Career Learning – Jennifer Catney

Catney in the OCC Learning Center where she served as a tutor.
Jennifer Catney in the OCC Learning Center where she served as a tutor.

Jennifer Catney was changing careers when she came to OCC and the College wound up being the perfect fit for her. “It’s a wonderful place to prepare you for the next step in your journey,” Catney said.

Catney had a non-traditional path to her career of choice. The Jamesville native earned a bachelor’s degree, worked as an actress with a traveling theatre troupe, returned to school to become a teacher then spent more than 15 years working as a teacher and consultant at SUNY Upstate Medical University. “I enjoyed teaching and consulting very much but the job became too focused on computers to be a good fit for me. I knew it was time to reevaluate what I wanted to do.”

Catney decided to pursue a career in occupational therapy. Her goal was to enter Le Moyne College’s program but she would need to take prerequisite courses before being accepted. That’s when she turned to OCC. “It was a great outlet for me but not only because of cost and location. I soon found the courses I took there would more than prepare me for the occupational therapy program.”

Catney and Dr. Wells
Catney and Dr. Wells

Catney credits OCC Professor Dr. Barbara Wells with having a significant impact on her success. Catney found Wells to be both extremely knowledgeable and a tremendous teacher. Their connection was so strong Catney became a tutor for Wells’ Anatomy and Physiology Class at the Learning Center, OCC’s tutoring facility in the Gordon Student Center. Catney and Wells eventually collaborated on a successful grant proposal which allowed them to develop learning cartoon videos to support coursework within the program.

“The courses I took at OCC were second to none. If you put the work in, get to know the professors and show you care they will do everything they can to help you succeed.”

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