Weatherford College’s new Occupational Therapy Assistant program has received the stamp of approval from the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., an organization founded in 1923 whose purpose is to review and evaluate such programs in higher education.AOTA educational standards are very high, and College officials are pleased that one of the newer programs has successfully passed all accreditation criteria.“I can’t begin to express my appreciation for the work that Mike McGough and his staff have done,” said WC president Dr. Kevin Eaton. “Gaining accreditation for a new program is a very long and tedious process, with many landmines at every turn. With the assistance of Dean Kathy Boswell, Mr. McGough and his staff were able to navigate all of the obstacles that were placed in front of them and successfully complete the accreditation process.“I am extremely proud of each and every person that was part of this process. “On Dec. 14, the Education Center at Mineral Wells, where OTA classes are held, hosted ceremonies honoring the first graduating class in the program. Graduates and their families celebrated completion of two years of studies and clinical experience.Associate Dean for Instructional Services J.C. Colton at the center also recognized McGough and Boswell, as well as Stephenie Fields and Karen Wells for their staff support of the program during the long process of starting the OTA program. Also integral to the accreditation process were Lori Manning, Laura Rea and Deborah Muron and adjunct faculty Dr. Kalyn Briggs, Michelle Holloway and Diane Andreatta.“And, finally, thank you to Dr. Shirley Chenault for her stellar work in writing the original federal grant that won WC the seed money to start the OTA program,” said Colton. Boswell also was instrumental in developing the grant.For more information about the OTA program at WC, contact McGough at 817-598-8801.