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NSU Assessment Form AY 2019-2020

  1. Program assessed: Doctor of Optometry
  2. College: Oklahoma College of Optometry
  3. Department: N/A
  4. Program (academic major) mission statement:

Mission Statement of Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry

The Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry (NSUOCO) provides an educational program leading to the Doctor of Optometry degree, post–graduate clinical residency certification, and continuing optometric education.

The primary mission of NSUOCO is:

  • The education of optometric physicians who are highly trained, through excellence in academic and clinical instruction, are able to provide the highest quality clinical care and who emphasize an ethical and caring commitment for the welfare of patients,
  • To deliver quality clinical services to the patients served by NSUOCO,
  • To remain committed to a teaching environment conducive to excellence in education through faculty and students who are diverse, who embrace life-long learning, independent critical thinking, research and scholarly activity, and who have a desire to contribute to society through community service.

The Optometry program is the sole doctoral program at Northeastern State University. Consistent with the mission of the University, the Oklahoma College of Optometry mission reflects the high aspirations and commitment to education made in 1846 by the founders of the original Cherokee seminaries.

In addition to establishing the goals which outline the expectations for our graduate’s entry level skills, the College has several measures for assessing that specific entry level clinical and didactic skills are being competently achieved. The first measure is a series of clinical methods practical tests which take place throughout the four-year curriculum. These practical exams occur in each of the four clinical methods courses and are structured on the National Board of Examiners in Optometry practical format. The students are also required to perform a specific list of clinical procedures under faculty supervision during spring semester clinic of the second, third, and fourth years. Cumulatively, these practical examinations define the program’s clinical entry level skills. When successfully completed, the College has a direct measure that a capstone benchmark has been achieved by each student.

The program’s didactic entry level skills are embodied by the learning objective found in every course syllabus. These learning objectives are a direct reflection of the course content and specify the entry level skills and knowledge expected of each student upon completion of the curriculum. The examinations held in each didactic course are intended to assess if the course learning objectives have been achieved.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art educational program which supports the profession of optometry as an independent, primary health care profession.

Objectives:

  • Periodically review, assess, and modify the curriculum to assure that students are provided education and training to prepare them for the full scope of high quality optometric clinical care.

Goal 2: Provide an educational environment which challenges and motivates students to prepare themselves personally and professionally for careers as optometric physicians and citizens.

Objectives:

  • Continually review, assess, and modify the curriculum to assure that both the didactic and clinical courses provide appropriate material and learning objectives.
  • Work toward funding, planning, and completed construction of a new optometry facility including classrooms, labs and clinic space; a facility that will provide an environment to educate and train future health care professionals.
  • Continually monitor and assess the ongoing plan for the systematic replacement and proper maintenance and repair of clinical, laboratory, and other equipment as needed for student education and to keep up with technological changes.

Goal 3: Provide faculty as teachers, clinicians and scholars who are licensed to the broadest scope of optometric practice.

Objectives:

  • Provide competitive salaries, benefits, adequate tenure and opportunities for economic and professional advancement for faculty members.
  • Implement nationwide searches when faculty positions become available and fully involve the faculty with both identification of program needs and faculty selection in connection with such searches.
  • Periodically assess the needs and resources of the program to identify the number of faculty needed and teaching areas of faculty to attain the educational goals of the program, and acquire additional faculty when need exists.
  • Facilitate faculty development in the advancement of teaching, clinical, and research skills.
  • Encourage faculty involvement in professional organizations and activities.
  • In filling faculty positions in the Rural Eye Program, the College will seek optometric professionals who can blend particular expertise in the practical aspects of the delivery of eye and vision care with student education.
  • Provide support which encourages faculty to pursue research projects.

Goal 4: Maintain standards and practices which result in the recruitment, enrollment, retention, and graduation of students who are highly qualified and who contribute to the diversity of the student body and the profession.

Objectives:

  • Continue recruiting efforts in the state of Oklahoma, particularly among potentially qualified undergraduate students, with the objective of increasing the number of qualified applicants and constantly improving the quality of admitted students.
  • Continue to recruit students from under-represented populations.
  • Continue to recruit a student population which represents a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.
  • Continually review, assess, and improve the programs that monitor student progress and assist students who have academic or other concerns in order to maintain existing high levels of retention and graduation.
  • Regularly assess the following performance measurements of our students and graduates: performance on national and state board exams, graduation/attrition rate, placement success and acceptance into post graduate residency programs.

