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Therapist Assistant program helps mature student get moving on her career
Okanagan College Media Release

Katie Woznow June 2019Katie Woznow always knew she wanted to further her education and apply for her master’s degree in occupational therapy. But when the time came to apply, she didn’t feel quite ready to make that commitment, and instead found a program that could get her into the same working environment much sooner.

“I found the Therapist Assistant Diploma program, and thought it would be a great way to learn more about the role of other disciplines,” explains Woznow. “It also allowed me to work directly with clients and patients much sooner than I would have been able to.”

Okanagan College has been educating physio, occupational and recreation therapist assistants for over 25 years. The Therapist Assistant Diploma program (TAD) was one of the first of its kind in Canada to be nationally accredited.
It originally launched as a one-year certificate in 1990, transforming into a two-year diploma in 2005.

“I really enjoyed the variety of what we learned and the sense of community that the program offered,” says Woznow. “The instructors are amazing, always caring and there to support you when you need it. They have such an abundance of knowledge, and are so willing to share it with us that it made for such a valuable learning experience.”

TAD includes 18 weeks of practical experience in clinical settings, giving students an idea of the vast positions that await them post-graduation.

“Two of my placements were in acute care and it really showed me how fast-paced a hospital environment can be,” says Woznow. “There can be so much variety in the conditions you encounter that each day might be something new. It is also a really great place to practice and gain confidence in your skills because you are surrounded by other professionals that are often willing to help answer any questions you may have and offer different perspectives.”

In April, Woznow was awarded the Bonnie Thiessen Award. This award is determined by the graduating TAD class for a student they feel has consistently demonstrated a positive attitude, perseverance, and has fostered goodwill, respect and support among classmates.

“Katie thrives in environments where she is challenged to use and grow her knowledge and clinical skills, and interact with clients, families and team members,” says TAD Chair Jennifer Stephenson. “Her enthusiasm and commitment to the program could be seen by all of our instructors at OC. She is a wonderful ambassador for the Therapist Assistant program.”

“I really feel I have chosen a career that I can be excited for, and I no longer feel lost or unsure which is such a great feeling,” says Woznow.

Woznow was chosen to address the graduating class at tonight’s convocation. Tonight marks the final graduation ceremony for Okanagan College in 2019. By the end of the evening, the College will have sent out over 2,000 graduates into the world to embark on their next journey.

For more information on the Therapist Assistant Diploma visit