The vision healthcare field is growing at a faster than average rate, creating more job opportunities every day. Ophthalmic technologists, technicians, and medical ophthalmic technologists are an indispensable part in many areas of the vision healthcare field. Furthermore, online learning for a future in the vision healthcare field continues to grow, with colleges and programs across the country offering one, both or a combination of the two. Our research team has collected and analyzed data from many institutions across the nation to see which schools and programs stand out in 2017. The schools listed here have been ranked as having some of the best ophthalmic training programs online in the country. (Methodology)

 

 

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TOP 35

AB-Tech Community College
340 Victoria Road Asheville, North Carolina 28801
AB-Tech Community College

The Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Program at AB Tech is comprised of two courses which total 585 hours. In order to be admitted, applicants must earn a passing score on the reading and math portion of the NC DAP exam. Applicants must also pass a background check and drug screening. This is a continuing education program that is a combination of clinical and classroom instruction. Graduates of this program will qualify to take the JCAHPO Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) examination. The Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Program at AB Tech has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Programs.

 

TOP 35

Asnuntuck Community College
170 Elm Street, Enfield, CT 06082
Asnuntuck Community College

Asnuntuch offers an Ophthalmic Assistant Program that awards graduates a certificate upon completing the four-month curriculum. To earn a certificate, students must complete both classroom and clinical training. The program is also among the credit-free healthcare programs offered at Asnuntuch. The Ophthalmic Assistant Program is also considered a WIA approved course. In-state tuition rates are lower for Connecticut and Rhode Island residents. Asnuntuch has received accreditation from the Board of Governors for Higher Education and also from the New England Association of Schools and College (NEASC).

 

TOP 35

Auburn University Outreach
213 Samford Hall Auburn University, AL 36849
Auburn University Outreach

Auburn University Outreach features an Ophthalmic Assistant certification program that requires the completion of 405 hours. It is a distance learning program that is offered online by the Auburn Office of Professional and Continuing Education. This is a mentor supported program that enables graduates to sit for the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant Certification (COA-A3) which is offered by the JCAHPO. There are a total of 14 Ophthalmic Assistant modules as part of this program. There are an additional 9 Computer Basics modules that are also part of this Career Training Program operated by ED4online.

 

TOP 35

Austin Community College
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd. Austin, Texas 78752-4390
Austin Community College

As part of the continuing education segment at Austin Community College, students can enter into the Ophthalmic Assistant program, which takes 12 months to complete. Students in this program are expected to commit at least 10 hours per week to their coursework. To qualify for admission, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and hold a high school diploma or GED equivalency. Applicants must also have a clear criminal history and hold an approved card from the American Heart Association. Austin Community College has a long-standing history of providing vocational professional development throughout Central Texas.

 

TOP 35

Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology
460 E Altamonte Dr Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology

The Ophthalmic Technician Training Program at Cambridge takes 37.5 weeks to complete. Those who successfully complete the program are awarded a diploma/certificate and are fully prepared to take the national ophthalmic technician certification exam and become a COT (Certified Ophthalmic Technician). This certificate program is administered by the Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology. There are three Cambridge campuses, although the Ophthalmic Technician Program is only offered at the Palm Beach, FL location. Cambridge has also developed relationships with many local and national companies which has led to the establishment of Career Services Department, which assists students with job placement.

 

TOP 35

Camden County College
200 N. Broadway Camden, NJ 08102-1185
Camden County College

Located just over the bridge from Philadelphia, this southern New Jersey two-year college offers a host of ophthalmic programs. Students can enter into an Ophthalmic Science Apprentice which awards a certificate to those who successfully complete 31 credits. An Ophthalmic Medical Technician certificate is awarded to students who successfully complete 32 credits in that respective curriculum. There is also the option of earning an Associate Degree of Applied in Ophthalmic Science Technology which requires the completion of 66 credits. This option requires the completion of clinical rotations as well. Camden County even offers a non-credit course designed for those preparing to take Ophthalmic Dispensers Licensing Examination.

 

TOP 35

CCCTI Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
2855 Hickory Blvd Hudson, NC 28638
CCCTI Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

The Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Program at CCCTI is a diploma program that takes one year to complete. This CCCTI program has gained membership to the Consortium of Ophthalmic Training Programs (COTP), which features the top ophthalmic educational programs throughout the United States and Canada. CCCTI has also developed several clinical affiliations throughout North Carolina. There are two CCCTI campus locations, one in the city of Boone and the other located in Watauga. As part of the program, CCCTI students will need to complete four general education classes. Each year, there are 15 students accepted into the Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Program at CCCTI.