Goal 5: Provide optometric students with a quantity and quality of clinical experiences necessary to develop the professional competence to diagnose, treat, and manage eye and vision conditions and to deliver care and services unique to the profession of optometry.

Objectives:

  • Continue the existing relationships which provide the patient base for quality clinical education and pursue additional alternatives to diversify those relationships.
  • Continually provide evaluation and feedback to students on their clinical skills and performance through course proficiency examinations, periodic clinical proficiency examinations, and daily clinical evaluations.
  • Assure that each student completes rotations through all clinical areas.
  • Assure that each student completes a quality externship rotation.

Goal 6: Continue developing the funding of programs and the development and utilization of facilities which enable the College to address both present and future needs of the professional education program.

Objectives:

  • Continually identify current and future operating and capital needs and funding sources which will enable the program to meet those needs.
  • Continue developing public relations, marketing, and development strategies to educate a variety of constituencies about the optometry program and the need for identifying potential funding sources.

Goal 7: Maintain positive relationships with the community and region in which the College is located, alumni of the College, the optometric profession, and the public at large.

Objectives:

  • Continue to enhance the provision of access to high quality eye and vision care for all patients served.
  • Continue to enhance our services as a referral center for area health care providers.
  • Continue to enhance the program’s activities in providing health care and serving as an educational resource to the optometric profession in the state of Oklahoma and surrounding region.
  • Continue communication and interaction with alumni through alumni newsletters and continuing education events.
  • Continually invite input from alumni to determine their views regarding the quality of their educational experiences and solicit input for improvement.

Goal 8: Provide postgraduate and residency programs to enhance the clinical and specialty skills of optometric graduates.

Objectives:

  • Provide on and off-campus residency programs in order to build diversity in opportunities for post-graduate optometrists.
  • Provide residents with quality and diverse clinical/patient experiences.
  • Periodically review the residency program to identify the appropriate size and scope of the program in light of the profession’s needs and the College’s objectives.

Goal 9: Provide high quality continuing education programs for optometrists and other health care providers.

Objectives:

  • Offer continuing education programs which provide material appropriate to meet on-going professional requirements.
  • Provide post graduate education which is on the forefront of the changing scope and practice of optometry.
  • Periodically review content, delivery and marketing of the continuing education program.

Goal 10: Continue to review, assess, and periodically revise the mission statement, goals, objectives, and long-range plans of the College.

Objective:

  • Periodically assess the outcomes (i.e., objectives) to determine if the goals are being met and the mission statement fulfilled.
  1. Name of the professional association or accrediting agency that informs the program’s student learning outcomes: Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE)
  1. This program:

           ___is taught entirely online

           ___is taught at least 50% by distance education

           ___utilizes distance education*, but this is less than 50% of the program 

             X does not have any online courses

           ___is available in multiple modalities, ie students can earn the degree entirely online, or blended, or face-to-face.

(*Distance education is defined by the Higher Learning Commission as: education that uses one or more of the technologies…to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously” https://www.hlcommission.org/Monitoring/distance-delivery.html)


Term Definitions:

  1. Program Student Learning Outcome refers to the academic major’s identified student learning outcomes. These are the student learning outcomes that a student in the major is expected to achieve upon program completion.
  1. Degrees of Excellence (D.O.E.) Student Learning Outcome refers to the institutional student learning outcomes. These are attached as an appendix to this report.
  1. Assessment Measure refers to the assessment tool employed to determine whether the program student outcome was reached.
  1. Performance Target refers to the desired result (or desired level of competency) for each program student learning outcome. It is the minimum level of competency indicating the program student learning outcome is met.
  1. Number of students assessed refers to the number of students participating in the specific assessment measure for the student learning outcome.
  1. Results refers to the data the measure produced, e.g. specific number of students meeting the performance target, number not meeting the target, etc. Report the findings from the assessment.

