By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When Frank Stevens graduated from high school he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life. He planned to start college with a two-year, associate’s degree.

Now, a year later, Frank found the answer in the Occupational Outlook Handbook compiled by the US Department of Labor, citing an expected 30% growth in the need for Occupational Therapy Assistants through 2018.

The expanding elderly populations and increased numbers of students with disabilities gave impetus to the start of a program at Community College of Philadelphia’s northeast campus beginning next fall to prepare students for this career — that entails helping people of all ages prevent, lessen or overcome disabilities that interfere with their ability to lead independent lives.

Field placements with hands-on training help students to pass the national board certification exam and complete state licensure requirements.

Frank, who’s always liked working with people and giving a helping hand to neighbors, just found his future in health care.

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