Pennsylvania College of Optometry
Doctor of Optometry

Traditional Program

Clinical Experience - The Eye Institute

The Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry emphasizes an early and extensive clinical education program that allows students to attain more hours of clinical experience than most other optometry programs. This starts with hands-on practice in our on-site clinical skills labs, beginning in the students’ first year, comprehensive patient care at The Eye Institute, our clinical learning facility, in the second year, and continues through 16-months of externships beginning in the third year. Graduates of PCO enter the profession with nearly 3,000 hours of clinical experience.

Clinical experience at The Eye Institute

The Eye Institute (TEI), located close to the Elkins Park campus, serves as PCO’s clinical teaching facility. This community clinic manages more than 60,000 visits each year and puts direct patient care on student’s resumes. At The Eye Institute, students treat patients who range from infants to seniors and are exposed to a wide range of eye diseases and conditions not typically encountered. Students are able to collaborate with optometrists, ophthalmologists, opticians, and optometric technicians to deliver the highest quality of eye care in an actual community setting.

The Eye Institute recently undertook an $11 million renovation that broke ground in early April, 2010. A 15,000 square foot expansion was added on to the lower level of the original building to allow all patient care services to occur on one level. The rehabilitation of the existing facility’s interior included new walls and layout, new ceilings, flooring, wall coverings, lighting and furniture, along with wiring that supports the integration of electronic health records.

The new patient areas were unveiled to the public on May 31, 2011. The completion of the administrative areas is scheduled for Fall 2011. The Eye Institute is now home to state-of-the-art technology that optimizes the delivery of patient services and fosters a quality learning environment for PCO students.