Instructions: Please complete the following for each program student learning outcome assessed. In the column for Degrees of Excellence (D.O.E.) Student Learning Outcome, please indicate the D.O.E. to which the program outcome best aligns.

Program Student Learning Outcome Assessed

Degrees of Excellence Student Learning Outcome

Assessment Measure (include description of how the tool was administered)

Performance Target

# of students assessed

Results (No. students meeting/not meeting performance target

1

Students admitted to the professional optometry program will have a broad foundation in those basic sciences which will enable them to proceed to the study of those scientific concepts directly applicable to optometry. Students applying to the College of Optometry must take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) and score satisfactorily on that exam. Knowledge areas tested on the exam include mathematics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and physics. Entering students must also have achieved a minimum 2.7 GPA on all undergraduate course work.

Intellectual skills – emphasizing analytic inquiry, information literacy, engaging diverse perspectives, quantitative fluency, and communication fluency.

Prospective Optometry students must submit OAT (Optometry Admission Test) score reports and undergraduate transcripts as part of their application to NSUOCO. This data is reviewed by the admission committee along with other information.

Minimum OAT score = 300.

Minimum 2.7 GPA on undergraduate coursework.

112

NSUOCO Class Profile for AY 2019-2020

Year Entering NSUOCO

2019

2018

2017

2016

Year Scheduled to Graduate from NSUOCO

2023

2022

2021

2020

Average Undergraduate GPA

3.72

3.65

3.49

3.47

Average OAT Score

317

320

315

310

Total Incoming Class Size

28

28

28

28

# of Incoming Students with OAT score < 300

1

3

5

7

# of Incoming Students with OAT score >/=  300

27

25

23

21

% of Incoming Students with OAT score >/=   300

96.43%

89.29%

82.14%

75.00%

# of Incoming Students with GPA > 2.70

28

28

28

28

% of Incoming Students with GPA > 2.70

100%

100%

100%

100%

# of Incoming Students Entering with a BS/BA or Higher

27

26

27

27

# of Incoming Students Entering without a BS/BA

1

2

1

1

% of Incoming Students Entering with a BS/BA or Higher

96.43%

92.86%

96.43%

96.43%

2

Students will acquire a knowledge and understanding of those aspects of optics and general human biology, which will in turn allow them to study the visual process. Successful completion of basic courses in the first year of the curriculum will demonstrate that the student has acquired the foundation to continue in the program.

Specialized knowledge in the major – emphasizing student competency in the program outcomes of the major field(s) of study.

First year cohort (class of 2023) advancement to second year of program.

Successful completion of all first-year courses.

28

Twenty-eight of the twenty-eight students who entered the program in the fall of 2019 advanced to the second year of the program. 100 % of the students completing the first year of the program met this outcomes objective and advanced to the second year of the program.

3

The student will acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of the optics, anatomy, physiology, and neurology of the eyes, vision, and perception. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successful completion of the courses in years I, II and III of the program and by passing Part I of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (Applied Basic Science section). Students are eligible to sit for this section of the exam during the spring semester of their third year of the program (March administration).

Specialized knowledge in the major – emphasizing student competency in the program outcomes of the major field(s) of study.

First-year cohort (class of 2023) advancement to second year, second- year cohort (class of 2022) advancement to third year, third- year cohort (class of 2021) advancement to fourth year.

NBEO (National Board of Examiners in Optometry) exam scores for Part I.

Successful completion of all first, second, and third year courses.

Passage of the NBEO Part I by graduation.

85

Twenty-eight of the twenty-eight students who entered the program in the fall of 2019 met all requirements and advanced to the second year of the program.

Twenty-nine of the twenty-nine students in the second year of the program met all requirements and advanced to the third year of the program.

Twenty-eight of the twenty-eight students in the third year of the program met all requirements and advanced to the fourth year of the program.

The National Board of Examiners in Optometry Part I - Applied Basic Science exam results are not available for Academic Year 2019-2020. The main administration date of this portion of board exams would normally have been given in March 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Part 1 board exams were rescheduled for July 27 through August 15, 2020 and results are anticipated to be released October 2, 2020.

4

Students will develop the skills to perform the tests, techniques, and procedures necessary for the detection of vision anomalies and ocular disease. Students are required to demonstrate these skills in successful completion of a practical examination in each of four optometry Clinical Methods courses.

