The Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) innovates and leads in the development of optometrists who advance health and health care through excellence in discovery, patient care, and professionalism.

PCO’s programs are offered in an interdisciplinary environment dedicated to teaching/learning effectiveness, enhancing career development, inspiring and developing leadership, and fostering new discoveries through research.


By 2018 the Pennsylvania College of Optometry will be recognized as an innovator in providing optometric education with emphasis on an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare.


Goal 1: PCO will recruit, develop, and retain highly qualified faculty best-suited to deliver the curriculum.


1.1 Conduct faculty salary and full time equivalent (FTE) analysis
1.2 Train and support faculty to become established campus leaders in outcomes and assessment that enrich the College’s programs and prestige
1.3 Increase faculty awareness of educational pedagogy and innovation that enhances the College’s scholarly impact
1.4 Support and promote lifelong learning and growth opportunities that cultivate leadership, discovery, and scholarly activity
1.5 Assess and identify needs for basic science/research/non-optometrist faculty recruitment

Goal 2: PCO will implement a progressive curriculum that prepares students for patient-centered, problem-oriented, and evidence-based patient care which includes appropriate structures and delivery systems such as educational information technology (IT), didactic and clinical equipment, and institutional/staff support (2015-2018).


2.1 Identify Curriculum Committee including Committee Chair, Oversight Committee Members, Sub-Committees, and charges to members and sub-groups  

2.2 Initiate curriculum mapping to identify gaps, redundancies, and areas of potential expanded instruction
2.3 Implement revised curricular changes
2.4 Identify and incorporate educational IT resources for electronic reference materials and evaluation/testing into optometry didactic and clinical educational programs
2.5 Modernize the College’s clinical skills training and evaluation environments to include emerging diagnostic/therapeutic equipment, modern patient care space, and e-technology and related resources, to address current and future trends in health care evaluation and management
2.6 Maintain a maximum class size of 150 for next 3 years with attrition of no more than 2% and full year re-enrollment of no more than 3% (2015-2018)

Goal 3: PCO will identify and implement student learning assessment strategies, analyses, and appropriate interventions for the traditional and accelerated scholars doctor of optometry degree programs.

3.1 Assess scope and quality of the didactic education experience
3.2 Assess scope and quality of the on-campus clinical education experience
3.3 Assess scope and quality of the off-site externship program experience
3.4 Assess scope and quality of the Advanced Certificates experience

Goal 4: PCO will develop graduates at the cutting edge of progressive optometric practice who are competent and diversified, value integrated health care, and are prepared to practice in any healthcare setting.

4.1 Provide students with diverse clinical experiences during their training
4.2 Increase core competencies in areas including minor surgical procedures (i.e. lasers), electrophysiology, and interdisciplinary patient-centered health medical home
4.3 Improve first time pass rate on national board scores
4.4 Instill an understanding and appreciation for community-based service including health care delivery, organization, and implementation

Goal 5: PCO will maintain full accreditation by the ACOE.

5.1 Identify Self-Study Committee including Oversight Committee, Members, individual Standards Workgroups and charges to members and groups
5.2 Develop a self-study document in preparation for 2016 ACOE Accreditation site visit that includes analysis, assessment, and implementation of processes (2015)

Educational Goals to Develop Entry Level Practitioners of Optometry:
  1. Practice with the highest level of ethical standards for the profession.
  2. Demonstrate superior abilities for clinical skills and patient care.
  3. Attain licensure to practice evidence based contemporary optometry in any state.
  4. Exhibit a high degree of professionalism.
  5. Recognize the importance for continued growth, development, and learning.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to act as a mentor within the program and profession through acts of service.
Educational Objectives to Develop Entry Level Practitioners of Optometry:
a) Apply background knowledge of basic sciences and systemic disease in the management ocular disease.
b) Properly utilize clinical skills in the acquisition of collecting data and performing comprehensive eye exams.
c) Analyze pertinent clinical data to arrive at appropriate diagnosis and treatment plans.
d) Effectively and confidently communicate to all involved healthcare providers in the delivery and management of patient care.
e) Demonstrate competence in compliance with optometric healthcare regulations.
f) Recognize of the role of research in optometric care.
g) Illustrate commitment to becoming lifelong learners.
h) Demonstrate competency in the use of ophthalmic materials.
I) Apply effective problem solving skills.
j) Summarize the tenets that define good practice management.
k) Use evidence-based knowledge to facilitate individualized patient care.
l) Employ effective verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills when interacting with patients, colleagues, and other professionals.
m) Evaluate the systems of the body as it relates to the ocular system.
n) Illustrate the ability to apply critical thinking skills to clinical scenarios.
o) Select and interpret results of relevant ophthalmic diagnostic technology.
p) Execute high levels of ethics and professionalism.