Associate's Degree in Occupational Therapy

Tara Simmons

Tara Simmons COTA /L

2011, Associates Degree in Occupational Therapy, Penn State Berks


Pediatric Therapeutic Services (School based pediatric therapy)

Easter Seals (Outpatient pediatric therapy)

Reading Hospital Post-Acute facility (Rehabilitation services, PRN)

?Attending the Penn State Berks OTA Program was the best decision I could have made for my career professionally and for my personal life. I am able to help children and adults for a living! The program prepared me to do things I never thought possible. I have been working as a pediatric and rehabilitation therapist for 2 ½ years, and I would not want to change a thing! My experience in the program allowed me to start my own business focusing on social skills in children and young adults called Building Bridges. Working for myself has allowed me to spend more time with my family and help outside families in the area.?

?I enjoy returning to the campus to assist in labs and speak to future COTA?s about what to expect as they continue their journey at Penn State.  I would recommend this program to anyone seeking to make a difference in the lives of others!?

?I cannot say enough about how supportive and encouraging the professors were during the program. I was able to ask questions and feel comfortable with the material and knowledge I gained before heading to fieldwork. Even after graduation, I feel as though I can speak to my professors and gain guidance and advice throughout my career.?

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] 

Stephanie Schmuck COTA/L

Stephanie Schmuck COTA /L

2009, Associates Degree in Occupational Therapy, Penn State Berks


Wellspan Surgery and Rehab hospital with work in Wellspan Outpatient pediatrics

?The Penn State Berks OTA program prepared me to work in both the adult rehabilitation and pediatric setting in many ways. The small classes allowed for frequent one on one attention. The professors first prepared us educationally, filling us with the appropriate knowledge needed for our field. After preparing us educationally, they then gave us opportunities to apply our knowledge by role-playing case studies with our classmates to further prepare us for ?on the job? situations.?

?My professors frequently encouraged me to use my clinical reasoning skills to do my best to treat, not only the patient's diagnosis, but the patient as a whole.?

?I have been a COTA /L for 3 years now. The professors at Penn State Berks continue to allow me to contact them with questions, ideas, opportunities to mentor current students, and job opportunities.?

Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

Cheryl A. Wambold, COTA/L

Cheryl A. Wambold, COTA/L

2009, Associates Degree in Occupational Therapy, Penn State Berks


Austill?s Rehabilitation Services, Inc., Exton, PA (Pediatrics)
PRN COTA ManorCare, Laureldale, PA (Geriatrics)


Occupational Therapy Assistant Fieldwork Award
Berks Scholar Associates Degree Academic Award

?The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Penn State-Berks prepared me well to work in my current settings of pediatrics and geriatrics. The small class sizes and ability to get to know my classmates and professors one-on-one allowed me to get a more in depth, personalized education making me a well-rounded therapy practitioner."

"The professors and staff at Penn State-Berks make it so easy for the non-traditional student to transition back into the classroom setting.?

Feel free to contact me at: [email protected]

Anne Kienle

Anne Kienle

2006, Associates Degree in Occupational Therapy, Penn State Berks

"The occupational therapy program at Penn State Berks is excellent and helped me to grow as a professional. I currently work for a contract agency, mostly in adult and older adult physical disability settings. After completing the Penn State Associate degree program as a traditional student, I worked as a certified occupational therapy assistant for six years. While working, I attended Misericordia University as a part time non-traditional weekend student to pursue my Masters degree in occupational therapy.

"Recently, I graduated from the program and plan to continue working for my contract agency as an occupational therapist. Starting my career in occupational therapy as an assistant was extremely valuable and helped me to succeed as a graduate student.

"I chose to go back to school to increase my knowledge in the field and to expand my ability to see my patients from start to finish. Going back to school allowed me to gain an understanding on how to complete evaluations, participate in research, and increase my familiarity with interventions used in the clinic"