Not yet fully explored is the perspective of the AFWC in emerging areas of practice in fieldwork experiences.
* Offering emerging areas of practice in fieldwork is, in part, dependent on the curriculum, attitudes, and connections of the AFWC.
Future studies could simultaneously investigate student, AFWC, and emerging areas of practice fieldwork site personnel perceptions in order to further explore collaborative perceptions about fieldwork placement in emerging areas of practice.
AFWCs hold a unique position in the higher education setting, as they are conduits for the transmission of information to the community at large about the OT profession, their academic programs, and the university or college they represent (AOTA, 2004).
AFWCs play an integral part in creating fieldwork experiences that not only enhance academic coursework for students, but also challenge the students to apply foundational skills in innovative ways and to enhance the knowledge of the supervising fieldwork educator.
A cross-sectional survey using a mixed methods design was created to investigate the AFWCs' perspectives regarding fieldwork in emerging areas of practice and to explore the factors of their fieldwork programs.
The participants of this study included AFWCs from fully accredited OT programs (master's or doctoral).
The researcher developed a self-designed survey with Qualtrics[R], an electronic questionnaire survey system, to collect data from the AFWCs of qualifying academic programs.
AFWCs who offer fieldwork experiences in emerging areas of practice were then directed to four additional quantitative item questions and 12 qualitative questions.
A large percentage of the AFWCs who responded belonged to programs that offered master's level programs only (91%), while 11% belonged to doctoral level programs.
The results of the Likert scale questions (see Table 4) explored the AFWCs' perspectives of emerging areas of practice influencing community partnerships, student satisfaction, value to the student, enhancing curriculum, and a better understanding of the role of the occupational therapist.