About the Optician/Technician Program
Mission, Goals, and Objectives
Opticians' Laboratory Concentration
Courses in the Optician/Technician Program
Student Honors and Awards
The IU School of Optometry offers a two-year program leading to the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Optometric Technology/Opticianry. Students completing the program are qualified to begin careers as optometric technicians or opticians. This course of study offers an excellent entry point into one of the most interesting areas in the health care field.
The program takes four semesters to complete, if the student has not taken any previous college courses. The general, nontechnical courses, such as English composition, may be completed either before or after the technical courses. An additional option allows a student to become a laboratory optician by completing courses in lens surfacing and fabrication (Opticians' Laboratory Concentration).
For the most up-to-date information, visit the program's Web site at www.opt.indiana.edu/programs/opttech/opttech.htm.
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The Optician/Technician Program is accredited by the Council on Optometric Education1 and by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation.2
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To educate and train individuals as optometric technicians and opticians.
- To teach skills that enable graduates to be proficient in: (1) the theory and practice of ophthalmic dispensing, (2) ophthalmic lens fabrication, (3) contact lens procedures, (4) ophthalmic testing techniques, and (5) business office procedures. The knowledge of these skills is to be conveyed in a setting that is academically stimulating and clinically relevant.
- To provide students with opportunities to gain clinical experience by working with a diverse and varied patient population in Indiana University School of Optometry clinics.
- To eliminate hazardous waste and to reduce nonhazardous waste to the minimum levels economically and technically practical, and to be in full compliance with all federal and state environmental regulations.
- To foster the depth of understanding and abilities needed so that the graduate is capable of educating other ophthalmic employees.
- To prepare students for placement within the ophthalmic marketplace.
- To prepare students for the successful completion of appropriate certification exams such as ABO, NCLE, or any mandatory state exams.
To respond to a changing marketplace by appropriately modifying courses and course content so that our graduates are being successfully prepared for the profession. (Individual course learning objectives are found in the material prepared for each course within the program.)
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Opticians fill eyewear prescriptions. They take the order written by the eye doctor, produce the lenses with the correct prescription, and shape the lenses to fit the frame. In addition, their training includes selecting frames, taking facial measurements, choosing the best lens style for the patient, and adjusting the frames to fit.
Optometric technicians must know how to take facial measurements and how to select and adjust frames. In addition, they learn business procedures and may be responsible for managing the doctor's office. They work closely with the eye doctor as part of the eye care team. Their tasks include measuring visual acuity, color vision, depth perception, field of vision, and pressures within the eye. They assist in various contact lens procedures and also teach contact lens patients to insert, remove, and care for their contact lenses.
Most opticians and optometric technicians are employed in the optical industry or by optometrists, opticians, and ophthalmologists. Some are employed as managers of optical dispensaries or laboratories. Graduates of the Optician/Technician Program may also work in an optical laboratory or for a lens, frame, contact lens, or instrument company. The U.S. Department of Labor has listed this job category as having excellent employment opportunities for the next several years.
Salaries for trained optometric technicians and opticians vary widely according to experience, geographic regions, and practice or company size. According to the Coin Career Guidance System computer software (Toledo, OH: Coin Educational Products, 2000), owners, managers, and certified graduates of opticianry schools had higher earnings, as did dispensing opticians who worked in states that require licensure. Salaries for non-managerial dispensing opticians averaged about $29,103 in 1999.
The results of a 1999 survey of Indiana University Optician/Technician Program graduates show an average annual salary of $33,404. This salary does not include bonuses or fringe benefits.
The School of Optometry's Office of Student Administration maintains a current file of persons interested in hiring program graduates (or students). Presently, the demand is very high.
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Applicants must file an application with both Indiana University (if not currently enrolled) and the Optician/Technician Program. A new class begins each fall, but students with previous college experience may be able to begin the program in the spring semester by taking one optician/ technician course (V153) and completing general education requirements. Early graduation is possible, if the student chooses to attend summer sessions.
Students planning to apply for admission to the Optician/Technician Program should complete courses in high school required for admission to Indiana University. Admission standards can be found in the section of this bulletin entitled "Undergraduate Admissions Policy." In most cases, current college students with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above and who are in good standing can expect to be admitted to the Optician/Technician Program.
Requests for additional information and application forms should be directed to Office of Student Administration, School of Optometry, 800 E. Atwater Avenue, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405-3680; (812) 855-1917; fax (812) 855-4389; e-mail email@example.com.
