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Optometric Education

The Journal of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Feature Archives

We’ve Had Our Challenges, and Creative Solutions, During the Pandemic

While I was visiting my 5-year-old granddaughter recently, she proclaimed “I am mad at the coronavirus!” I couldn’t help but feel the same. Our lives had changed on a dime in response to the virus. Our visit was in her backyard. We were six feet away, and I was unable to hug her or play. […]
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Call for Papers for Theme Edition:
Diversity and Cultural Competence in Optometry

The population continues to become more diverse, and optometry must be able to meet the cultural, ethnic, racial, gender and linguistic needs of patients. Optometric Education is inviting authors to submit scholarly papers addressing related themes such as diversity, cultural competency, gender issues and cultural awareness. The deadline to submit papers for this theme edition […]
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The Idea of Teaching as a Way to “Give Back”

As an interviewer of prospective students and prospective faculty members, I hear many mentions of “giving back” with regard to an optometric teaching career. Prospective students often cite giving back as the reason they want to eventually teach after a clinical practice career. Prospective faculty, particularly individuals transitioning from private practice or industry, often speak […]
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SCCOMBKU Graduate is Winner
of 2020 Student Award in Clinical Ethics

ASCO and its Ethics Educators Special Interest Group are pleased to announce Ryan Yuan, OD, as the winner of the 2020 Student Award in Clinical Ethics. Dr. Yuan graduated this year from Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University. His winning essay, “Ethics of Ocular Pain Management,” appears below. The Student Award […]
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Call for Papers for Theme Edition:
Diversity and Cultural Competence in Optometry

The population continues to become more diverse, and optometry must be able to meet the cultural, ethnic, racial, gender and linguistic needs of patients. Optometric Education is inviting authors to submit scholarly papers addressing related themes such as diversity, cultural competency, gender issues and cultural awareness. The deadline to submit papers for this theme edition […]
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Students Increasingly Affected by Anxiety, Depression

Anxiety and depression are apparently on the rise among students at various education levels. The Pew Research Center reported in 2019 that 70% of teens say anxiety and depression are major concerns among their peers.1 According to the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment II, in 2016 nearly two-thirds of college students reported […]
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Two Join ASCO Journal as Associate Editors

Jamie Althoff, OD, and Keshia S. Elder, OD, MS, FAAO, have been selected as Associate Editors for ASCO’s journal, Optometric Education. Dr. Althoff, a 2007 graduate of the Ferris State University Michigan College of Optometry, is currently an Assistant Professor at the Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry where she also serves as the Director […]
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ASCO’s Public Awareness Campaign “Optometry Gives Me Life” Surpasses Benchmarks

In the eight months since its March 2019 launch, ASCO’s public awareness campaign ― Optometry Gives Me Life ― has gained impressive momentum. The online, e-mail and social media ads associated with the campaign have been viewed nearly 35 million times.1 According to the media and communications agency partnered with ASCO on the initiative, the […]
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The Use of Social Media to Enhance Academic Careers

In June 2019, I had the opportunity to attend a conference, “Writing, Publishing, and Social Media for Healthcare Professionals,” sponsored by Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Psychological Association. The conference was interesting and educational. The most enlightening aspect was information presented on the use of social media to enhance health professionals’ careers. I like […]
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Optometric Education Beyond Borders

The state of Sinaloa in Northwestern Mexico, not very far from the Arizona border, is home to one of the oldest and largest universities in Mexico, the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS). UAS has existed for 146 years in an area of great beauty created by rivers, beaches, mountains and forests that is also challenged […]
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Winning Clinical Ethics Essay
Addresses Familiar Tough Topic

ASCO and its Ethics Educators Special Interest Group are pleased to announce Negar Sohbati as the winner of the 2019 Student Award in Clinical Ethics. Negar is a member of the Illinois College of Optometry’s Class of 2020. Her winning essay, “Optometrist as Mandatory Reporter: What is Our Obligation to Keep the Roads Safe for […]
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Personal Financial Planning in the Optometric Curriculum

Ample evidence affirms that student indebtedness is a major challenge facing graduates of health professions schools.1 The cost of education has increased for nearly all health professions programs while reimbursement for providing care has decreased. Data from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)2 show optometry school graduates with loans owed $174,165 on […]
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Reaching Out to Generation Z:
ASCO Launches Optometry Gives Me Life Campaign

