Occupational Therapy Assistant


Core Courses

  • Medical Terminology
  • Introduction to Health Professions
  • Introduction to Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Neuroanatomy for the OTA
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology with Lab I and II
  • Human Movement and Occupation
  • Task Analysis
  • Assistive Tech and EM
  • Pediatrics and Occupation
  • Pediatric OTA Skills
  • Pediatric Psychosocial Conditions and Occupations
  • Adult Psychosocial OTA Skills
  • Professional Practice for OTA
  • Adult Physical Conditions and Occupations
  • Physical OTA Skills
  • Elders and Occupation
  • OTA Skills for Elders
  • 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 as well as acceptance to take the national board examination.

Program Details

Award: Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Required number of credits: 75
Program Start: Spring

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is a two-phase program with a separate application for each phase. Students can complete pre-program prerequisites at full-time or part-time status. OTA professional courses must be completed at full-time status.

View Suggested Sequence of Study & Course Cost

Program Cost Estimate



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 $43,800 $55,100 $60,700

Source: 2020 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
Unified Therapy Dubuque, Iowa


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

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:

  • Updated assessment scores. -AND/OR-
  • A transcript or academic evaluation showing successful completion of course requirements (i.e. developmental coursework).

It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • Monitor their progress towards meeting admissions requirements,
  • Notify the Admissions office when requirements have been met, and
  • Provide the Admissions office evidence of meeting the requirements.

Step 1: Applying to Hawkeye

  1. Apply for admission at Hawkeye.

  2. Request to have your official transcripts sent to the Admissions office.

Step 2: Required Assessment / Success Courses

Students must meet minimum score requirements and/or successfully complete the required college success courses in English, reading, and math with a "C" grade or higher at Hawkeye Community College or comparable courses at another accredited college. For appropriate college success course placement, work with your program advisor.

Next Generation
Success Course *
19 Math 42 Algebra 85 Elementary Algebra 259 QAS

MAT-063 Elementary Algebra

19 English 65 English 82 Sentence Skills -OR-
06 Essay
253 Writing

ENG-061 College Preparatory Writing II

19 Reading 82 Reading 76 Reading 251 Reading

RDG-040 College Preparatory Reading III

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

* Success course credits do not apply towards graduation requirements.

Step 3: Pre-Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

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 2.75 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.

Observation Hours and Program Application

Students interested in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program must complete the Observation Hours Assignment and complete the OTA Program Application by November 1 to be considered for the upcoming cohort.

Step 4: Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Acceptance

Applicants who have completed all admissions requirements in steps 1–3 will be offered acceptance based on the date their applicant file was completed. If many students share the same date for completing their applicant file, the second criteria used will be the GPA from the prerequisite courses.

Students will be notified via their Hawkeye email of their acceptance status. Failure to confirm acceptance will result in the loss of the seat in the program.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program professional coursework begins each summer semester and has a limited number of seats available.

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, sex offender, child abuse and dependent adult registry. The outcome could possibly affect your opportunities to participate in the clinical setting.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Contact Us

Admissions Email Admissions 319-296-4000 Hawkeye Center 114
Academic/College Success Advisor J. Heim Email J. Heim
Schedule an appointment with J. Heim
319-296-4014 Student Services
Hawkeye Center 208
Program Director/Faculty Cindy Koehn Email Cindy Koehn 319-296-4305 Health Education and Services Center 228
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator/Faculty Jordan Tranbarger Email Jordan Tranbarger 319-296-2329 ext.1195 Health Education and Services Center 228
Administrative Assistant Brenda Bartz Email Brenda Bartz 319-296-4010 Health Education and Services Center 222
Dean Dr. Gene Leutzinger, DNP Email Gene Leutzinger 319-296-4457 Grundy Hall 135

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