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.


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. 


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.


Why Student Involvement Matters, and How You Can Contribute by Joining the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA)

Posted by Katie Rachon, Indiana University School of Optometry

Sep 15, 2016 9:54:28 AM

Take a moment to reflect on the accomplishments you plan to achieve as a Doctor of Optometry. Maybe your hopes and dreams mirror those of a family member who is a Doctor of Optometry or maybe they are the result of a relationship you have with a mentor who is in the optometric field. Possibly your goals are simply ones that you have imagined yourself. Now envision that upon graduation, you are not allowed to prescribe the drugs you used to treat patients in your clinical rotations, or that your ability to perform exceptional refractions is undermined due to the popularity of a phone app. How do you give the best health and eye care to your patients? Often our ability to see the past as well as the future is blurred. It seems unfathomable to imagine the profession of Optometry 50 years ago and even harder to envision what it might become. The great strides made in the field of optometry are, in part, thanks to the American Optometric Association (AOA), which has fought for, and continues to fight for optometrists’ rights to provide the highest standard of care for our patients as well as ASCO, which is committed to achieving excellence in optometric education and to helping its member schools, including my own, prepare well-qualified graduates for entrance into the field. 


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?” 


Vision of Hope by Dr. Andrew Buzzelli, Founding Dean of The University of Pikeville, Kentucky College of Optometry

Posted by Dr. Andrew Buzzelli

Aug 10, 2016 2:34:45 PM

A group of very talented professionals opened computers on a warm, sunny mountain morning and began the longest educational journey of their young lives. Well beyond the stage of their student lives they have earned a position as adult learners in the premier health care profession. This will be repeated 21 additional times over the next weeks as our Optometry College Colleagues across the country come on line for a new semester.


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. 


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.


ASCO Celebrates 75 Years - A Look Back by Dr. Arol R. Augsburger - President, Illinois College of Optometry

Posted by Dr. Arol Augsburger

Jun 21, 2016 9:27:57 AM

The first recollection I have of interacting with ASCO Board members goes back to the early 1970’s when I was a young and naïve faculty member of The Ohio State University (OSU). Dr. Frederick Hebbard at that time was Dean of the OSU College of Optometry. He had followed Dr. Glenn Fry who was the Director of the optometry program before it gained independent college status. Dr. Hebbard had arranged for a meeting at the then new Fawcett Center on the OSU campus and had invited ASCO representatives to attend. I remember meeting Dr. Meredith Morgan, Dr. Henry “Hank” Peters, Dr. Bill Baldwin, Dr. Norman Wallis, Dr. Wid Bleything, and Dr. Henry Hofstetter among many other attendees representing the schools and colleges of optometry existing at that time... half the number of institutions we have today. These “guys” could talk, and talk, and talk. They were brilliant but highly opinionated leaders and I felt privileged to meet them.


Educational Research

Posted by Aurora Denial, OD

Jun 7, 2016 9:41:41 PM

Educational research should be at the forefront for all faculty, independent of subject taught, degree or level of education. Educational research can provide information on how our students learn and how we can be more effective teachers. Best practices for teaching methodology, delivery and assessment areAurora Denial, OD key to our success in the academic environment. Outcomes assessment along with the dissemination of information (publication) should be a goal for all faculty. How do faculty and administrators make curricular changes in education? Are decisions based on trying something new, trying to be different, and opinions or are changes driven by well-designed educational research? Evidence-based teaching is not a new concept and should drive the decision making in academia. In some circles, educational research has not been considered as important or necessary as basic research or clinical research. This may be secondary to prestige, incentives and funding sources. There is also the misguided notion that expertise in a subject translates to the ability to teach the material. Educational research can help educators be successful. Additionally, it can have a major impact in the professions of optometry and academia.


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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