Specialized knowledge in the major – emphasizing student competency in the program outcomes of the major field(s) of study.

Practical examinations in each of the four Optometric Clinical Methods courses.

Successful completion of practical exams by all students enrolled in the four Optometric Clinical Methods courses.

85

During the 2019-2020 academic year, all students successfully completed their Clinical Practice Examinations in the following four courses:
OPT 4184 Optometric Clinical Methods I (1st year students)
OPT 4283 Optometric Clinical Methods II (1st year students)
OPT 5183 Optometric Clinical Methods III (2nd year students)
OPT 6231 Optometric Clinical Methods IV (3rd year students)

First year students’ practical exams for OPT 4184 were delayed until summer 2020 due to COVID 19; all students passed their exams.

5

The student will acquire the general principles of drug action, as well as the principles of ocular pharmacology and medical treatment, clinical administration of ocular drugs, utilization of diagnostic agents and specific treatment of ocular diseases. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successful completion of the courses and by passing Part II of the National Board of Examination in Optometry (clinical science section that includes pharmacology). Students are eligible to sit for this section of the exam during the fall semester of their fourth year of the program (December administration of the exam).

Integrative knowledge – emphasizing the ability to produce, independently or collaboratively, an investigative, creative, or practical work that draws on specific theories, evidence, tools, and methods from diverse perspectives. 

Grades in appropriate courses dealing with drug action, principles of ocular pharmacology and medical treatment, clinical administration of ocular drugs, utilization of diagnostic agents, and the treatment of ocular diseases.

NBEO exam scores for Part II.

Successful completion of appropriate courses dealing with drug action, principles of ocular pharmacology and medical treatment, clinical administration of ocular drugs, and utilization of diagnostic agents, and the treatment of ocular diseases.

NBEO Part II passage by graduation.

85

During the 2019-2020 academic year, all students were successful in completing the appropriate courses dealing with drug action, principles of ocular pharmacology and medical treatment, clinical administration of ocular drugs, utilization of diagnostic agents, and the treatment of ocular diseases. Those courses include:

OPT 4133 Clinical Immunology & Microbiology
OPT 4264 Ocular Anatomy & Physiology
OPT 5103 General Pharmacology
OPT 5273 Ocular Disease I: Cataracts, Corneal, & External Ocular Disease
OPT 5203 Ocular Pharmacology
OPT 6023 Ocular Disease II: Glaucoma & Anterior Uveal Disease
OPT 6173 Ocular Disease III: Vitreal, Choroidal, & Retinal Disease
OPT 6272 Ocular Disease IV: Orbital & Neurological Disease
OPT 7101 Systemic Therapy in Ocular Disease & Trauma

Twenty-four of twenty-seven students who took the National Board of Examiners in Optometry Part II - Patient Assessment & Management exam for the first time in December 2019 passed the examination for a first time pass rate of 88.89%.

6

Students will be provided with enough supervised patient encounters to enable the student to put to use the knowledge gained in a clinical setting. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successfully achieving a passing grade on daily clinical encounters.

Integrative knowledge – emphasizing the ability to produce, independently or collaboratively, an investigative, creative, or practical work that draws on specific theories, evidence, tools, and methods from diverse perspectives. 

Grades in all clinical courses.

Passing grades in all clinical courses.

112

During the 2019-2020 academic year, all students in all four years of the program (100%) received a passing grade in all clinical courses as follows:

OPT 4291 Introduction to Clinic I
OPT 5191 Introduction to Clinic II
OPT 5291 Clinical Practice I
OPT 6093 Clinical Practice II
OPT 6195 Clinical Practice III
OPT 6295 Clinical Practice IV
OPT 7095 Clinical Practice V
OPT 7196 Clinical Practice VI
OPT 7293 Clinical Practice VII

Please refer to the Clinical Education Assessment Tools section for additional information.

7

Students will acquire understanding of scientific methodology and have an appreciation for research and statistics in order to continue their life-long education after optometry school. Students will demonstrate this knowledge by successfully completing an optometry research project during the third year of the program.

