Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

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A Short Conversation with Dr. David Damari, ASCO President

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Jul 6, 2017 2:50:47 PM

Each July, ASCO swears in a new President to serve for the year. This year’s President, Dr. David Damari, sat down with ASCO’s Intern, Amanda Howarth, and Director of Communications, Kimberly O’Sullivan to talk about the next twelve months.

Dr. David A. Damari is the Dean at Ferris State University Michigan College of Optometry. Prior to his appointment as Dean, he was a professor at Southern College of Optometry (SCO) and the Chair of the Department of Assessment, responsible for institutional review, measures of academic outcomes, and regional and professional accreditation. He is a Fellow and past president of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.

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Four Schaeffers Come to One Conclusion: Optometry is a Great Career

Posted by Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

May 30, 2017 11:20:59 AM

Dr. Jack L. Schaeffer, OD, FAAO, has such a remarkable passion for optometry as a career that his enthusiasm has proven to be contagious. The success of the 18-location (and still growing!) full-scope eye care practice he founded in Alabama is built upon his love for the profession, an unwavering commitment to his patients, and the core values of "science, style and service." All along the way, Dr. Schaeffer has lectured, written articles, participated in clinical trials, and shared his insights as a member of industry advisory boards. He has inspired many others to become optometrists, and all three of his children ultimately decided to attend optometry school. Dr. Brooke Schaeffer Kaplan, a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, and Dr. Mark Schaeffer, a Southern College of Optometry graduate, are both working in this practice, and David Schaeffer is currently at Illinois College of Optometry and will join it upon completion of a residency. 

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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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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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