Chattahoochee Tech students in the college’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program participated in fieldwork this semester to help high school students with disabilities.
Fieldwork was conducted onsite at the Cherokee County School District Transition Academy, where high school students are learning vocational skills to help them make a smooth transition into the community. Chattahoochee Tech OTA students also worked with these high school students in the college’s OTA lab space for a vocational skills project.
“I am very excited that we have this opportunity for a reciprocal partnership and I’m hopeful that it will grow in the future,” said Chattahoochee Tech OTA Program Director Amy Shaffer.
Two of the Chattahoochee Tech OTA students participating in this fieldwork initiative included Vicky Tran and Jake Dillon. “The most rewarding part of working with these students is seeing them take the skills that they learn and apply it to their daily lives,” said Tran. “Those skills allow them to go out in the community and work and live their lives as independently as possible.”
Tran enrolled at Chattahoochee Tech for the OTA program after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University at Montgomery. “I chose this program because a year ago, on May 1, 2021, I was involved in a car accident that left me with a leg amputation and it changed my life completely,” said Tran. “During my recovery, I was able to work with occupational therapists and it really inspired me to go this route so that I can help others like they helped me.”
After graduating from Milton High School, Dillon enrolled immediately at Chattahoochee Tech for the college’s OTA program. “I chose to major in OTA because I have witnessed my grandfather aging and losing the ability to do simple tasks for himself, and I see how frustrated he gets,” said Dillon. “It’s my goal to be able to assist people to get the ability to do those simple tasks again.”
The OTA program at Chattahoochee Tech is a highly competitive program which can be completed in five semesters. Students gain skills in providing rehabilitative services to people of all ages. As occupational therapy assistants, they will work under the direction of occupational therapists.
Shown above, l-r, are Chattahoochee Tech OTA Program Director Amy Shaffer with students Vicky Tran and Jake Dillon.