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Graduates of the Optician/Technician Program may become certified in the opticianry field. The National Opticianry Competency Examination (NOCE) is spectacle-related and given by the ABO. This exam consists of questions on the skills and knowledge required for competency in ophthalmic dispensing. The Contact Lens Registry Examination (CLRE) is given by NCLE for certification in contact lens dispensing. Both written exams are offered twice a year, in May and November, at numerous sites across the country. One or both certifications may be required by the state in which the optician plans to locate as some states require optician licensing. Many of these states use the ABO and/or NCLE certification exams as part of their licensing process. Applications are available in the Office of Student Administration.
For more information regarding certification, contact: American Board of Opticianry, ABO/NCLE, 6506 Loisdale Road, Suite 209, Springfield, VA 22150; (703) 719-5800; www.abo.org.
Graduates of the Optician/Technician Program may also become certified through a program offered by the American Optometric Association Paraoptometric Section. This program was revised from registration to certification in the year 2000. The certification program consists of three levels; however, graduates of or students in their last semester of study in the IU Optician/Technician Program will be allowed to skip the first level and be eligible to sit for the second- or third-level exams to be phased in during the next two years. Certification is obtained by passing examinations given at various locations in the United States. Certification, while not required, is recognized in the optometry field as an assurance of the basic knowledge necessary to perform the functions of an optometric technician.
For more information, contact: American Optometric Association, Paraoptometric Section, 243 N. Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63141-7881; (314) 991-4100 or (800) 365-2219; www.aoanet.org.
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The non-V-lettered courses are offered outside of the School of Optometry and may be taken before or after completing the V-lettered technology courses.
|V111 Basic Optics
V151 Ophthalmic Procedures 1
V174 Office Procedures
V201 Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye
|V121 Ophthalmic Lens Finishing
V131 Ophthalmic Optics
V153 Ophthalmic Dispensing
V251 Ophthalmic Procedures 2
|Optional Summer Session
|Completing courses during the summer session leads to early graduation.
|V210 Fabrication Practicum I3(or C121 Public Speaking, C122 Interpersonal Communication, or Business studies3)
|V221 Ophthalmic Lens Surfacing and Optics
V232 Contact Lens Methods and Procedures
V254 Clinic Practicum 1
W131 Elementary Composition
|V211 Fabrication Practicum II3(or Business studies3)
V255 Clinic Practicum 2
V256 External Clinics
H160 First Aid and Emergency Care4
Natural & Mathematical Sciences or Social & Historical Studies elective5
|Minimum total credit hoursrequired for A.S. degree
|Note: All Optician/Technician V-lettered courses must be completed within four years of matriculation; any exceptions require a written petition to the Academic Review Committee.
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Students may elect to take the Opticians' Laboratory Concentration in lieu of C121 or C122 and a 3 credit hour business studies elective or 6 credit hours of business studies elective courses. The Opticians' Laboratory Concentration includes practical experience in all aspects of the optical laboratory and a study of the optics necessary in order to understand lens surfacing. Courses required for the concentration are V210 Fabrication Practicum I, V211 Fabrication Practicum II, and V221 Ophthalmic Lens Surfacing.
In the event that enrollment limits are exceeded for the Opticians' Laboratory Concentration courses, admission to V210 and V211 may require permission to enroll. Decisions will be made by the program director and the optical laboratory management.
In certain instances, a student may take V210 Fabrication Practicum I as early as the summer following the completion of the first year of Optician/Technician Program studies. Since V221 is a prerequisite or corequisite for V211 Fabrication Practicum II, the student must then enroll in V221 Ophthalmic Lens Surfacing the following fall semester.
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Academic standards are listed in the Optician/Technician Program's student handbook and are the same as listed in the University Division Planner.
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Except for V153 Ophthalmic Dispensing and V201 Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye, the following courses are open only to students who have been admitted to the Optician/Technician Program. The number of credit hours for a course is indicated in parentheses following the course title. The abbreviation "P" refers to course prerequisite(s). The abbreviation "C" refers to corequisite(s).
V111 Basic Optics (5 cr.) Lectures and laboratory exercises concerning basic optical principles with the addition of geometrical/theoretical optics.
V121 Ophthalmic Lens Finishing (4 cr.) P: V111. Lecture and laboratory instruction in the finishing of ophthalmic lenses, including lens selection, decentration, orientation, and mounting. Related lens topics such as lens safety requirements and absorptive lens characteristics are also included. Students must demonstrate the ability to produce a spectacle lens prescription that is both visibly pleasing and optically sound.
