Therapy programs garnering honors

Therapy programs garnering honors

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College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Publications (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

By Steve Koehler

Three therapy programs at Ozarks Technical Community College have been cited recently for a number of prestigious awards from national and state organizations.

For the first time, the college’s Respiratory Therapy Program was named one of the 10 best programs out of approximately 400 in the country and won the 2009 Excellence in Respiratory Care Education Award from the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

“We are slowly becoming a nationally known program. People are coming from throughout the region,” said Doug Pursley, the respiratory program director.

“All three of the therapy programs are popular. All are full enrollment wise and there are good opportunities in the therapy fields. Placement rates are at 100 percent for all three.”

The directors of the Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physical Therapy Assistant programs also have been honored.

Becky McKnight received the Physical Therapist Assistant Educator of the Year award from the American Physical Therapy Association this year and Becky Jenkins recently was named the Outstanding Occupational Therapy Assistant Educator from the Missouri Occupational Therapy Association.

The physical therapy program has had a three-year average pass rate of 97 percent compared to the national average of 92 percent.

“The faculty and students of the program help to meet one of the program goals of modeling health lifestyles by participating with a variety of fitness activities each week,” McKnight said.

Jenkins said the occupational therapy program has seen tremendous growth in the last few years with enrollment rising from nine students per class in 2006 to 20 students in 2009.

“We provide students with experiences that help them to develop useful clinical skills but also focus on personal and professional development. We have seen an increase in wages and positions, in part, due to the tremendous efforts of our graduates in the workplace,” she said.

 Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College.