Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

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Social Life in Optometry School: What’s it Like?

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Mar 14, 2017 1:26:59 PM

Compared to undergraduate school, a health professions education such as a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree program involves a heavier course load, more challenging material and a more serious commitment. Students really invest themselves and work hard to eventually experience the
stability, flexibility, desirable income and personal satisfaction of an optometric career. But that doesn’t mean optometry school is all slit lamps and studying. If you’re about to begin your optometric education, you can also expect to have a fun, gratifying and refreshing social life.

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Can You Take a Gap Year Before Optometry School?

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Jan 20, 2017 9:00:05 AM

In 2016, when President Obama’s daughter Malia decided to take a “gap year” between high school and college, it was widely reported and drew a lot of attention to the concept. College graduates, too, can consider taking a gap year before moving on to graduate or professional school, including optometry school. This is something optometry school admissions officials say they’re seeing more often.

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It’s Never Too Early to Start Prepping for a Career as a Health Professional

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Dec 12, 2016 11:05:06 AM

For the times when “I want to be a doctor when I grow up” turns into an actual calling to pursue a career in the health professions, optometry can be a great answer. For those who are eager to begin setting themselves up for success, preparation to become a Doctor of Optometry can begin as early as high school.

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An Optometrist Saved My Vision!

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Nov 4, 2016 10:10:02 AM

A marketing professional who has been collaborating with the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for the past several years recently shared the following story with ASCO staff. She would like everyone to know how invaluable the accessibility, compassion and expertise of an optometrist were to her recently when she experienced a retinal detachment. 

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Have You Considered an Optometry Residency?

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Oct 4, 2016 11:57:45 AM

As graduation from optometry school neared, Valerie Lam OD, FAAO, knew she wanted pediatrics and vision therapy to be her career focus, so she wanted to further sharpen her VT skills and add to the experience she gained in her fourth-year rotations. She and a classmate had discussed the possibility of opening their own practice, so she also wanted to be as equipped as possible for patient care and “come out of school thinking more like a doctor and less like a student,” she says. Also on her mind was having the option of teaching at some point in the future. A residency was the way to address all of these goals. The summer after her graduation from Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University, Dr. Lam completed the college’s 2012-2013 Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy residency.

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15 Tips for Applying to Optometry School

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Aug 31, 2016 4:16:57 PM

Anyone familiar with the optometry school admissions process would say it’s more like a marathon than a sprint. One of the mileposts, by the way, is actually submitting the application to one or more schools through the online Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS), which opened for the 2016-2017 cycle on June 29. But there’s more to the process. Dr. Mark Colip, who is currently Vice President for Student, Alumni & College Development at Illinois College of Optometry, chaired the college’s Admissions Committee for 23 years. During that time, he reviewed more than 25,000 student applications. He recently told Eye on Optometry, “The application process is designed to help you best prepare for matriculation and success in optometry school as well as to prove yourself worthy of the seat.” Dr. Colip recommends that instead of taking a “what do I have to do to get admitted?” approach, students should ask themselves “how do I best prepare myself for success in the application process and at the schools to which I’m applying?” 

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Is Your Son or Daughter Interested in Optometry School?

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Jul 20, 2016 4:17:27 PM

According to admissions officials at several of the schools and colleges of optometry, parents of prospective students often have similar questions about the admissions process and optometry school in general. Their questions tend to center around the costs of tuition and housing, availability of financial aid and the safety of the area where their sons or daughters may be living for four years of their lives. When Hannah E. Barker expressed an interest in becoming a Doctor of Optometry, she and her dad, David J. Barker, an attorney in Carmel, Ind., wanted to explore additional matters such as the schools’ job placement rates and the median salary for a first-year optometry school graduate. Hannah narrowed the list of schools she wanted to apply to, and, her father says, “Two optometry schools immediately came to the forefront with answers and information that convinced not only my daughter but our family that the optometry profession is a leading career that allows a practicing optometrist to not only enjoy a rewarding occupation but provides a foundation for the ability to raise a family, be involved in a community, and give back to our society in general.” Hannah was accepted by the University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry and Indiana University School of Optometry (IUSO). She’ll start classes at IUSO in fall 2016. 

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Recent Optometry School Graduates Talk About What It’s Like to Own Their Own Practices

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Jul 6, 2016 1:32:10 PM

If you’re thinking about becoming an optometrist, chances are you also lean toward the entrepreneurial side of life. Lots of optometrists do. According to a survey by the American Optometric Association, 53% of ODs are practice owners.1 Eye on Optometry caught up with three recent optometry school graduates who started their own practices, and are very glad they did.

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Best Things about Optometry School

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

May 13, 2016 10:40:02 AM

Eye on Optometry recently asked students and graduates to tell us what they consider to be the Best Things about Optometry School. And while the answers convey a lot about optometry school, they say just as much about the students and graduates themselves. For starters, their enthusiasm for all things optometry school — and optometry in general — is obvious. 

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Part II: Where and How Will You Practice Optometry? Four ODs Talk About the Settings They’re Currently In

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

May 2, 2016 9:29:16 AM

One of the many appealing elements of a career in optometry is the variety of settings in which doctors of optometry can work. We asked ODs from several different practice types to answer some questions, including what they find most challenging and most rewarding about their job, to give you a glimpse into the possibilities. Part II of this blog will cover the following settings:  large group private optometry practice, private practice (two owners), corporate optical adjacent and the opththalmic industry.

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About Eye on Optometry

Welcome to Eye on Optometry, a new blog from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)! The main goal of the blog is to provide timely and useful information to anyone who is interested in applying to optometry school. It’s all part of one of ASCO’s many strategic objectives, which is to help the schools and colleges of optometry develop a large, diverse and highly qualified national applicant pool while getting the word out about the attractiveness of a career in the profession.  We will also blog about other optometry-related topics from time to time.

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