V131 Ophthalmic Optics (5 cr.)6 P: V111. Optical characteristics and design of standard ophthalmic, single vision, multifocal, absorptive, coated, occupational, low vision, and sports vision lenses; prescription verification; prismatic effects; and lens decentration.
V151 Ophthalmic Procedures 1 (4 cr.)6 Techniques and theory used in optometric practice, including case history, visual acuity, refractive errors, keratometry and ophthalmometry, visual fields, color vision, eye movements, binocular vision, accommodation, convergence and divergence, visual axis deviation, strabismus, visual pathway, and pupillary reflexes.
V153 Ophthalmic Dispensing (4 cr.)6 Areas of study will include frame types and parts, facial measurements for fitting, functional and cosmetic aspects of frame selection, and frame alignment, adjusting, and repair.
V174 Office Procedures (4 cr.) Office procedures as applied to an ophthalmic practice, including telephone etiquette, appointment systems, bookkeeping, payroll records, third-party systems, recalls, computers, and other business management methods.
V201 Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye (3 cr.) The cell; the structure and function of the visual system, including the eye, the orbit and adnexa, the visual pathway; the nervous system and brain; ocular motility; ocular reflexes.
V210 Fabrication Practicum I (3 cr.) P: V121 and V131. Students are offered practical experience in all phases of the operation of a prescription optical laboratory. Theory in ophthalmic prescription work is combined with the development of skills necessary to assure that finished eyewear will be both optically correct and aesthetically pleasing.
V211 Fabrication Practicum II (3 cr.) P: V210; P or C: V221. Students are offered practical experience in all phases of the operation of a prescription optical laboratory. Theory in ophthalmic prescription work is combined with the development of skills necessary to assure that finished eyewear will be both optically correct and aesthetically pleasing.
V221 Ophthalmic Lens Surfacing and Optics (4 cr.) P: V121, V131. Theory and practice of ophthalmic optics, spectacle lens surfacing, and selected topics of interest to the ophthalmic community. Subjects include single vision, multifocal and progressive addition lenses, base curves, lens thickness, application of prism, correction of vertical imbalance, high-powered lens prescriptions, aspheric lenses, and aniseikonia.
V232 Contact Lens Methods and Procedures (4 cr.) P: V131. Contact lens patient evaluation; instruction in insertion, removal, and hygiene; lens design, ordering, verification, and modification; lens materials, care products, and complications; an introduction to specialty lenses.
V251 Ophthalmic Procedures 2 (3 cr.)6 P: C- or above in V151. Further principles and techniques used in ophthalmic practice, including glaucoma and tonometry, hypertension and measurement of blood pressure, diabetes, ocular pathology, ocular pharmacology, biomicroscopy, vision screening, blindness and partial sight, low-vision aids.
V254 Clinic Practicum 1 (4 cr.)6 P: V121 and a grade of C- or above in V131 and V153. Clinical experience in frame selection, dispensing, adjustment, verification, and repair of eyewear.
V255 Clinic Practicum 2 (3 cr.)6 P: V121 and a grade of C- or above in V131, V151, V153, and V251. Practical application of technical and managerial skills learned in courses and laboratories by assisting clinicians and instructors in the optometry clinics.
V256 External Clinics (3 cr.)6 P: V121 and a grade of C- or above in V131, V151, V153, and V251. Practical application of clinical skills by assisting clinicians and consultants in the external clinics.
V269 Selected Studies (3 cr.) The student selects a clinical area of interest for further study.
V275 Topical Seminar (1 cr.) Selected topics of interest.
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The following required courses are offered by departments outside the School of Optometry. For descriptions of electives in business studies, see the Kelley School of Business Undergraduate Program Bulletin for either the Bloomington or Indianapolis campus. For electives in natural and mathematical sciences or social and historical studies, and for courses not offered by the business school, consult the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.
C121 Public Speaking (3 cr.) Theory and practice of public speaking: training in thought processes necessary to organize speech content; analysis of components of effective delivery and language. Department of Communication and Culture, College of Arts and Sciences
C122 Interpersonal Communication (3 cr.) Introduction to core communication concepts and processes of face-to-face interaction from the perspective of communication competence. Analyzes variability in the design, production, exchange, and interpretation of messages in relational, family, professional, and cultural contexts. Department of Communication and Culture, College of Arts and Sciences
H160 First Aid and Emergency Care (3 cr.) Lecture and demonstration on first-aid measures for wounds, hemorrhage, burns, exposure, sprains, dislocations, fractures, unconscious conditions, suffocation, drowning, and poisons, with skill training in all procedures. Introduction to CPR included. School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER)
W131 Elementary Composition (3 cr.) Offers instruction and practice in the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills required in college. Emphasis is on written assignments that require synthesis, analysis, and argument based on sources. Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences
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Graduation with Honors
The Associate of Science in Optometric Technology/Opticianry degree is granted with distinction to students who have demonstrated laudatory scholarship in their studies. The specific honor is noted on the graduate's diploma. The cumulative grade point averages and the corresponding citations are 3.70, with distinction; 3.80, with high distinction; 3.90, with highest distinction.