Integrative knowledge – emphasizing the ability to produce, independently or collaboratively, an investigative, creative, or practical work that draws on specific theories, evidence, tools, and methods from diverse perspectives.

Grades in all course requirements for research methodology and optometry research project courses.

Successful completion of all course requirements for research methodology and optometry research project courses by all enrolled students.

57

During the 2019-2020 academic year, 100% of students enrolled in all research methodology and optometry project courses completed all course requirements. The courses are as follows:

OPT 6111 Research Methodology
OPT 6122 Optometry Project I
OPT 6262 Optometry Project II
OPT 7062 Optometry Project III

8

Students will be provided with appropriate information about running a private practice with all small business aspects to enable them to make a living for themselves and their families. Students will demonstrate this knowledge by successfully completing the courses in practice management.

Citizenship – emphasizing leadership and engagement, experiential learning, cultural foundations, and personal and career development. 

Grades of all third-and fourth-year students enrolled in practice management courses.

Successful completion and passing letter grades for all third- and fourth-year students enrolled in practice management courses.

56

During the 2019-2020 academic year, 100% of third-and fourth-year students completed all courses in the practice management area and received passing letter grades. The courses are as follows:

6243 Practice Development and Administration I
7143 Practice Development and Administration II

9

Students will be provided with enough supervised patient encounters to enable the student to put to use the knowledge gained in a clinical setting. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successfully achieving a passing rate on daily clinical evaluations and by passing the clinical proficiency tests scheduled throughout years three and four of the curriculum. Students may also demonstrate clinical proficiency by passing Part III of the National Boards (administered in the student’s last year.)

Integrative knowledge – emphasizing the ability to produce, independently or collaboratively, an investigative, creative, or practical work that draws on specific theories, evidence, tools, and methods from diverse perspectives.

Specialized knowledge in the major – emphasizing student competency in the program outcomes of the major field(s) of study.

Grades in all courses in the clinical practice area for third- and fourth-year students.

Fourth-year students’ NBEO Part III (Clinical Skills Exam) participation and scores.

Successful completion of all courses in the clinical practice area with passing letter grades by third- and fourth-year students.
Fourth-year students’ NBEO Part III exam passage.

56

During the 2019-2020 academic year, 100% of third-year students and 100% of fourth-year students completed all courses in the Clinical Practice area and received passing grades. Those courses are as follows:

OPT 6093 Clinical Practice II
OPT 6195 Clinical Practice III
OPT 6295 Clinical Practice IV
OPT 7095 Clinical Practice V
OPT 7196 Clinical Practice VI
OPT 7293 Clinical Practice VII

Twenty-five of the twenty-eight fourth year students who graduated in May 2020 haven taken NBEO, Part III, Clinical Skills Exam as of August 28, 2020.
Nineteen of the twenty-five graduates who took Part III board exams have passed, resulting in a 76% pass rate as of August 28, 2020.
Three graduates have elected not to take their Part III board exam due to Oklahoma State Board of Optometry licensure rule allowances.

Eighteen of the twenty-five students who attempted Part III board exams passed on their first attempt, resulting in a first time pass rate of 72%.
The NBEO, Part III exam takes place on test dates spread over several months and exams are administered at one site in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Please refer to the Clinical Education Assessment Tools section for additional information.

10

Students will be generally prepared to pass any state licensing examination they might encounter. Students will demonstrate this level of knowledge and clinical skills by successfully completing state written and practical examinations.

Integrative knowledge – emphasizing the ability to produce, independently or collaboratively, an investigative, creative, or practical work that draws on specific theories, evidence, tools, and methods from diverse perspectives.

Specialized knowledge in the major – emphasizing student competency in the program outcomes of the major field(s) of study. 

Optometry state board exams.

Successful passage of optometry state board exams by all eligible students.

112

To the best knowledge of the College, all students who have graduated from the College of Optometry since 1983 and who have been eligible to sit for the State Board of Optometry in Oklahoma have been successful in passing the examination. The College has no documented information on the passage rates of our graduates on state boards outside of Oklahoma.

