Anoka Technical College Partnership

Anoka Technical College Partnership

English Rose Suites and b♦home Home Care welcomed their first Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant student from Anoka Technical College in January. The two-year associates degree program requires students to complete a semester of two separate fieldwork rotations at different care settings throughout the metro area. The partnership had been in the works for some time and was finalized this past fall. 

Madison Gutknecht spent her first eight-week fieldwork rotation at English Rose Suites.

Path to Occupational Therapy

Gutknecht attended the University of North Dakota and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Human Services. After graduating, her mind was still on Occupational Therapy and decided to continue her schooling.  

“I returned to school because I wanted to work hands-on with clients and had always had that passion for occupational therapy,” said Gutknecht.

Occupational therapy had always been in the back of Gutknecht’s mind as something she wanted to pursue.

“I had gone with my grandparents to their OT sessions and talked the therapist’s ear off asking questions about it,” said Gutknecht.

She also spent time volunteering in high school and college shadowing and volunteering at hospitals, falling in love with Occupational Therapy.

Gutknecht enjoys the holistic approach that occupational therapy provides to individuals.

“What makes Occupation Therapy unique is that we look at the whole person we are working with, not just the function of one body part. It’s not just about having them perform exercises,” said Gutknecht.

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The Anoka Technical College COTA program randomly assigns their students to their fieldwork rotations. Gutknecht feels like she lucked out with English Rose Suites.

“We don’t get to choose where we complete our fieldwork rotations, but I am very happy I was able to come to English Rose Suites and learn about this company,” said Gutknecht.

Her first impression of English Rose Suites was how much it truly felt like a home.

“I liked that the homes truly felt like the Resident’s home. I think that is a major benefit of having your loved one here because they feel at home and they are not as isolated as other environments,” said Gutknecht.

During her time at English Rose Suites, she helped assist and support the activity program as well as helped out wherever needed. She was also able to plan her own activities to lead with residents, attend and assisted during outings and gained valuable experience regarding how our activity program functions.  

Each day was different, no two ever the same. Gutknecht’s days often consisted of providing support to the home health aides in the morning helping residents get ready for the day. She helped with Beauty and Barbershop or helping out during breakfast. She also assisted Alex Olson, Activity Coordinator, with outings in the morning. In the afternoons, Gutknecht would then lead activities on her own with the Residents.


What surprised her most about English Rose Suites was how apparent it was that the Residents truly enjoy being together. She said she learned so much from this experience, but what will stick with her forever is the importance of socialization.

“It amazed me how much you could make a Resident’s day just by sitting down and talking with them one-on-one. They would just light up and thank you for taking the time to sit with them. I never thought social interaction is such an important part of being a human until now. I learned that making a difference and leaving an imprint on someone else’s life makes a different you,” said Gutknecht.

As the first student from Anoka Technical College to complete their fieldwork here at English Rose Suites and b♦home Home Care, we couldn’t have asked for someone better.  

“It was wonderful having Madison with us at English Rose Suites. She is so kind and caring. She always had a warm smile to share and really built a relationship with the Residents,” said Katie Rinehimer, Quality of Life Director.

English Rose Suites and b♦home Home Care looks forward to making an impact on many more students in the future.