In any academic environment, it is important to attract high-quality applicants. Success in this area depends on the public’s awareness of the profession and the ability to connect to future potential applicants. For optometry schools, the next applicants are the college-age members of Generation Z. To connect with them, ASCO recently embarked on an ambitious […]
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A Look Back: Celebrating Women in Optometry

March is National Women’s History Month.1 This observance began as National Women’s History Week in California in the 1970s as a way to increase awareness of women’s historical contributions to the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter formalized National Women’s History Week, relaying this message to the country: “From the first settlers who came to […]
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Call for Submissions: 3rd World Congress of Optometry

  The World Council of Optometry (WCO) invites educators, optometrists, researchers, public health experts and students to participate in the 3rd World Congress of Optometry by submitting abstracts for continuing education lectures, workshops and the scientific program. The Congress will be held in partnership with the American Academy of Optometry, Oct. 23-27, 2019, in Orlando, […]
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Statistical Literacy Isn’t Just for Researchers

Statistical literacy is the ability to interpret data and use it to understand the world, make comparisons and, ultimately, make decisions. It is becoming a necessity for people to possess at least some level of statistical literacy because they are inundated with statistics in everyday life — on the news, in political polling and in […]
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Recipients of the 2018 ASCO Educational Starter Grants

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), along with The Vision Care Institute, LLC, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc., awarded two Educational Starter Grants this year. The recipients and their research projects are: Shankaran Ramaswamy, PhD, MCPHS University — “Relationship Between Grit and Academic Performance in Optometry Students” Joshua […]
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Optometric Education Journal Seeking Associate Editor

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry invites applications for the position of Associate Editor of its peer-reviewed journal Optometric Education. Responsibilities The Associate Editor is responsible for collaborating with the Editor on the content of the journal, including sharing the writing of three editorials per year. The Associate Editor consults with the Editor […]
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Thank You!

ASCO extends its sincere thanks to the following sponsors of the Ophthalmic Optics Educators Special Interest Group and the Low Vision Educators Special Interest Group!   OPHTHALMIC OPTICS EDUCATORS SIG   Michelle J. Hoff, OD, ABOAC, FNAO, Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California – Berkeley School of Optometry, is an individual contributor to […]
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@ Our Wit’s End with Unprofessional Student E-mails

Traditionally, out-of-class communication between students and faculty involved meetings during office hours or informal meetings. These meetings have been shown to contribute to a positive student outcome.1-3 Today, e-mail communication between students and faculty is common at all levels of education. It provides students with a convenient and efficient method of interacting with faculty outside […]
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When Early Intervention Fails to Improve Outcomes
in Neovascular AMD

In the Summer 2017 (Volume 42, Number 3) issue of Optometric Education, we presented a teaching case report titled “Normotensive Glaucoma Follow-Up with Incidental Finding of Choroidal Neovascular Membrane.” The case highlighted the need for student clinicians to be flexible and modify their exam plan when novel clinical findings emerge. The patient had presented for […]
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It’s Time to Apply for a 2018 Educational Starter Grant

ASCO and The Vision Care Institute, LLC, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., are pleased to announce the opening of the application period for the 2018 Educational Starter Grants. The grants, which have been available for the past several years, are dedicated to supporting educational research. They are a great opportunity for […]
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Keeping Disruptive Technologies in Perspective

In 1997, in his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” Prof. Clayton Christensen from Harvard Business School introduced the term “disruptive technology.”1 In the book, Christensen distinguishes sustaining technology from disruptive technology. He characterizes sustaining technologies as those that introduce small changes that improve the performance of an existing technology. He describes disruptive technologies as those that […]
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Diversity, Inclusion, Cultural and Linguistic Competence:
Do We Have a Strategy?

Over the past 20 years, health professions schools have considered and wrestled with the importance of diversity and the teaching of cultural and linguistic competence. As the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse, more health agencies are seeking to have a workforce that reflects the general population in terms of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background.1 The […]
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Achievement of Cultural Competency
is an Ongoing Process

This edition of the journal focuses on cultural and linguistic competency and diversity. Healthcare educators have long recognized the importance of this topic. Understanding cultural competency concepts along with demographics and racial/ethnic diversity in the United States can be helpful to educators in preparing students for current and future optometric practice. Betancourt has defined cultural […]
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Humanitarian Missions as an Adjunct to Education

It has been argued that participation in humanitarian missions is beneficial for students. Such missions may provide distinct clinical encounters as well as other educational opportunities such as experiencing global health systems, diverse cultures and medical logistical planning. For example, international humanitarian missions have been demonstrated to be useful in otolaryngology residency training, providing surgical […]
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The Path to Cultural Competence
in Optometric Education and Practice:
a Timeline to Multicultural Clinical Excellence