ACADEMIC STANDARDS

Student Academic Evaluation Committee

The Student Academic Evaluation Committee (SAEC) is a standing committee of the College of Optometry that reviews academic performance and recommends appropriate actions for students in academic difficulty, including clinical performance. Following the review by the SAEC, the Dean receives a recommendation for final approval and implementation. The SAEC acts as advisor to the Dean who may accept, reject, or modify its recommendations. The Committee is a standing committee and is comprised of five (5) members. The Dean selects standing committees at the beginning of each new academic year. The membership, selected from the faculty and administrative staff of the College, is currently comprised of five faculty. One of the faculty members serves as chair.

Academic Retention Standards

As a requirement for graduation, the Oklahoma College of Optometry requires each student to take, but not necessarily pass, Parts I and II of the exam administered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and have the exam scores reported to the College. If a student takes Part III of the National Board Exam, he/she must also report Part III scores to the College. Graduates should notify the College once they have obtained licensure in any state. The College is required to report licensure data to the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education for accreditation purposes.

To graduate from the College of Optometry, a student must maintain a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 2.0 in the professional optometry program. A student’s semester GPA of less than 2.0 results in academic probation for that semester.

Receiving a failing grade in any optometry course may result in suspension or dismissal from the optometry program. At a minimum, a student who fails any course in the program will receive academic probation regardless of his or her GPA. In addition, when a student receives a failing grade in a course, the student will not advance in the program and his or her continued enrollment rests with the SAEC, who will review the student’s overall academic performance and make a recommendation to the Dean. Among other options, the SAEC could require the student to re-enroll in the next academic year, retaking all of the curricular courses for the academic year in which the student received a failing grade. The student will receive a new grade in each course. The student’s academic transcript will reflect both grades and both grades will be included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average. The SAEC will handle each student’s performance on an individual basis and the Committee will formulate a recommendation for appropriate remediation that will be forwarded for final approval to the Dean.

A student on academic probation will remain on academic probation for a minimum of one semester. To be removed from academic probation, the cumulative GPA must be raised to 2.0 or higher, and all courses repeated by a student must be completed with at least a grade of "C" or Pass (for Pass/Fail courses). To remain in the optometry program, the student on academic probation must achieve a 2.25 GPA or higher for each succeeding semester. A student on academic probation who attains a GPA below 2.25 in any semester results in the students’ dismissal from the optometry program.

While a student remains on academic probation, the SAEC will monitor and approve the student’s academic progress and plan of remediation.

The College of Optometry will not modify the curriculum of the optometry program to accommodate a remedial plan for a student who receives a failing course grade, and the College does not endorse a reduced class load.

No student may graduate from the program who has a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 or who is on academic probation.

A student who is suspended or dismissed from the optometry program for academic reasons may appeal to the Appeal Board for academic sanctions for readmission. Written appeal requests are required and result in submission to the office of the Dean by letter postmarked within five University business days after the student’s receipt of the letter notifying the student of the recommended sanction.

In the event that a student requests an appeal within the specified period of five (5) University business days, the student will continue in the program until the completion of the appeals process.

Upon receipt of the written appeal, the Dean’s Office will select an Appeals Board, randomly drawn from the pool of potential members. Within one week of receipt of the written request for an appeal, the Dean’s Office will notify the student of the date and time of the hearing. Completed expediently, the appeal process should yield results no later than four weeks after the convening of the appeal board.

If granted readmission, the student will be re-entered on academic probation, and continued enrollment will be contingent on the student meeting all appropriate policies and any specific requirements outlined by the SAEC and approved by the Dean.

The appropriateness of a leave of absence longer than two weeks (for academic, health, emergency, or other reasons) requires SAEC review. The SAEC may impose conditions upon the leave (such as requiring the student to seek counseling) requiring fulfillment for eligibility to return from leave. In most cases, students granted an extended leave would be required to stay out the remainder of the academic year and will be returning at the beginning of the same semester of the same year of the program or may be required to repeat some portion of the program. Students returning from leave must notify the Dean of their intent to return at least two months before the start of the semester in which they would be enrolling. Students who fail to notify the Dean will be considered to have withdrawn from the College. Conditions placed upon the student’s return require evidence of the fulfillment of those conditions. Failing this proper notification or meeting of conditions, the student will lose his/her status with the College and must apply for re-admission to the Admissions Committee in order to return.

