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Alumni Perspectives & Stories


Chris Hepfer


I graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Penn State Mont Alto in 2009. The faculty members teaching the curriculum were excellent. They taught me not only the basics of the field, but also gave me the professional skills needed to land an Occupational Therapy Assistant job several weeks before I even graduated. I work in the hospital setting helping individuals of all ages regain functional independence following strokes, orthopedic surgeries, or other acute occurrences. I enjoy my work on a daily basis, and am proud to be a Penn State Alumni.

Christopher Hepfer

Jill Elliot


After completing this program and starting a career as an occupational therapist, I was surprised at the affect my education at Penn State Mont Alto had on my attitude and success in the field. The OTA program at Mont Alto was a great learning experience and it thoroughly prepared me for my career in occupational therapy. Penn State Mont Alto was a great choice for my studies because it is a small community that is close to home with wonderful educators that have helped me reach my goal in life, which is to have an opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives. I am so thankful for my experiences at Penn State Mont Alto and encourage all to take part of this amazing program.

Jillian Elliot

Ben Shank


My experience at Mont Alto started out differently then most current and future OTA students. I transferred to Penn State from Hagerstown Community College. It was the best decision that I have ever made. From the very beginning of my OTA classes at Mont Alto, I felt accepted in a program that I knew nothing about, just like the rest of my class. I was one of two males in a class full of females so that was different from what I was used to in a regular classroom. I learned so much from the very beginning and was not afraid to speak out and ask questions when I didn't know something or couldn't find an answer. The best advice I can give is - don't be afraid to ask questions because the instructors know what they are teaching and are willing to help you figure out an answer. The experience at Mont Alto allowed me to explore a wide variety of locations through fieldwork which led me to the career that I have now as a COTA at City Hospital in Martinsburg, WV working in acute care in an inpatient setting as well as outpatient rehabilitation where I work with client's with upper extremity injuries. So don't be afraid of following your dreams and let Penn State Mont Alto be the place where they start.

Ben Shank

Carol Shaffer


As an older student, Penn State Mont Alto was an energy boost, mentally, physically and spiritually. I remember thinking, am I making the right decision~ Going to college this late in my life! The OTA Program at Penn State Mont Alto 1st taught me how to re-engage in a new life before learning how to engage others with disabilities. The faculty were knowledgeable, excellent with direct communication, creative and demonstrated lots of patience. Climbing the hills of Mont Alto is a journey~ one that I will never forget!

Amen, Carol Shaffer COTA/L CLT