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Mission Statement of the Oklahoma College of Optometry
|| Doctor of Optometry Degree
Bachelor of Science in Vision Science
The Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry (NSUOCO) provides an educational program leading to the Doctor of Optometry degree, postgraduate clinical residency certification, and continuing optometric education.
The primary mission of NSUOCO is:
The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) accredits NSUOCO
- The education of excellent optometric physicians who, 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 Program conducted a Self-Study and was evaluated by a site team of the ACOE in December of 2012. The report from the ACOE stated that the program complied with all of the ACOE standards and met the classification of “Accredited.” At this time, the next scheduled evaluation visit is December 2020.
Student Learning Outcomes and
Assessment of Outcomes and Tools
The Doctor of Optometry and Bachelor of Science in Vision Science degrees are assessed by the various outcome objectives defined by the College of Optometry. Years one and two of both program outcomes assessment are identical; years three and four complete the outcomes assessments for the Doctor of Optometry degree.
- 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.
Administered by The American Dental Association, the admissions exam (OAT) is available on-line and on demand. Scores on the exam range from the lowest possible score of 200 to the highest score of 400. Students admitted into the College of Optometry have consistently met and exceeded entering standards for the program.
A class profile for the past five entering classes follows, as well as a Progression Rate for all students for the academic year 2016-2017.
Class Profile and Progression Rates
*Class statistics may change if composition of the class at point of matriculation changes – fall 2017
National Board of Examination in Optometry (NBEO)
BS/BA or higher
in fall 2016
|Number of original cohort progressing
Two types of examinations are administered by The National Board, these examinations include a complete, integrated comprehensive examination, and a short, limited-scope, special examination. The three Parts of the standard "National Boards" are built for different phases of a candidate's optometric education and training. Special examinations are designed for practitioners who wish to broaden their scope of practice and to comply with expanding practice statutes. Listed below are the various parts of the National Board scheduled for each year.
Comprehensive Part Examinations ("National Boards")
The three comprehensive examination parts are designed as a complete set of examinations to assess the cognitive, psychomotor, affective, and communication skills that are essential for entry-level optometric practice.
Each examination part is developed by a broad geographic cross-section of the optometric community, which includes faculty members, state board members, and practitioners. These subject-matter experts comprise test development committees that are responsible for developing a specific portion or section of an examination Part. For written examinations, this activity consists of reviewing, editing, and selecting test items written by the National Board's team of consultant item writers and case writers. All test items are scrutinized for accuracy, conformance to the specific test content outline, and appropriateness for entry-level difficulty.
Each examination development committee is represented on one of the three examination councils, each of which also has representation by a liaison member from the Board of Directors. Every council is responsible for the integration of the component sections of one of the Parts, and may be responsible for a related special examination (e.g., TMOD). Throughout this process, the examination councils are responsible for monitoring and maintaining the entry-level appropriateness of all test content.
Each examination council also directs and reviews the scoring of the corresponding examination part. This process includes the identification of flawed test items that should be deleted from scoring and any irregularities that might exert either a random or systematic deleterious effect on the scoring. The councils are accountable to the Board of Directors, which is ultimately responsible for the validity of the examinations, and the reliability of the examination results.
National Board Passage Rate
Ultimate Pass Rate Statistics for Graduation Year 2016 - NSUOCO
And NBEO Part
|1st Time Takers
||National - 1st Time Takers
|Part 1 Applied Basic Science
|Part 1 Applied Basic Science
|Part 1 Applied Basic Science
Forms A, B, C, & D
|A - 9
B - 12
C - 2
D - 4
|Part 2 Patient Assessment and
Management December 2015
Forms A & B
|A - 8
B - 19
|Part 2 Patient Assessment and
Management December 2016
Forms A & B
|A - 14
B - 15
|Part 3 Clinical Skills
Examination, Class of 2015
|Part 3 Clinical Skills,
Class of 2016
|Part 3 Clinical Skills,
Class of 2017 (if available)
|Total Class Size*:
||SF Pass Rate
||Ultimate Pass Rate
||SF Pass Rate
||Ultimate Pass Rate
|Passed Part I:
|Passed Part II:
|Passed Part III:
|Passed All Parts (I, II, III & TMOD):
|* Students who attempted at least one exam
SF: Student First-Timers
Ultimate Pass Rate (passed each part after 1 or more attempts by the given date)
(As of July 31, 2016)
Clinical Education Assessment Tools
- 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.
Twenty-seven (27) of the twenty-eight (28) students who entered the program in the fall of 2016 advanced to the second year of the program. One hundred percent (100%) of the students completing the first year of the program met this outcomes objective and were advanced to the second year of the program.
- 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 Examination 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).
As indicated in item 2, during the 2016-17 academic year, twenty-seven (27) of the twenty-seven (27) students who completed the first year met all course requirements and were advanced into the second year. All twenty-eight (28) of the students in the second year of the program met course requirements and were advanced into the third year of the program.
All twenty-seven (27) students who completed the third year met all requirements and were advanced into the fourth year.