If leave is the result of medical issues, the confidentiality of the student-physician relationship is respected; no medical information will be provided to the SAEC without the consent of the student. A letter from the treating physician supporting the advisability of a leave will assist the SAEC in making its decision. A student returning from leave may choose to release medical information to support the return from leave; however, the SAEC will generally require an examination by a physician or other health care professional of its choosing to document that the student is fit to return from leave. The cost of this examination will be borne by the College.

Clinical Education Assessment Tools

The College has developed a computerized clinical grading system that provides a more efficient process for rapid and effective evaluation of the student’s performance at the end of each daily clinical experience. The enhanced clinical evaluation process provides timely intervention for students who have areas requiring improvement. The automated process also enhances the collection and analysis of cumulative student data for faculty review and analysis.

Each year, the faculty utilizes a broad range of assessment tools to monitor performance of students. Over the past several years, there have been no significant curriculum changes required.

As always, the objectives in the College's mission, goals, and objectives serve as outcomes measures. In addition to our program objectives, the following list identifies the outcomes measures utilized annually by our program.

  1. Academic qualifications of admitted students to the professional program.
  2. Successful performance and completion by students in each year in the didactic portion of the curriculum.
  3. Student performance on NBEO Part I.
  4. Student performance in the clinical proficiency associated with the four Clinical Methods courses.
  5. Student performance on NBEO Part II.
  6. Daily evaluation of student performance in providing patient care.
  7. Three Clinical Grades Meetings each fall and spring semester and two in the summer session where faculty review and deliberate student clinical performance.
  8. Student performance in completing Optometry Research Project during the third and fourth years of the program.
  9. Student performance and application of skills learned in Practice Management courses.
  10. Evaluation of progressive improvement of student clinical skills through passage of the Clinical Proficiency Tests, which are scheduled throughout years three and four.
  11. Evaluation of progressive improvement of student clinical skills through successful completion of clinical test checklists
  12. Student performance on NBEO Part III.
  13. Graduates' performance on State Boards.
  14. Periodic Performance Improvement Studies of patient charts (Quality Assurance).
  15. Patient Satisfaction Surveys.
  16. Student evaluations of faculty teaching and course quality.
  17. Student evaluations of clinical teaching by faculty.
  18. Periodic evaluations of student externship experience.
  19. Resident evaluations of program, faculty, and learning experiences.
  20. Periodic review of clinical financial and activities reports.
  21. Yearly evaluation of non-tenured faculty.
  22. Evaluations of tenured faculty every three years.
  23. Annual Reports on various aspects of the College to the President and Vice Presidents of the University.
  24. Periodic assessment of policies and rules addressing academic and professional behavior
  25. Annual Report to the ACOE as well as periodic accreditation visits.
  26. Periodic Faculty Meetings and Annual Faculty Retreat.
  27. Periodic Council Meetings of the Optometry Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant Dean for Clinical Care Services, and Director of Student Affairs who meet with Optometric Student Association leaders and/or all students.
  28. Frequent meetings of the Optometry Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant Dean for Clinical Care Services, and Assistant Dean for Development.
  29. As necessary and appropriate, counseling sessions with individual students and faculty.
  30. Periodic staff meetings with administrators and supervisors.
  31. Periodic performance evaluations of administrative and clinical support staff.
  32. Recommendations that come from the deliberations of the various Committees of the Oklahoma College of Optometry.
  33. Evaluations of Continuing Medical Education Programs presented by NSUOCO for practicing optometric physicians.
  34. Survey of alumni on the graduates’ impressions of the College’s didactic and clinical curricula.

Data Analysis of the assessment results

  • Last year’s report (September 2019) noted that NBEO Part I exam pass rates were lower than previous years. Unfortunately, the 2020 administration of the NBEO Part I exam was delayed due to COVID-19 and the results from this year’s exam will not be available until October 2020. As noted last year, the faculty extensively discussed several areas of concern and potential improvement. The following items have been implemented: meeting with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students to discuss preparation for NBEO exams and correlation with performance in optometry basic science courses and stressing the need for mastery of this material; stressing early NBEO preparation at the aforementioned meeting and other student meetings. The faculty also agreed on the need to find highly qualified applicants.
  • To help attract more qualified students, admissions interviews now conclude with the newly-opened Optometry wing at the Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Center (CNOHC). This state-of-the-art facility compares very favorably to the clinical settings at other optometry schools. We have also added a NSUOCO student interview to the admissions process to allow applicants to ask questions of current students. This has been well received by applicants and, hopefully, will help attract potential students.
  • First time pass rates for Part II of NBEO was consistent with the last two years of administration.

