Occupational Therapy Assistant


Core Courses

  • Medical Terminology
  • Task Analysis
  • Assistive Tech and EM
  • Pediatrics and Occupation
  • Pediatric OTA Skills
  • Pediatric and Adult Psychosocial Conditions and Occupations
  • Adult Psychosocial OTA Skills
  • Adult Physical Conditions and Occupations
  • Elders and Occupation
  • OTA Skills for Elders
  • Physical OTA Skills
  • Professional Practice for OTA
  • Fieldwork courses: Pediatrics, Psychosocial, Physical Dysfunction, and Level II Fieldwork A and B.

You will be required to complete background screenings, including a criminal background check, sex offender registry, child abuse registry, and dependent adult registry before participating in clinicals.

The outcome could possibly affect your opportunities to participate in the clinical setting.

Program Details

Award: Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Required number of credits: 82
Program Start: Summer

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is a two-phase program with a separate application for each phase. Students can complete Phase I at full-time or part-time status. Phase II must be completed at full-time status.

View Suggested Sequence of Study & Course Cost



Occupational therapy assistants work in a wide variety of settings including homes, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, community centers, outpatient facilities, schools, and nursing homes.

Example Careers and Average Wages

Entry Average Experienced
Occupational Therapy Assistants $42,000 $53,700 $59,600

Source: 2016 Iowa Wage Report, Iowa Workforce Development


The following is a partial list of employers who have hired graduates from this program:

Business Location
Millennium Therapy Des Moines and Hudson, IA
UnityPoint Health Waterloo, IA
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Waterloo, IA
Rehab Visions Locations throughout Iowa
HCR-Manor Care Locations throughout Iowa
Reliant Rehab Locations throughout Iowa
Comprehensive Rehab Clinton, Iowa
Mercy Medical Center Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Northern Iowa Therapy Waverly, Iowa

Explore local data on wages, employment, job postings, and more!


Admissions Requirements

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Hawkeye is considered a 1+1 model. Students must complete separate admissions processes for Phase I and Phase II.

Phase I Admissions Process

  1. Apply for admission at Hawkeye
  2. Request to have your official transcripts sent to the Admissions office.
  3. Complete the Basic Skill Competencies Requirements as described below.

Completed applicant files (we have your application, transcripts, and test scores) will be processed as follows:

  • Applicants not meeting the program's basic skill competencies requirements will be sent an admissions inactivation letter.

  • Applicants meeting the program's basic skill competencies requirements will be considered Occupational Therapy Assistant Wait students and will be able to take Phase I courses. Being a "Wait" student does not guarantee Phase II acceptance.

For full acceptance into Phase I of the program, applicants must be a graduate of high school or the High School Completion program.

Hawkeye's Equal Opportunity Statement

Basic Skill Competencies Requirements

In order to be eligible for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, all students must meet minimum score requirements and/or complete required success courses. Success course credits do not apply towards graduation or the AAS degree.

Students must meet the minimum assessment score or have completed the required success course in each math, English, and reading.

Math 19 42 Algebra 40 Elementary Algebra 103 Arithmetic -OR-
97 Elementary Algebra

MAT-063 Elementary Algebra

English 19 65 40 98 Sentence Skills

ENG-061 College Preparatory Writing II

Reading 19 82 38 90

RDG-040 College Preparatory Reading III

Applicants can take the ACT assessment or the ACCUPLACER assessment at Hawkeye. Pre-registration is required.

* Students must earn a grade of "C" or higher in success courses at Hawkeye Community College or comparable courses at another accredited college.

Phase II Program Entrance Requirements

Before applying to Phase II of the program, applicants must complete the following requirements.

  1. Complete one year of the following courses, or one semester of a college-level comparable course, or in the process of completing 15 credits and are currently passing the course with a "C" grade or higher with the exception of biology courses which require grade of a “B -” or higher.

    • Math (algebra or geometry)
    • Biology
    • English
  2. Proof of completion of a total of 24 observation hours with a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant at three different clinical sites (example: outpatient, hospital inpatient, home health, or long-term care), eight hours per site, and two different settings. Pre-Admission Observation Hours form [pdf].

  3. Be enrolled in and in good standing with or have completed at least 15 credits of Phase I coursework with the required GPA and individual course grades.

Phase II Admissions Process

  1. To be considered for Phase II acceptance, applicants must complete and submit the OTA Program Phase II Application packet [pdf] by December 1. Phase II applications will be accepted only from those who are active Hawkeye Community College students.

  2. Phase II program applicants will continue with Phase II of the program as openings are assigned. Students will be notified of their acceptance or non-acceptance via their Hawkeye email.

  3. We accept approximately 20 students into Phase II each summer semester. Applicants will be accepted based on the initial date of their completed Phase II applicant file.

  4. Applications need to be submitted by December 1 to be considered for the upcoming summer, Phase II, of the OTA Program.

  5. On receiving notification of acceptance into Phase II of the OTA Program, the applicant has one week from the letter date to confirm acceptance into the program by contacting either the OTA Program director or the academic fieldwork coordinator.

    Please be advised that the seat of any student who fails to confirm acceptance during the time period will be offered to the next student on the list. In this case, the student will need to begin the application process again.

  6. If necessary, alternates will be contacted, based on the date the Phase II program applicant file was completed, to fill unconfirmed positions in the program.

Contact Us

Admissions Coordinator Jason Streed Email me 319-296-4233 Hawkeye Center 114
Pre-Health Advisor Heidi Hudson Email me 319-296-2329 ext.1079 Hawkeye Center 208
Pre-Health Student Success Specialist Kay Wenzel Email me 319-296-2329 ext.1063 Grundy Hall 245
Student Success Specialist Laurie Plum Email me 319-296-2329 ext.1065 Health Education and Services Center 205
Program Advisor Cindy Koehn Email me 319-296-2329 ext.1195 Health Education and Services Center 228
Administrative Assistant Amy Rieck Email me 319-296-4010 Health Education and Services Center 222
Dean Dr. Gene Leutzinger, DNP Email me 319-296-4457 Grundy Hall 135
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