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May 18, 2016
Piedmont Technical College recently celebrated the graduation of its first class of occupational therapy assistant (OTA) students during a pinning ceremony.
All 11 of the graduating students have been offered positions in the field. The students will be eligible to enter the field upon completion of the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
“This has definitely been a journey,” said Audrey Wilson-Alston, program director. “This has been a wonderful group of women who came in very scared and unsure about the profession, but they have blossomed.”
“This pinning ceremony is the end result of a lot of hard work by both our faculty and our students,” said Dr. Jerry Alewine, dean of health science. “We are delighted to be able to offer these grads to the community that so desperately needs the OTAs in the health care facilities.”
The two-year associate degree program at Piedmont Tech is one of three offered in the state. The program provides opportunities for occupational therapy assistant graduates in the Upstate and the Midlands of South Carolina.
Occupational therapy assistants and aides help patients develop, recover and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. OTAs work with a variety of patients with mental, physical, emotional or developmental impairments. OTAs collaborate with occupational therapists to develop and carry out a treatment plan for each patient.
Amber West from Columbia holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise sports science from USC-Aiken, but she was drawn to the OTA program.
“OTA always stood out to me because it’s holistic, it’s more intimate with the patients and it is working with everything we do from the moment we wake up until the moment we go back to sleep,” she said. “It’s been quite an adventure, but I feel very confident.”
For more information on the occupational therapy assistant program, contact Wilson-Alston at (803) 768-8189 or go to www.ptc.edu/ota.
Photo Caption: Piedmont Technical College recently celebrated the graduation of its first class of occupational therapy assistant students during a pinning ceremony. Participating were, front from left, Alison Baltzigar of Lexington; Erica Bluford of Clinton; Rebekah Doying of Prosperity; Ytoshia Gilchrist of Greenwood; Ytovia Gilchrist of Greenwood; and Angela Huggins of Pauline. Back, Dr. Jerry Alewine, dean of health sciences; Jennifer Coyne, instructor; Tina Rapley of Greenwood; Mikayla Toye of Anderson; Courtney Walker of Trenton; Andrea Wells of Greenwood; Amber West of Columbia; and Audrey Wilson-Alston, program director and instructor.