The following report is one of two reports in this edition of the journal that highlight what ASCO has achieved over the past 12 years in the areas of cultural competence and diversity. (Click here to read the other report, “Diversity in our Colleges and Schools of Optometry.”) The cornerstones of the Association’s efforts have been […]
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Diversity in our Colleges and Schools of Optometry

The following report is one of two reports in this edition of the journal that highlight what ASCO has achieved over the past 12 years in the areas of cultural competence and diversity. (Click here to read the other report, “The Path to Cultural Competence in Optometric Education and Practice: a Timeline to Multicultural Clinical Excellence.”) […]
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ASCO Announces Winner
of 2017 Educational Starter Grant

Nicole M. Putnam, PhD, is the recipient of a 2017 Educational Starter Grant, which is provided by ASCO along with The Vision Care Institute, LLC, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. The grant will support Dr. Putnam’s education research project “An Inquiry-Based Approach to Teaching Sphero-Cylindrical Ametropia.” Dr. Putnam is an Assistant Professor […]
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Adventures in Minority Recruiting:
A Closer Look at Recruiting Minorities
at Southern College of Optometry

The number of under-represented minorities (URMs) in the profession of optometry is not congruent with the percentage of minority patients optometrists examine in practice.1 Awareness of this mismatch is an important starting point in reducing the gap in health disparities. Minorities report higher rates of patient satisfaction when they receive patient-centered care from racially akin […]
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Journal Bestows 2017 Writing Excellence Award

Gregory M. Fecho, OD, Jamie Althoff, OD, and Patrick Hardigan, PhD, all faculty members at NOVA Southeastern University, received the 2017 Dr. Lester Janoff Award for Writing Excellence for their research paper “Assessing Student Performance in Geometrical Optics Using Two Different Assessment Tools: Tablet and Paper,” which was published in the Fall 2016 (Volume 42, […]
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The SUNY Hackathon Series:
Redesigning 21st Century Eye Care

In May and November 2016 and June 2017, approximately 50 people met to participate in three hackathons hosted by the New Technologies unit of the State University of New York College of Optometry (SUNY). The participants included SUNY Optometry faculty, other optometrists, residents, students, alumni, researchers, industry experts and other professionals. The goal of Hackathon […]
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A Digital Means to an Analog End?

The previous issue of Optometric Education included a thought-provoking editorial titled “Do Students Still Need to be Proficient in Gathering Data?”1 Before I share my thoughts in response, I acknowledge that our individual experiences inform our biases and our judgments. In the years prior to joining the faculty at Western University of Health Sciences, I […]
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Why Tenure is Important

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) defines a tenured appointment as “an indefinite appointment that can be terminated only for cause or under extraordinary circumstances … .”1 The AAUP further defines tenure as “a means to certain ends; specifically: (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities, and (2) a sufficient degree […]
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Using Technology to Enhance Student Learning
and Clinical Teaching Outcomes

  The use of simulation and innovative technology to enhance teaching and clinical training is a common trend in higher education. Training using simulation has been reported in medical and allied health disciplines, but few publications exist in optometry. In this report, we present a teaching model implementing the 3D Eyesi Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscope simulator […]
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Do Students Still Need to be
Proficient in Gathering Data?

Recently a student assigned to my clinical site commented that retinoscopy and keratometry were useless techniques to master. I was appalled and asked the student to explain the statement. The student said that in previous clinical experiences an autorefractor/keratometer was utilized to obtain a starting point for refraction, and that in the future most potential […]
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2nd World Congress of Optometry
Features Educators’ Track

The 2nd World Congress of Optometry will be held in Hyderabad, India, Sept. 11-13, 2017. Focused on the theme of “Accessible, Quality Vison and Eye Health,” this year’s biennial congress offers optometrists, vision scientists, educators, researchers, students and other visual health professionals a wide-ranging program including lectures and workshops in a variety of areas such […]
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Coming in December

Stay tuned to your Inbox for the announcement that the Winter 2016 issue of Eye on Education — the online newsletter from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) — is available. In the issue, you can read about the recent appearance of ASCO President Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD, on All Sides with […]
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Upcoming Theme Edition Will Focus on International Optometric Education: Global Expansion and Transformation

Over the past 20 years, the profession of optometry has undergone dramatic global changes: expanding scope of practice, increasing quality assurance expectations, significant diversification of students, and the accelerating impact of information technology. Underpinning these changes has been the critical role of international optometric education in supporting and catalyzing this transformation. The same global forces […]
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Upcoming Theme Edition Will Focus on Diversity, Cultural and Linguistic Competence

