More than 40 graduate from Occupational Therapy Assistant program

Aug 4, 2023Gail Crutchfield
OTA Pinning Class of 2023

More than 40 students were recognized Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, for successfully completing the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at Wallace State Community College.

Hanceville, AL — More than 40 students were recognized Tuesday, Aug.  1, 2023, for successfully completing the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at Wallace State Community College.

“I would like to commend you all in your commitment in obtaining your dreams to pursue a degree in occupational therapy,” said Kelly Wilson, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for the WSCC OTA program. “I truly hope it’s a rewarding day for you and your loved ones. I know everyone in this class will do great. You all have huge, caring hearts and I believe each of you came into this profession for the right reason. They are ready to change many people’s lives.”

Program Director Laura Smith compared occupational therapy to nuts and bolts, and how they are integral pieces of a whole.

“Nuts and bolts must be joined together to hold something together,” Smith said. “How accurate does that describe what we do in OT? We join together with our patients using information we have taken from them, such as their goals, their interest, their occupational history, and we join that information with our skills, our knowledge and our ability to analyze the occupation they want to participate in to hold them together and make them stronger.”

Class program award winner Shelby Reavis gave a visual representation of how occupational therapist assistants help patients learn or adapt to perform daily activities. Using a piece of paper that she had her classmates wad up and straighten more than a dozen times, she folded the wrinkled sheet into a swan.

OTA Pinning 2023

Wallace State Community College Occupational Therapy Assistant Class of 2023 Program Award winner Shelby Reavis, right, addresses her classmates as Class President Kaya Butler looks on, during the group’s pinning ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023.

“This paper has faced adversity, just like a lot of our patients are going to,” Reavis said. “And a lot of the adversity that it is facing is because of its condition. It’s crinkled, it’s been passed through all of your hands, having some effect on it.

“This could be anyone facing a challenge,” she continued. “Not everyone knows how to get from here to the next step. Not everyone is set up with the skills to increase their independence, but after our experience we know how to help them. We know how to treat with care. We know how to give constructive encouragement. We know how to listen actively. We know how to offer appropriate assistance. We put in the work, the time, the effort and we’ve shown we’re really good at what we do. We’re ready to go out there and show what we know.”

Class president Kaya Butler encouraged the family and friends in the audience to congratulate their graduates and recognize their hard work and effort.

“I ask that you walk up to your graduate today and tell them how proud you are of them,” Butler said. “They all put in countless hours, and they’ve risked so much just to be where they are today to give back to the community and you.

“I’m so proud of all of you,” she said. “Because of you, someone will learn to live life to the fullest again.”

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is a three-semester associate degree program, with two semesters of core requirements before applying to the program. OTA program applications are accepted March 1 to June 1 for fall entry each year.

Registration for the Fall 2023 semester in underway. Regular and Mini Term I classes begin Aug.18. Flex Start terms begin Aug. 25 and Sept. 1. Mini Term II classes begin Oct. 19. For more information, visit, call the main campus at 256.352.8000 or come by Lion Central in the lobby of the James C. Bailey Center Monday-Wednesday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.


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