"Workforce Education at Green River was VERY instrumental in allowing me to go back to school, and I'm grateful for all the assistance I received and continue to receive." - Genie L, Green River Student

"Make sure you talk to Workforce Education...They can help in many ways to make things go smoothly and make sense." - Chris S, Green River Student

"Workforce Education...will embrace you and lend a helping hand with open hearts." Elsie Q, Green River Student

"Workforce Education has been there for me since day one!" - Jenny S, Green River student

May 21, 2013

Student Success Profile: Chelsie McCalla

Chelsie McCalla, OTA Grad
Today's student success profile features an informative Q and A with Chelsie McCalla. Chelsie is a Workforce Education student who is about to graduate from Green River's Occupational Therapy Assistant program. As Chelsie puts it, "If you love people and are looking for a rewarding career, OTA is where it's at!" Check out her story below.

Hi Chelsie. What's it like being a student in the OTA program at Green River?

Chelsie: I would have to say that it's fun! I know that sounds a little crazy ,but it is actually a really fun program and you learn a ton. It is a progressive program in that it starts off really easy and each quarter the intensity progresses, so by the end you are well trained and ready to practice. At times there were moments when I thought to myself, why am I doing this? But trust me it all pays off and comes together.
Can you tell us the story of how you decided to pursue training as an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Chelsie: Previously before deciding to go into the OTA field I was currently working in retail. My previous jobs were all people-orientated, working in customer service. I knew that I enjoyed working with people. I later experienced jobs still involving customer service, but  was tired of sitting at a desk. I found that that was a little boring to me, so I decided to do some research and look into jobs that involved working with people, but had a little more freedom in moving around throughout the day and not just tied to a desk.My latest job was working at a bank and I was let go, so I was able to draw unemployment. I was told by Workforce Education that I could go to school and get training. I was real hesitant at first to look into schooling because I had no money and I did not want to acquire any debt. I started to do research and I came across physical therapy. Workforce Education said that this was a training program that qualified for funding through their programs. I went to Green River and looked at the program, and at the pre-requisite classes required, and began my school career. I finished all required classes and was just about to formally apply for the PTA program, when I failed one of the prerequisite classes, good old Math! One of the counselors suggested that instead of waiting a whole another year for the opportunity to apply, that I instead apply for the OTA program since all the prerequisites were pretty much the same. So I did and I got in. Sometimes plan B works out better then plan A.
How has Workforce Education helped you towards completing your goals?

Chelsie: Workforce Education has been EXTREMELY helpful from the moment I stepped onto the college. They have had workforce counselors onsite to answer any questions needed, made filling out paper work and faxing documents very easy. They are very flexible and accommodating to my class schedules if I needed to make an appointment. At times an unexpected glitch may have come up and I always could go into their office. I might be feeling STRESSED out, but they would sort out the problem with me so I never felt like I was  left  hanging! Also they are very resourceful of notifying you of resources that you qualify for or changes that effect you. Overall all I can say is that they are very helpful in assisting me to reach my goals.
You're nearing completing of your degree. Congrats! What advice would you have for new students who are thinking about applying for admission to the OTA program?

Chelsie: The advice I would give is, if you love people and  if you are looking for a rewarding career OTA is where it's at. I can truly say that this whole college experiences has been truly fun. Yes, hard work is involved, but it is all worth it. The teachers, counselors, and other staff are all there to help you get through it and they really do. Also, for new students: to be successful, stay on top of your work and try to be organized!
$$$ Tip! All four Workforce Education funding programs—BFET, Opportunity Grant, Worker Retraining, and WorkFirst—support OTA training at Green River.