SSU Occupational Therapy student looks forward to a diverse career


A freshman from Circleville, Ohio, Kaleigh Spires was drawn to attend Shawnee State University for the two-year Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program.

“This is one of the only places that offered an in-person OTA program and I really wanted to stay on campus,” she said.

First having an interest in pursuing a career in therapy after her father was in a car accident, Spires fell in love with the field of occupational therapy. One of the main aspects of her major she enjoys is the diversity she has in her future career choices.

“You can work in so many different settings and with so many different people,” she said. “They offer traveling occupational therapy too and that’s what I plan to do after I pursue my master’s degree.”

Preparing for her future, Spires has been grateful for the different courses and on-campus jobs that she’s been able to use to improve her skillset. One of her favorite courses she has taken so far is Anatomy & Physiology.

“I never thought I’d say that but learning about the different muscles is really fascinating to me,” she said.

OTAs work under the guidance of occupational therapists. Their services vary from constructing equipment to help people function more independently, carrying out treatment activities for individuals or groups of patients, and working closely with families of patients that are preparing to return home.

SSU’s OTA program also offers a dual enrollment partnership with Southern State Community College in Hillsboro, Ohio where students can take all required classes on site and receive their degree from SSU at the conclusion of the program.

To learn more about the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Shawnee State University, visit

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