The table on page 5 indicates the ultimate passage rate of NSUOCO students on all three parts of the National Board of Examination in Optometry prior to graduation. Historically, NSUOCO student performance on the NBEO consistently exceeds the average performance of students on the national level. Each year, the test scores are analyzed by the College and compared to the national averages. Faculty review each student’s performance as it pertains to his or her respective teaching area. Although no significant trends or areas of weakness within the curriculum have been indicated by our students’ performances, the faculty body continues to review and discuss strategies for helping students continue to achieve an overall high performance. Each year some faculty hold review workshops specific to their areas of teaching. The student body also contracts with a group called KMK which holds a four-day review session for students preparing to take Part I. Students are encouraged by their faculty to organize all of their study notes and materials at the completion of each semester, rather than wait to begin reviewing just prior to the NBEO, and to use those study items in addition to the KMK Review Course.
- 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 the four Optometry Clinical Methods courses.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, all students who completed the year completed the Clinical Practice Examination.
- 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).
During the 2016-2017 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, and utilization of diagnostic agents, and the treatment of ocular diseases. The December 2016 performance of NSUOCO students on Part II of the National Boards is included in the table on page 4. Twenty-eight out of twenty-nine students who took Part II for the first time in December 2016 passed the examination for a pass rate of 96.5%.
- 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.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, all students in all four years of the program who completed the year received a passing grade in all clinical courses (100%).
- 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 and fourth years of the program.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, all students enrolled in the Research Methodology class and Optometry Research Projects courses who completed the year were successful in completing the course requirements.
- 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.
During the 2016-2017 academic year, 100% of the third and fourth year students who completed the year successfully completed all courses in the Practice Management area and received passing letter grades.
- 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 must also demonstrate clinical proficiency by passing Part III of the National Boards (administered in the student’s last year.)
During the 2016-2017 academic year, 100% of the third year students and 100% of the fourth year students who completed the year successfully completed all courses in the Clinical Practice area and received passing grades. All twenty-nine (29) OS IV students took Part III of the NBEO but some scores have not yet been received. The examination takes place on test dates that are spread out over a several month period and are administered at only one site.
- 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.
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.
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.
Criteria for Success
- Academic qualifications of admitted students to the professional program.
- Successful performance and completion by students in each year in the didactic portion of the curriculum.
- Student performance on NBEO Part I.
- Student performance in the clinical proficiency associated with the four Clinical Methods courses.
- Student performance on NBEO Part II.
- Daily evaluation of student performance in providing patient care.
- Three Clinical Grades Meetings each fall and spring semester and two in the summer session where faculty review and deliberate student clinical performance.
- Student performance in completing Optometry Research Project during the third and fourth years of the program.
- Student performance and application of skills learned in Practice Management courses.
- Evaluation of progressive improvement of student clinical skills through passage of the Clinical Proficiency Tests, which are, scheduled throughout years three and four.
- Evaluation of progressive improvement of student clinical skills through successful completion of clinical test checklists.
- Student performance on NBEO Part III.
- Graduates' performance on State Boards.
- Periodic Performance Improvement Studies of patient charts (Quality Assurance).
- Patient Satisfaction Surveys.
- Student evaluations of faculty teaching and course quality.
- Student evaluations of clinical teaching by faculty.
- Periodic evaluations of student externship experience.
- Resident evaluations of program, faculty, and learning experiences.
- Periodic review of clinical financial and activities reports.
- Yearly evaluation of non-tenured faculty.
- Evaluations of tenured faculty every three years.
- Annual Reports on various aspects of the College to the President and Vice Presidents of the University.
- Periodic assessment of policies and rules addressing academic and professional behavior standards.
- Annual Report to the ACOE as well as periodic accreditation visits.
- Periodic Faculty Meetings and Annual Faculty Retreat.
- 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.
- Frequent meetings of the Optometry Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant Dean for Clinical Care Services, and Assistant Dean for Development.
- As necessary and appropriate, counseling sessions with individual students and faculty.
- Periodic staff meetings with administrators and supervisors.
- Periodic performance evaluations of administrative and clinical support staff.
- Recommendations that come from the deliberations of the various Committees of the Oklahoma College of Optometry.
- Evaluations of Continuing Medical Education Programs presented by NSUOCO for practicing optometric physicians.
- Survey of alumni on the graduates’ impressions of the College’s didactic and clinical curricula.
Successful completion of all assessment measures.
Plans for the Future
The faculty discussed NBEO results at the faculty retreat and continue to monitor all assessment results.
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
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.
The Academic and Professional Behavior Policies of the College of Optometry underwent major changes and modifications in the summer of 2001. The Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges approved the final version of the policies in November 2001. Each of the policies underwent testing by due process on behalf of students during the 2003-2004 academic year. This included a petition for Grade Appeal, a hearing for professional behavior charges, and an appeal of that decision, and an academic sanction with an appeal of that sanction. Based on the actual experience and review of those processes, the College feels the Academic and Professional Behavior Policies provide a fair and impartial hearing for all involved.
Person responsible for completing this form: Belinda Wall, Executive Assistant to the Dean Submission Due Date: September 1, 2017.