I am a community college graduate
It was a "no brainer" for Hillary Vasher to attend Mid Michigan Community College after she graduated from Harrison High School in 2005. The college was close to her home, had reputable nursing and radiology programs and she had participated in its dual-enrollment arrangements as a high school student. With her associate's degree, she readily found work in the region.
Sometime later when a pre-med friend asked if the work was something she was really passionate about, Hilary hesitated. It was good, but it wasn’t great, and so the first-in-her-family to attend college decided that a four-year degree was the way to go.
I am now a university degree-seeking student
Hilary Vasher is grateful for her community college experience. She learned the value of post-high school education and ultimately, that she wanted more. She knew increasingly more healthcare positions require advanced degrees.
I am studying to be an occupational therapist
Shortly after Hilary had enrolled at SVSU, she saw a flyer on occupational therapy. She liked that it was in the healthcare field and particularly that OT combines science and creativity – two attributes Hilary thinks define who she is and what she loves. She met with Professor of Occupational Therapy, Don Earley who helped her navigate classes and courses. She has now taken her first pre-OT class - “I loved it.”
She is looking forward to officially applying to the program in the winter 2014 and taking classes and labs in the state-of-the-art Health & Human Services building. “I have heard that the technology is outstanding,” she says. Hilary adds that she is also excited about her plans to join Student Occupational Therapy Association, a registered student organization designed to help students network with professionals, meet other OT students and become engaged in various extracurricular activities and programs related to OT.
I am very happy
Hilary appreciates that SVSU is affordable, close to her work and home and a place where she has found so many helpful people. She admits that managing the balance between school and work has been a challenge, but she is 100 percent committed to obtaining her master of science occupational therapy, knowing that the requirements of an academically rigorous program like OT calls for her to be dedicated to hard work and focused on her studies.
“I am very happy,” she say and adds, “busy, but happy.”
The OT program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association. A minimum of a master's degree in OT is required to qualify for the national examination.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase by 26 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. The increasing elderly population will drive growth in the demand for occupational therapy services.
Student Occupational Therapy Association is one of more than 150 registered student organizations on campus.