Occupational Therapy Assistant Requirements and Application

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From submitting your application to admission to registration, Northwood Tech is available to help guide you through the admissions process. To help you successfully complete this program, Northwood Tech has developed a set of program requirements and functional ability criteria. For students with a disability, reasonable accommodations are available to help you be successful in the program of your choice. 


Admission Requirements

The first step to get admitted is to fill out a Northwood Tech application, and Northwood Tech will guide you from there. If you're not quite ready to become a student, visit a campus to get the full Northwood Tech experience. A campus tour will give you the opportunity to meet staff, instructors and students, tour the campus and get a real feel for the campus culture. 

Please refer to the 2022-23 Requirements & Application page for FY23 additional program information

Program-Specific Requirements

  • Submit Background Check fee
  • Have an acceptable Wisconsin Caregiver Background Check, National Criminal Background Check, Minnesota Caregiver Background Check (if applicable), and other states, if applicable
  • Pass a physical exam, have current immunizations, and demonstrate negative status for tuberculosis (Tb)
  • Decision to not receive vaccinations may limit ability to obtain clinical placement based upon meeting site placement requirements
  • Possess current certification of "CPR for Healthcare Providers" or equivalent
  • Review and sign Health Sciences Confidentiality Statement
  • Participate in a mandatory program orientation session

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2021-22 Occupational Therapy Assistant Student Handbook

OTA Practice Definitions

Commonly Used Abbreviations

2021-22 OTA Fieldwork Handbook
Spring 2022 Fieldwork Level II dates:  IIA:  January 10-March 4, 2022; IIB:  March 14-May 6, 2022

Fieldwork Update Info

OTA Program Orientation-Fall 2021

Be aware that you need to follow the timelines and procedures listed here in order to participate. 

No forms. No class. No exceptions. 

  • What You Will Need to Do

  • Background Checks
    • The agencies that host the Northwood Tech OTA students for fieldwork courses have significantly increased their demands for background check scrutiny over the past several years. Northwood Tech wants to ensure students understand, prior to the start of the program, that if there are no fieldwork agencies that will accept the student based on the background check history, the student must be excused from the OTA program, regardless of the student's academic standing. This is explained further in the Background Check Disclosure form listed above, under Admission Requirements.
    • All OTA students are required to complete a Wisconsin Caregiver Background Check. Some facilities require a National Criminal Background Check, which must be completed through Verified Credentials, Inc.
    • In addition to that, if you are a student who will complete a clinical rotation in Minnesota, you will also be required to complete a Minnesota Caregiver Background Check. Your Program Instructor/Advisor will inform you if a Minnesota background check is needed. 

      • MN Department of Human Services (DHS) Background Studies

      • The MN Dept. of Health Services NETStudy 2.0 background study requires all persons who provide services to children and vulnerable adults to be fingerprinted and photographed. 
      • Students will be required to provide Northwood Tech a copy of an Acceptable Form of ID for DHS Background studies (scroll down to What documents can be used to verify ID?), the completed MN DHS Data Worksheet and $42. 
      • Northwood Tech staff will verify the information provided and enter it into the MN DHS website. Background Study subjects will receive an email from IDEMIA/IdentoGO that includes an individual specific tracking number called a Universal Enrollment Identification (UE ID). The email will be sent within a few minutes of the background study application being submitted in NETStudy 2.0 by the provider. The email includes instructions for study subjects to use IDEMIA's pre-enrollment system and information on locating a fingerprint location.
      • Students MUST present a form of ID to be fingerprinted and photographed. Students will be required to pay the $9.50 fee at the fingerprint and photo location. Visit MN DHS/IDEMIA Transition for information on fingerprinting and photo locations.
      • Within 14 days of receiving the email from IDEMIA/IdentoGO, students must be fingerprinted and photographed. If not completed within 14 days, the above process and fee payment will need to be repeated. 
      • Background Study Notice of Privacy Practices
  • Health Form and Directions
    • 1. Complete the Health Form and save it.

