Only 15 students are accepted into the program each year. The application deadline is April 30; screening and interviews take place in early June. The process is competitive, and applicants are picked based on their grades in anatomy and physiology, overall GPA, an essay and their interview. After formal admission, the program takes three semesters to complete.
Specialized courses include Ocular Anatomy and Physiology, Introduction to Ophthalmic Diseases, Refractometry/Retinoscopy, Ophthalmic Optics and four courses in Ophthalmic Procedures.
Volunteer State places students at sites throughout Middle Tennessee for their clinical experience, which comprises 520 hours over two semesters. The sites include the Vanderbilt Eye Clinic, Eye Centers of Tennessee in Cookeville, Stones River Eye Center in Murfreesboro, Saint Thomas Ophthalmic Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Nashville and the Jackson Eye Clinic. Students can request a specific site but placement it is not guaranteed.
Graduates are eligible to take the national Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) exam, which is considered an intermediate level of certification – not entry level. Certification by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) is required for many jobs; the credential is universally recognized and typically means higher pay and more chances for advancement.
Take a look at Vol State’s Ophthalmic Technology Program
VSCC's program is accredited by JCAHPO. Accreditation is a process that makes sure college programs meet uniform, professional standards.