Department of Therapist Assistant

Student practises supporting a patient using a mobility aid

Experienced instructors integrate the theory, knowledge and clinical skills required to graduate entry-level Therapist Assistants, as well as develop collaborative relationships that are responsive to the community’s needs. 

Note: first semester of TAD for first-year students will be online. After the holiday break, the department anticipates lectures will be online and labs will be in person with social distancing and PPE.

Program spotlight

Gain the skills required to work as an assistant to Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Recreation Therapists and where you’ll assist in implementing rehabilitation programs for clients to maintain and enhance functional abilities, independence and quality of life. 


Therapist Assistant courses teach students how to set up body movement programs, explain treatment techniques and implement therapeutic leisure activities. 


Siri Marken

Chair - Therapist Assistant
Office: Health Building 124G
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4527

I worked as an Occupational Therapist in a multitude of clinical settings across Canada, and taught at Queen's, University of Toronto, and McGill, before accepting the position as instructor in the Therapist Assistant program at OC. I was living in Montreal at the time and had never been to Kelowna, so it was a leap of blind faith locating here with my children! I have never looked back. I have fallen in love with the Okanagan and all it has to offer in each season, and it has been an absolute privilege to be part of OC as it has evolved and grown.

MEd, Special Populations, McGill
BScOT, Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta

Jennifer Stephenson

Therapist Assistant
Office: Health Building 124C
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4451
Therapist Assistance Program - Jennifer Stephenson

As an Occupational Therapist, I have had the privilege of working with clients and their families across the life span. My clinical background is in paediatrics. Moving to Kelowna with my family, I expanded my career to work with older adults. I became an Instructor in the Therapist Assistant program in 2003. I enjoy engaging with students as they explore their role as soon to be Therapist Assistants. I network with many community partners securing clinical placements and am proud of the reputation the Okanagan College Therapist Assistant program has within the Okanagan Valley and in B.C.

MRSc, Rehabilitation Science, UBC
BSc Occupational Therapy, University of Western Ontario

Debbie Boef

Therapist Assistant
Office: Health Building 124B
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4406
Therapist Assistance Program - Debbie Boef

I have been with Okanagan College since 1990 teaching in the Therapist Assistant Diploma program. I teach the Recreation Therapist Assistant component of the program, coordinate all first year clinical placements and teach a few generic programs.

MA Education, Gonzaga University
BA Recreation, WWU

Darrell Skinner

Therapist Assistant
Office: Health Building 124A
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4464
Therapist Assistance Program - Darrell Skinner

I have a broad clinical background in physiotherapy and teach in the Therapist Assistant Program. In addition to teaching, I am active in clinical practice and applied research projects. My research focus is on tendonitis, prevention strategies of musculoskeletal injury, and evidence based practice. When not working, I enjoy all outdoor activities and can usually be found in the mountains.

MScPT, BScPT, CAFCI, University of Alberta

Google Scholar profile

Dr. Brett Wade

Therapist Assistant
Office: Health Building 124F
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4206

I am a father of six children. I am passionate about meditation, yoga, the geomagnetic field, teaching, and wood-fired pizzas. I enjoy enjoy driving Westfalias, Russian authors, and helping students find passion in learning. I proudly teach in the Therapist Assistant program at Okanagan College.

PhD, Health Sciences, Rutgers


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