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 fieldwork.

The outcome could possibly affect your opportunities to participate in the fieldwork 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 $43,900 $57,400 $64,200

Source: 2018 Iowa Wage Report, Iowa Workforce Development


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

Business Location
Blue Stone Therapy Locations throughout Iowa
HCR-Manor Care Locations throughout Iowa
Mercy Medical Center Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Millennium Therapy Locations throughout Iowa
Northern Iowa Therapy Locations throughout Iowa
Rehab Visions Locations throughout Iowa
Reliant Rehab Locations throughout Iowa
Unified Therapy Dubuque, Iowa

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


Occupational Therapy Assistant students guide classmates wearing glasses that simulate various vision deficits as they follow a recipe to make Apple Crisp dessert.

Students are educated on splint material, how to make adjustments to the splint, and educating the patient. Students use different types of thermoplastic to construct the splints.

Students are constructing wrist cock up splints. Splints allow proper position and function, protection of structures, decrease risk of further injury, and proper positioning to allow the selected structures to rest. 

Admissions Requirements

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Hawkeye is considered a 1+1 model. A 1+1 model allows students to focus on and complete the required pre-requisite coursework and then proceed to the OTA professional coursework. Students must complete an admissions process to the college and to the program.

Step 1: Applying to Hawkeye

  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.

Hawkeye Community College does not accept experiential learning credit in the OTA Program.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program follows all Hawkeye Community College’s policies regarding advanced placement of pre-requisite courses.

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 prerequisite coursework. Being a "Wait" student does not guarantee acceptance into the OTA professional coursework.

For full acceptance into prerequisite coursework 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.

Step 2: Applying to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Coursework

To be eligible for the summer admission to the OTA professional coursework, the student must meet the following requirements by December 1:

  1. Be a current student at Hawkeye Community College and either be registered for, currently completing, or have completed the required prerequisite OTA coursework.

  2. Interview with Program Director or Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. During the interview, the student will receive a hard copy of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Admission packet. It is recommended that your interview take place prior to the December 1 deadline.

  3. Submit all application materials, including observation hours, found in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Admission packet to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program.

  4. Attend one of mandatory OTA Program Seminar Meetings. Students will need to bring their student ID to sign in at the meeting. Please arrive five minutes before the seminar begins.

OTA Program Acceptance

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program begins each summer term. Approximately 20 students are accepted for the summer cohort. Acceptance is based on the date the applicant file was completed.

The program director will notify students via their Hawkeye email of their acceptance status. Email notifications will be sent by February 1.

Upon receiving notification of acceptance into the OTA professional coursework, the applicant has one week from the letter date to confirm acceptance into the program by contacting the OTA Program Director. Failure to confirm acceptance will result in the loss of the seat in the program.

If necessary, alternates will be contacted to fill unconfirmed seats in the program.

Any student who fails to confirm acceptance, but wishes to continue in the program, will need to complete a new Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application Student Information form (page 4 of the application packet) and update their resume. Both updated forms must be turned into the OTA Program Director by December 1 to be considered for the next cohort.

All communication will take place via the Hawkeye Community College email.

Contact Us

Admissions Coordinator Holly Grimm-See Email me 319-296-4277 Hawkeye Center 114
Pre-Health Advisor Christen Everett 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 319-296-4305 Health Education and Services Center 228
Program Advisor Jordan Tranbarger Email me 319-296-2329 ext.1195 Health Education and Services Center 228
Administrative Assistant Linda Butler Email me 319-296-4013 Grundy Hall 135
Dean Dr. Gene Leutzinger, DNP Email me 319-296-4457 Grundy Hall 135
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