Ophthalmic Technician Program

The Associate of Applied Science - Ophthalmic Technician option is a "one-plus-one" program consisting of one year of general education and prerequisites, plus one year of the ophthalmic major courses. Upon completion, graduates are eligible to take the national Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT®) examination.

An Ophthalmic Technician works under the direction of an ophthalmologist (an M.D.) with duties including, but not limited to, medical history-taking, visual acuity testing, refractometry, contact lens fitting, visual field evaluation, eye muscle, and pupil evaluation, assisting in eye surgery, and performing a variety of technology-based diagnostic testing and patient services.

Becoming an ophthalmic technician is a great career choice for those students who love science and have an inquisitive mind. Demand for technicians far outweighs the number of graduates the program is able to supply. Most students are offered jobs weeks to months before graduation. The future outlook for jobs is excellent as our aging population's need for eye care increases.

View photos from the Ophthalmic Technician Program

Students interested in one of the Volunteer State Community Colleges Health Sciences programs must follow the A.S. in Health Sciences curriculum. You must contact an advisor in your preferred area of emphasis to identify appropriate general education and elective courses for admission into your selected program. For more information about specific program deadlines and requirements, please refer to the program's information packet.

Program Updates

  • BIOL2020, Anatomy & Physiology II is no longer required for the program.  Please review the program Information Packet for details.
  • GPA for entrance is 2.5.


The Volunteer State Community College program meets the guidelines for accredited curricula and is accredited by:

International Council of Accreditation for Allied Ophthalmic Education Programs
2025 Woodlane Dr.
St. Paul, MN 55125
(651) 731-7242

Enrollment Requirements

Detailed information on the Ophthalmic Technician Program is available in our information packet (PDF). Completing the application form does not admit a student into the college or register a student for classes. Applications for admission are handled by the Admissions Office.

The deadline for application to the Ophthalmic Technician Program is May 31st for the Fall class. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early. The screening and interview process will take be conducted in June. Interested students may contact Alisha Cornish, O.D., COT., Director, (615) 230 - 3723, alisha.cornish@volstate.edu or contact the John B. Wallace Health Sciences Division at (615) 230 - 3330 for an advising appointment. It is helpful to have requested your official transcripts be sent to the college beforehand for evaluation, or bring an unofficial copy of your transcripts with you to your appointment.