A future edition of Optometric Education will focus on the theme of diversity and cultural and linguistic competence. The edition will focus on diversity of our students, faculty and profession and all aspects of cultural and linguistic competence, including professional, organizational and individual responsibility. The deadline to submit manuscripts is Dec. 31, 2016. Submit a cover letter and […]
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Beware of Predatory Publishing

I recently invited New England College of Optometry librarians to speak to my class about critically evaluating resources. During the presentation, they talked about “predatory publishing.” Several students had never heard the term, and when I asked some faculty members whether they were familiar with it, many said they were not. However, after hearing a […]
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Research Teams Receive 2016 ASCO Educational Starter Grants

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2016 Educational Starter Grants, which are dedicated to supporting educational research. A generous donation from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. has provided funding for this year’s grants. We applaud all faculty who submitted grant applications this year. The […]
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Coming in August

Stay tuned to your Inbox for the announcement that the Summer 2016 issue of Eye on Education — the online newsletter from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) — is available. The issue will include an interview with ASCO’s new President Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD, the Glenn A. Fry Professor of Optometry […]
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Nurse Practitioner Students, Optometry Students and Faculty Members Engage in Community-Based Interprofessional Practice

The Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry and the La Salle University School of Nursing and Health Sciences have partnered in health professional education and collaborative patient care by developing and implementing an interprofessional healthcare model in which graduate nurse practitioner students participate in eye and vision patient care at The Eye Institute, a community-based […]
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Student Award in Clinical Ethics

ASCO and its Ethics Educators SIG are pleased to announce Krystal Chee, OD, as the winner of the 2016 Student Award in Clinical Ethics. The winner of this annual national award receives $1,000 and an engraved plaque. Dr. Chee is a 2016 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Optometry. Her winning […]
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2016 Educational Starter Grants

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) is pleased to announce a call for applications for its 2016 Educational Starter Grants dedicated to supporting educational research. A generous donation from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., has provided funding for this year’s grant program. ASCO’s Educational Starter Grants have been awarded in each of […]
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Social Media: Opportunities and Challenges

The internet has created the opportunity for social media to thrive. Participating in social media forums, known collectively as “Web 2.0,” allows communication and information-sharing with large groups of people instantaneously. Social media can fall into one of six primary categories:1 Social networks: sites that allow users to connect and share with people who have […]
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Upcoming Theme Edition Will Focus on Diversity, Cultural and Linguistic Competence

A future edition of Optometric Education will focus on the theme of diversity, cultural and linguistic competence. The edition will focus on diversity of our students, faculty and profession and all aspects of cultural and linguistic competence, including professional, organizational and individual responsibility. Please submit manuscripts by Dec. 31, 2016. Submit a cover letter and intact and blind […]
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Deadline Extended for Upcoming International Optometric Education Theme Edition

International Optometric Education: Global Expansion and Transformation (New deadline to submit papers: March 1, 2017) Over the past 20 years, the profession of optometry has undergone dramatic global changes: expanding scope of practice, increasing quality assurance expectations, significant diversification of students, and the accelerating impact of information technology. Underpinning these changes has been the critical […]
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Teaching Optometry Students How to Study Actively

Students enter optometry college with varying undergraduate backgrounds and a wide variety of study skills. They are eager to learn but are not always prepared to learn for mastery: the deeper understanding of material that can be recalled and applied later to clinical situations. In optometry college, cramming for exams and/or trying to memorize everything […]
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Coming in April

Stay tuned to your Inbox for the announcement that the Spring 2016 issue of Eye on Education — the online newsletter from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) — is available. The issue will include the latest news about ASCO initiatives and activities as well as items of interest from the schools and […]
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Upcoming Theme Issue Will Focus on Diversity and Cultural Competence

Optometric Education announces that a future edition of the journal will focus on the theme of Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence. The edition will focus on the diversity of our students, faculty and profession and all aspects of cultural and linguistic competence, including professional, organizational and individual responsibility. The deadline to submit articles for this theme edition is Dec. […]
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Deadline Extended for Upcoming International Optometric Education Theme Edition

International Optometric Education: Global Expansion and Transformation (New deadline to submit papers: June 1, 2016) Over the past 20 years, the profession of optometry has undergone dramatic global changes: expanding scope of practice, increasing quality assurance expectations, significant diversification of students, and the accelerating impact of information technology. Underpinning these changes has been the critical […]
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Do Our Students Really Possess Information Literacy?

