COVID-19 Campus Updates and Resources: Hawkeye is now open. Wearing a face covering and practicing physical distancing are required. Read the full update for more information.

Occupational Therapy Assistant


Core Courses

  • Medical Terminology
  • Introduction to Health Professions
  • Human Movement and Occupation
  • Task Analysis
  • Assistive Tech and EM
  • Pediatrics and Occupation
  • Pediatric OTA Skills
  • Pediatric and Adult 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.

Program Details

Award: Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
Required number of credits: 76
Program Start: Fall

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
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

For the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application packet, contact the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Director or Pre-Health Advisor.

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.

Observation Hours

While completing prerequisite coursework, students will need a total of 12 observation hours with a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant at three different clinical sites, four hours per site, and two different settings.


All students must submit their completed Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application packet no later than December 1 to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Director.


After the program receives your Application Packet, the program will send information through your Hawkeye email with available interview dates and times.

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 Coordinator Holly Grimm Email me 319-296-4277 Hawkeye Center 114
Pre-Health Advisor Christen Everett Email me 319-296-2329 ext.1079 Hawkeye Center 208
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 Brenda Bartz Email me 319-296-4010 Health Education and Services Center 222
Dean Dr. Gene Leutzinger, DNP Email me 319-296-4457 Grundy Hall 135
Take a closer look. Learn the fun side of college.
Check out what Hawkeye has to offer you!
Back to top