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Occupational Therapy Assistant

Program Pathway

Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite Courses Details

Credits 15
Enrollment Full-time, Part-time
Program Start Fall, Spring, Summer
Number of Terms 1
Time to Complete 4 months

Prerequisite Courses

  • Composition I
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Statistics

See the Suggested Sequence of Study for cost and additional course details.

Next step: Complete the program admission requirements then continue to Term 1 of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree

Program Details

Award Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Credits 61
Enrollment Full-time
Program Start Spring
Number of Terms 5
Time to Complete 1½ years
Admissions Application Select Academic Program:
Occupational Therapy Assistant – AAS
See Program Admission

Suggested Sequence of Study and Cost

Program Courses

Term 1 — Spring
  • Introduction to Occupational Therapy
  • Neuroanatomy for the OTA
  • OTA and Pathophysiology
Term 2 — Summer
  • Human Movement and Occupation
  • OTA and Professional Issues I
  • Task Analysis
Term 3 — Fall
  • Adult Psychosocial Conditions and Occupations
  • Adult Psychosocial OTA Skills
  • Level I Fieldwork Pediatrics
  • Level I Fieldwork Psychosocial
  • Management and the OTA
  • OTA and Professional Issues II
  • Pediatric OTA Skills
  • Pediatric Psychosocial Conditions and Occupations
  • Pediatrics and Occupation
Term 4 — Spring
  • Adult Physical Conditions and Occupations
  • Elders and Occupation
  • Level I Fieldwork Physical Dysfunction
  • Level II Fieldwork A
  • OTA Skills for Elders
  • Physical OTA Skills
Term 5 — Summer
  • Level II Fieldwork B
  • Student to Clinician

Occupational Therapy Assistant students are 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 as well as acceptance to take the national board examination.

See the Suggested Sequence of Study for the full list of courses, cost, and additional course details.

You have completed the Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program. Check out the Health continuing education courses to keep up to date in your profession.



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 $44,200 $57,000 $63,300

Source: 2022 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
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
Unity Point — Allen Hospital Waterloo, IA
Western Home Communities Cedar Falls, IA


OTA students wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

Students participating in Pediatric Sensory Lab touching Oobleck (cornstarch and water).

Students participating in Pediatrics Sensory Lab using scooters and ramp.

Students participating in Pediatrics Sensory Lab using scooters and ramp.

Program Admission

In order to be considered for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, students must provide the Admissions office with the appropriate documentation showing completion of all requirements. Appropriate documentation consists of:

  • Official high school or GED/HiSET transcript
  • Official college transcript (if applicable)

It is the student’s responsibility to:

  1. Monitor their progress towards meeting admissions requirements
  2. Notify the Admissions office when requirements have been met
  3. Provide the Admissions office evidence of meeting the requirements
  4. Keep their contact information up to date and to routinely check their Hawkeye email

Step 1: Applying to Hawkeye

  1. Apply for admission at Hawkeye.
  2. Send official transcripts to Admissions.
  3. Demonstrate college readiness.

You can check the status of your application by logging into your Admissions Account.

Hawkeye's Equal Opportunity Statement

Step 2: Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite coursework may be completed at Hawkeye Community College or transferred in from an accredited educational institution, with the exception of HSC-108 Introduction to Health Professions, which must be completed at Hawkeye. See the suggested sequence of study for a list of prerequisite courses.

Learning Contract Process

Students who may be missing a few fall prerequisite courses can initiate the Learning Contract Process to complete fall prerequisite coursework and continue on in the program.

To enroll in the Learning Contract Process:

  1. Students must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  2. Contact the Program Director to request the Learning Contract Process documents.
  3. Complete and return the Learning Contract Process documents to the Program Director no later than one week before the spring semester.
  4. The Program Director, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, and assigned Pre-Program Advisor will meet to discuss the information. Once a decision has been made, the Program Director will email the student informing them of the decision.
  5. If approved, the student will work with their Pre-Program Advisor to register for spring courses. Students must register for 13 credits or less in the first spring semester.
  6. Approved students will meet with the Program Director, either virtually or face-to-face, to finalize the Learning Contract Process.

Step 3: Program Admittance / Admissions Processing Points

  • The Occupational Therapy Assistant program registers 20 students each spring.

  • Applicants who successfully meet all admission criteria will be given an Eligible-Start Date to be Determined application status.

    • The Eligible-Start Date to be Determined status date is according to the student’s prerequisite completion date. If students share the same prerequisite completion date, the registration date for the final prerequisite course will be used.
  • The Admissions Office admits Eligible-Start Date to be Determined candidates ongoing for the next available term. Once seat capacity has been reached the remaining Eligible-Start Date to be Determined candidates will continue to be considered and contacted accordingly, should a seat become available.

Mandatory Seminar

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program will offer mandatory one-hour seminars in the fall semester. Students must participate in one of the mandatory seminars prior to complete the admission process.

Background Screening

Changes are taking place within healthcare facilities nationally. These changes directly affect all health programs at Hawkeye Community College. The Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO), which accredits healthcare facilities across the country, enforced background screening September 2004 and has set requirements mandating that students in a healthcare field must now complete the same background check as hospital employees. As a Health student of Hawkeye Community College, you will be required to complete a criminal background check which includes fingerprinting that searches the following databases of sex offender, child abuse and dependent adult registry, and Medicare/Medicaid Fraud. The outcome could possibly affect your opportunities to participate in the clinical setting and the ability to take the national examination.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Program Contacts

Email Admissions 319-296-4000 Hawkeye Center 114
Academic/College Success Advisor
Lisa Wright Email Lisa Wright 319-296-4014 ext.1068 Hawkeye Center 208G
Program Director / Faculty Advisor
Last Names A – M
Cindy Koehn Email Cindy Koehn 319-296-4305 Grundy Hall 110L
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator / Faculty Advisor
Last Names N – Z
Jordan Tranbarger Email Jordan Tranbarger 319-296-2329 ext.1195 Grundy Hall 110J

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