December 13, 2022

Graduating this semester with her bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy, Mckenna Pannell has already completed one semester of her graduate degree thanks to the opportunities given to her as part of the Occupational Therapy 3+2 program at Shawnee State University.

Mckenna Pannell

SSU’s specialty degree in Occupational Therapy, allows students to receive their bachelor’s degree in just three years before transitioning directly into the master’s program at the university. Within the program, students can complete their courses on an accelerated path, therefore finding themselves prepared to enter the workforce quicker.

“I want to work in a hospital,” Pannell said. “Hopefully in outpatient work. I think it will give me the best opportunity to help others.”

Pannell chose to attend SSU for the 3+2 program, but also to become a member of the SSU Cross Country and Track & Field teams. Balancing these two demanding fields kept her busy during her undergraduate degree, but she was grateful for the opportunity.

“I wanted to run at Shawnee,” she said. “And I saw how amazing their program was. It made the choice easy.”

With her mother a principal in an elementary school system, Pannell has been around occupational therapists working within schools her entire life. Seeing how those therapists can help others regain skills as well as providing the rehab for patients to live independent and productive lives, she knows it is a vital service to the community.

To learn more about Shawnee State University’s Occupational Therapy 3+2 program, visit