In 2011, the Board of Directors of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) approved an updated “Attributes of Students Graduating from Schools and Colleges of Optometry” report. The report represents contemporary thinking about the requisite competencies for new graduates of optometry degree programs. It states that graduates are “responsible for ongoing self-learning […]
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Call for Papers for Upcoming Diversity and Cultural Competence Theme Edition

Optometric Education announces that a future edition of the journal will focus on the theme of Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence. The edition will focus on the diversity of our students, faculty and profession and all aspects of cultural and linguistic competence, including professional, organizational and individual responsibility. The deadline to submit articles for this theme edition is Dec. […]
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Don’t Miss It

Stay tuned to your Inbox for the announcement that the Winter 2015 issue of Eye on Education — the online newsletter from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) — is available. The issue will include a report on “Charting Your Career in Academic Optometry and Research: A Session for Optometry and Graduate […]
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Should We Require Class Attendance?

A few weeks ago, I walked by a large lecture hall and observed approximately 15-20 students in the room. I thought it must have been an elective course that just happened to be scheduled in a lecture hall, but it was actually a core course for second-year students. (Total enrollment in the second-year class is […]
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Using Writing Assignments to Improve Student Engagement and Learning

Active engagement of students can be helpful in enhancing learning and improving critical-thinking skills.1 Writing is one method of active engagement that has been used in optometric education2-4 and other applied science disciplines, such as engineering.5 Kidder and Todd6 observed that “Writing remains the best route we know toward clarity of thought … .” I […]
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Dr. Hoppe Delivers Keynote Address at Summer Institute for Faculty Development

Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe was honored as the keynote speaker during ASCO’s 2015 Summer Institute for Faculty Development (SIFD), which took place July 12-15 in St. Louis. Dr. Hoppe, ASCO Secretary-Treasurer and the Founding Dean of Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry, has been involved with the SIFD since its inception in 2006, providing […]
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Deadline Extended for Upcoming International Optometric Education Theme Edition

International Optometric Education: Global Expansion and Transformation (New deadline to submit papers: June 1, 2016) Over the past 20 years, the profession of optometry has undergone dramatic global changes: expanding scope of practice, increasing quality assurance expectations, significant diversification of students, and the accelerating impact of information technology. Underpinning these changes has been the critical […]
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Don’t Miss It

Stay tuned to your Inbox for the announcement that the Summer 2015 issue of ASCO’s online newsletter Eye on Education is available. The issue will include a report on ASCO’s first Online Clinical Educators Forum (OCEF), which took place this spring. For more information about the OCEF, contact ASCO’s Manager of Professional Affairs Carol Brubaker.
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Student Award in Clinical Ethics

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and its Ethics Educators Special Interest Group are pleased to announce Molly Spatcher, OD, as the winner of the 2015 Student Award in Clinical Ethics. This annual national award, sponsored by International Vision Expo, provides the winner with $1,000 and a commemorative plaque. Dr. Spatcher wrote her […]
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Call for Papers for Two Upcoming Theme Editions

  Optometric Education announces that two future editions of the journal will each focus on a specific theme.   ► International Optometric Education: Global Expansion and Transformation (Deadline to submit papers: Jan. 1, 2016)   Over the past 20 years, the profession of optometry has undergone dramatic global changes: expanding scope of practice, increasing quality […]
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Authors Receive the Dr. Lester Janoff Award for Writing Excellence

Denise Goodwin, OD, FAAO, John R. Hayes, PhD (Pacific University College of Optometry) and Len Koh, PhD, OD, MBA (Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry) are the winners of the 2015 Dr. Lester Janoff Award for Writing Excellence from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO). The biannual award recognizes an outstanding research […]
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ASCO Awards 2015 Educational Starter Grants

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), along with supporters The Vision Care Institute, LLC, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., and Luxottica, are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Educational Starter Grants. Grants were awarded to: • William Edmondson, OD, and Jennifer Snyder, OD, Southern College of […]
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A Season of Change in Optometric Education

While change can be beneficial, it can also be a challenge. This edition of the journal reflects that thought, as it highlights three major changes, each affecting either the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), this journal, optometric education as a whole, or all of the above. Leadership Change at ASCO; Longtime Executive […]
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Interprofessional Education on a Mission

Interprofessional education is becoming an increasingly vital part of the optometric curriculum. The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), citing the World Health Organization (2010), defines interprofessional education as that which “occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health […]
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