Awards and Recognitions
Each year, many awards are presented to School of Optometry students. Periodically, students will receive notices regarding eligibility and application deadlines. Inquiries should be directed to the School of Optometry's Office of Student Administration or to the faculty chairperson of the Awards and Honors Committee. The actual list of awards may vary from year to year and not all awards are presented each year.
Essilor Corneal Reflection Pupilometer Award
Indiana University Optometry Alumni Association Awards: (1) Technician of the Year, (2) Optician of the Year, (3) Achievement, (4) Professional Attitude and Patient Rapport, and (5) Contact Lens awards.
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The principal organizations open to, and governed by, students from all degree programs in the School of Optometry are listed in the "Professional Optometry Degree Program" section of this bulletin.
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The Indiana University Bloomington Office of Student Financial Assistance offers information and assistance concerning a variety of grants, loans, and other student financial aid. These include but are not limited to Federal Pell Grants, SSACI grants for Indiana residents, Federal Direct Student Loans, and the Federal Work-Study Program.
Application for student financial aid is made by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov and having the information sent to IU Bloomington at School Code 001809. Apply between January 1 and March 1 each year for the academic year beginning in late August. The March 1 date is an actual "deadline" for Indiana state grants and a "priority date" for other types of federal aid. If you file after March 1, you will still be considered for Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loans, but you may miss out on other valuable financial aid opportunities.
The IU Office of Student Financial Assistance is located in Room 208, Franklin Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405; (812) 855-0321; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: www.indiana.edu/~sfa. The School of Optometry also has its own part-time financial aid administrator available on Tuesdays and Fridays for in-person appointments. You may make contact by phone at (812) 855-1917 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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Council on Optometric Education, American Optometric Association, 243 N. Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63141; (314) 991-4100
Commission on Opticianry Accreditation, 7023 Little River Turnpike, Suite 207, Annandale, VA 22003; (703) 941-9110; firstname.lastname@example.org
Business studies courses should be chosen from the list below:
Business A200 Foundations of Accounting (3 cr.)
Business A201 Introduction to Accounting I (3 cr.)
Business A202 Introduction to Accounting II (3 cr.)
Business F260 Personal Finance (3 cr.)
Business K201 Computers in Business (3 cr.)
Business L100 Personal Law (3 cr.)
Business L201 Legal Environment of Business (3 cr.)
Business X100 Business Administration: Introduction (3 cr.)
Business X204 Business Communications (3 cr.)
Economics E201 Introduction to Microeconomics (3 cr.)
Economics E202 Introduction to Macroeconomics (3 cr.)
Economics E370 Introduction to Statistical Theory in Economics and Business (3 cr.)
Psychology K300 Statistical Techniques (3 cr.)
Mathematics K300 or K310 Statistical Techniques (3 cr.)
SPEA K300 Statistical Techniques (3 cr.)
- The student is responsible for finding out about any prerequisites for the courses listed above.
- X204 is the only business studies course (from list above) that can be counted toward a business degree if taken as independent study.
- Some of the courses at or above the 200 level are open only to students who have completed 26 credit hours or more; this is strictly enforced by the Kelley School of Business.
A first aid course through the American Red Cross may be substituted for H160 with your advisor's approval. No credit hours are earned in the Red Cross course. Consequently, 3 credit hours of a general elective must be completed to achieve a total of 65 credit hours required for graduation. Substitution is granted after students present their Red Cross certification card to the Office of Student Administration.
The 3 credit hours may be selected from courses acceptable for the natural and mathematical sciences or the social and historical studies requirement, as listed in the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin. Please note that this requirement may be fulfilled concurrently by selecting either Economics E201 Introduction to Microeconomics or E202 Introduction to Macro-economics in the business studies group requirements. However, a minimum of 65 credit hours is required for graduation.
V131, V151, V153, V251, V254, V255, and V256 must each be completed with a final grade of C- or above.