective desk review of pre-experience and post-experience surveys completed by 44 second-year graduate students from one Master of Science occupational therapy program. Retrospective formative program evaluation of de-identified program data pre-experience and post-experience student survey responses. In-depth analysis included descriptive statistical analyses of quantitative data, and qualitative analysis through coding of students’ narrative responses.


Ed.D. Dissertation