Plans for the Future

  • Continue the annual student meeting (in addition to other student meetings) to stress basic science performance and guidance for NBEO Part I preparation.
  • The faculty will place increased priority on the incorporation of the ideals of professionalism into all courses with emphasis in the Communications and Practice Management courses.
  • The construction of a dedicated exam lane for the NBEO Part III practical proved to be cost prohibitive. We are currently assessing more affordable options that will still give students access to a preparatory clinic area.
  • Continue to find and accept highly qualified students. As noted in the report, the entering class’ Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) and undergraduate GPA has improved in recent years.

Concerns or challenges COVID-19 presented to your assessment plan

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, all didactic optometry courses moved to online instruction on March 23, 2020 and continued online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Approximately ninety percent of NSUOCO professors maintained the previous class lecture schedule and delivered content via live Zoom meetings with students. Some faculty distributed pre-recorded lectures or a blend of pre-recorded and live online lectures. In all cases, the time and content of delivered lectures was the same as pre COVID-19 delivery.

All clinical education for optometry students was moved online utilizing virtual clinical cases on March 23, 2020 and continued to the end of spring semester. The online virtual clinical experience utilized the pre COVID-19 schedule that was created for usual in-person clinics. Each faculty member assigned to a clinic assigned two clinical cases related to the clinic specialty via email at the beginning of the scheduled clinic. For example, contact lens clinic students received contact lens cases, students assigned to Walk In clinic received acute care/emergency cases, etc. Students were to review the cases and write up a brief diagnosis and treatment plan. Case responses were due by end of clinic time the same day and were submitted via the NSUOCO electronic Clinic Grades System (CGS). Faculty then met with students via Zoom at end of “clinic” for follow up discussion related to the day’s assigned cases. Clinic grades were assigned for virtual clinic cases just as they were for regular clinic direct patient care. The cases were cataloged and student responses can be accessed on CGS.

The majority of labs were completed online with instructions for at-home completion and/or videos of important concepts. Examples include optics and ophthalmic optics demonstrations as well as demonstration of clinical techniques. Five 4-hour labs were deemed essential to be conducted in person and were scheduled into the summer semester. These make up labs include one Contact Lens lab and one Vision Science lab for second years, two Methods IV labs for third years, and one Ocular Anatomy lab for first year students. 

All exams for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester were given online via Examsoft or Lockdown Browser through NSU Blackboard and were timed. Clinical proficiency exams for current first year students were rescheduled and conducted in person at the end of summer semester.

NSUOCO administration delayed the start of the ten-week summer semester until June 1, 2020 to coincide with the Cherokee Nation’s return to clinical operations as our clinic schedule follows theirs. This allowed for a more normal summer semester in terms of clinical care and education. Students were able to return to patient care in clinic during the summer semester at reduced patient loads due to COVID 19 clinic protocols.

NSUOCO administration continues to keep its mission, goals and objectives in mind and met frequently with faculty via Zoom meetings during the spring semester through the COVID-19 pandemic and online course delivery period. We solicited their input while determining how to best conduct didactic classes, labs, and clinics during this unprecedented time. All NSUOCO faculty did all they could to deliver content and teach key concepts via various creative online formats, and to ensure that learning objectives were met.

Program student learning outcome # 3 was affected by COVID 19 as follows: The National Board of Examiners in Optometry Part I - Applied Basic Science exam results were not available for Academic Year 2019-2020. The main administration date of this portion of board exams would normally have been given in March 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Part 1 board exams were rescheduled for July 27 through August 15, 2020 and results are anticipated to be released October 2, 2020. We will assess these delayed results when they are received.

NBEO Pass Rate and Graduation Rate Data:

NBEO pass and graduation rates data