The Optometry Learning Experience (OLE) program is designed to offer participants the opportunity to investigate the academic study associated with the Doctor of Optometry degree program, as well as the profession of optometry and the many career opportunities available.
OLE student groups have visited the campuses of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), and now Salus, for almost four decades in order to gain insight into the academic life of an optometry student. Created in 1979 by Dr. John Crozier, then director of Admissions, the first invitations to participate were extended to five Pennsylvania colleges that had academic agreements for a 3 + 4 program with PCO: Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), Washington and Jefferson University, Albright College, Gannon University and Wilkes University.
The first years of OLE included a two-week campus stay over the winter semester break as well as academic credit for the participants. Eventually, the program grew to include a variety of regional schools. Due to growing demand, and to allow for the maximum number of students to participate, the program transitioned to being offered in two sessions which include two and a half days on campus for interested undergraduate students from various institutions.
While the dynamics of the OLE program has changed over the years, the purpose of the program continues to remain the same: to give undergraduate students the opportunity to explore PCO and the optometry profession.
Today, OLE consists of two and a half days of immersion at the Elkins Park campus. Participants are able to attend lectures with current optometry students; meet with the PCO dean and various faculty; tour the campus and The Eye Institute
(TEI); take part in hands-on clinical skills lab demonstrations; learn more about financial planning and the application process; and have a one-on-one admissions counseling session. Students also have the opportunity of making friendships with peers interested in optometry and the degree program.
How to Apply to the OLE
In order to be considered for the OLE program, students are required to complete an application, write a short essay and submit transcripts.
Housing arrangements will be provided at a minimal cost to the participant and most meals are included. Participants are expected to provide their own transportation (parking on campus is free).
For questions or to learn more details about OLE, please email the Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org