    • 2. Follow instructions on the form for submission. 

  • To Complete and Give to Instructor
  • Information Only
  • Program Policies

OTA Reentry 

  • OTA Reentry Instructions 

    • In the event an OTA student who is matriculated into core OTA (514-XXX) and/or core science (806-XXX) courses has to temporarily leave the program, the student is considered a “reentry” student. This may occur because the student:

      • 1. Must temporarily take leave from core OTA courses due to personal or other reasons that do not allow the student to continue in the program at the current time. This includes military service.

      • 2. Failed, and is eligible (see OTA Failure/Course Repeat/Dismissal Policy) to repeat either a core OTA or science course that is prerequisite for the following semester.

      • 3. Withdrew from a core OTA or science course that is prerequisite for the following semester

      • If you are at this website, it means the OTA Program Director has determined you are a reentry student.

      • Reentry students have priority reentry status for one year if space is available. For example, if you leave the program during or at the end of the Fall 2021 semester, you will maintain priority reentry until Fall 2022. Should you decide to postpone your reentry to the OTA program during the priority year you will forfeit your priority reentry status and will be eligible for reentry after other students waiting to reenter have had the opportunity to reenter.

    • Please carefully review the Intent to Reenter form sign and return this form within one month of your exiting the program to Becky Mika at becky.mika@NorthwoodTech.edu.  

      • If you return your Intent to Reenter form you will receive an email through your Northwood Tech email account giving you further details regarding course registration for the semester of your reentry. If you do not return your Intent to Reenter form by the deadline it will be assumed that you are no longer interested in enrolling in the Northwood Tech OTA program courses and your name will be removed from the reentry priority list.

      • Please note that while you may not be eligible to continue with core OTA courses at this time due to pre/corequisite requirements, you are still eligible to take general studies or elective courses required for graduation from the OTA program.

      • If you are planning on retaking coursework through another WTCS college, you must still complete and return the Intent to Reenter form. This will ensure you of reentry priority status for the one year time limit.

      • If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Becky Mika, OTA Program Director, at becky.mika@NorthwoodTech.edu or 715.319.7263.

      • Reentry Student Checklist

OTA Withdrawal

  • Instructions for Withdrawal from OTA Core Courses 

    • If you are at this webpage, it means your OTA Academic Advisor has been notified that you dropped your OTA (514-xxx) course(s).

      • If you are withdrawing from your OTA core (10-514-xxx) courses, the OTA program would like to gather data regarding your decision to withdraw.  This data is useful in the OTA planning process.  Thank you for providing this information.

      • Reentry students have priority reentry status for one year.  For example, if you leave the program, during or at the end of the Fall 2021 semester, you will maintain priority reentry until Fall 2022.  Should you decide to postpone your reentry to the OTA program during the priority year, you will forfeit your priority reentry status and will be eligible for reentry after other students waiting to reenter have had the opportunity to reenter.

      • Please carefully review the Withdrawal from the OTA Program form.  You may complete the form electronically and email to becky.mika@NorthwoodTech.edu or print and mail this form within one month of your exiting the program to the following address:

        • Becky Mika

        • Northwood Technical College

        • 2100 Beaser Ave

        • Ashland WI  54807

      • If you are planning on returning to the Northwood Tech OTA program, please review the Reentry process and complete the Intent to Reenter form.

      • If you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Becky Mika, OTA Program Director, at becky.mika@NorthwoodTech.edu or 715.319.7263.

Technology Requirements

If using Macintosh or Linux based computers, coursework must be submitted using your Office365 tools provided with your Northwood Tech email account. It is important to verify with your Program Faculty if non-Windows based computers are acceptable in the program.

View All Technology Requirements


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Tia Dietz

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Jennifer Bednarik

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Jodi Saliny

Admissions Advisor



Superior Admissions Contact

Rachel Lee

Admissions Advisor



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