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College-of-Health-and-Human-Services

 

Dubuque, Iowa

Representative, American Occupational Therapy Association Assembly of Student Delegates
Member, Student Occupational Therapy Association

Kelsey has found that doing is learning

"You get to really apply the skills that you're learning."

'A sense of what's out there'

For Kelsey Nolan, a second-year student in the Master of Occupational Therapy program, one of the best things about being at St. Ambrose is not being at St. Ambrose.

"One of the things that differentiate St. Ambrose from other schools is the amount of fieldwork opportunities they offer," Kelsey says of the practical learning opportunities built into the curriculums of many of the graduate programs within the SAU College of Health and Human Services. "We get a chance every semester to go somewhere for a week and shadow a therapist and learn about how they work with clients. It's great. It gets you out of the classroom and you get to really apply the skills that you're learning."

This is more than an education. This is an introduction to a new chapter in life.

"Each semester, it's a different setting so by the time you're done with the program, you have a sense of what's out there," she says. "That helps for career planning."

In her own words

Talk about a moment in class where everything clicked.

I have a really clear recollection of sitting in class and just thinking "Wow, I'm finally in the place I'm supposed to be." Because I'm a little bit older, 29, it has taken me a while to decide OT is what I wanted to do, but I was sitting in class and I was like, "This is it. I'm really happy with where I am."

What do you do for fun in the Quad Cities?

I like to get outside as much as possible. I like to use the trails a lot to go running, walking or cycling. I try to get out to the parks, play tennis or just be outdoors. I live near the trails, so it's easy for me to grab my bike and ride 10 miles.

Friends at St. Ambrose?

Because the OT program is small, you're in class with everyone you will graduate with for most of the time. You really get to know your peers well, which not only is nice for the social aspects but those are going to be my professional colleagues in a year and half. So It's really great that I have those people I can go to if I need resources or I'm looking for a job. They are instant contacts, people who you know real well. 

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