 

TOP 35

Cleveland Clinic
9500 Euclid Ave./NA12, Cleveland, Ohio 44195
Cleveland Clinic

The Cleveland Clinic offers an Ophthalmic Assistant affiliated training program in conjunction with Cuyahoga Community College. Classroom instruction is provided at the community college while clinical rotations take place at the Cleveland Clinic main campus or one of its regional hospitals. The experience at Cleveland Clinic provides ophthalmic medical students with the on-hands training needed to fulfill their academic requirements. In total, the Cleveland Clinic offers student training in 62 health science disciplines. The Cleveland Clinic first opened its doors in 1921 and recorded 7.14 million visits in 2016.

 

TOP 35

Community College of Baltimore County
800 South Rolling Road Baltimore, MD 21228
Community College of Baltimore County

Training as an Ophthalmic Medical Assistant at CCBC requires 16-20 weeks of coursework. The completion of those courses will result in the awarding of a CBCC credential, also called a Continuing Education Workforce Training Certificate. The program offers sequential courses in which 100% attendance is required. Those courses include HIPAA Training, CPR and First Aid classes. There is also Career Coach resource available to CCBC students, which has been designed to help prepare for future employment. CCBC has received accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

 

TOP 35

Community College of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Community College of Philadelphia

An Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate is offered at CCP. To be admitted into the program, students must be approved through the Allied Health admissions review process. Those who apply between October 1st and March 1st will be given priority status in that process. The 25-credit program can be completed in two semesters. Courses are offered at CCP’s main campus in downtown Philadelphia as well at its Northwest Regional Center and at The Eye Institute of Salus University. Completion of this program prepares students for an entry-level position in a variety of eye care settings.

 

TOP 35

Cuyahoga Community College
2900 Community College Ave Cleveland Ohio 44115
Cuyahoga Community College

There are a few areas of ophthalmic study at Tri-C. The Ophthalmic Medical Assisting Certificate is a short-term certificate which is offered at the Eastern campus. To earn this certificate, students must pass five classes for a total of 16 credits. Tri-C also offers an Optical Technology Certificate, which is classified as a certificate of proficiency. This option requires the completion of 32 credits. Tri-C’s highest level of education in this area is an Associate of Applied Science degree in Optical Technology. This 64-credit program typically takes two years to complete on a full-time basis.

 

TOP 35

Coastal Carolina Community College
444 Western Boulevard, Jacksonville, NC 28546
Coastal Carolina Community College

The Ophthalmic Assistant Program at Coastal Carolina Community College features two parts with a total of 672 hours. The first part of the program consists of 126 lecture hours and 272 internship hours. The second part features 208 internship hours and 66 lecture hours. All lectures will take place on campus while the internship hours will be completed at local vision care centers and hospitals. The entire program takes nine months to complete and is part of the Division of Continuing Education at Coastal Carolina Community College.

 

TOP 35

Delgado Community College
615 City Park Avenue New Orleans, LA 70119
Delgado Community College

Located in New Orleans, the Certificate of Technical Studies Program at Delgado features educational training as an Ophthalmic Medical Assistant. To earn a certificate, students must complete 33 credit hours. The coursework spans two semesters and a grade of “C” or higher is required in 10 different program courses. This program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs. Certain courses in this program are also transferrable for students looking to further their ophthalmic education. Delgado Community College offers a Day One Guarantee that guarantees graduates will be fully prepared for employment.

 

TOP 35

Duke Ophthalmology Duke University School of Medicine
Duke Eye Center, 2351 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705
Duke Ophthalmology Duke University School of Medicine

The Ophthalmic Medical Technician Certification Program is offered at Duke Eye Center, which has been rated in the top 10 of their respective field by U.S. News & World Report. The program features classes now held in a new state-of-the-art facility that was built in 2016. The program consists of full-time instruction over the course of 51 weeks. Upon completion, graduates are awarded a certificate from the Duke Medical Center and are also required to take the technician’s national certification exam offered by the JCAHPO. Admission requirements include a 250-word essay, two letters of recommendation and applicants must also take the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).

 

TOP 35

GateWay Community College
108 North 40th Street Phoenix, AZ 85034
GateWay Community College

GateWay awards an Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Certificate of Proficiency to students who meet the necessary requirements. This certificate is part of a Clock Hours Program, which has year-round start dates that are specific. Completion times may vary, although the average finish time is 702 hours, which equates to roughly eight months. The curriculum includes off-site visits in which students receive hands-on training. Those interested in learning more about this program are invited to GateWay’s weekly information sessions which take place at noon on Tuesdays at the Central City Campus.

 

TOP 35

Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21044
Howard Community College

Ophthalmic Technician Training is offered through Howard Community College’s continuing education program. The Ophthalmic Technician classes at Howard Community College are classified as non-credit courses, although they do prepare students to enter the ophthalmic workforce. Once students complete the required training, they will qualify for a mandatory internship, which will provide them with hands-on instruction. Howard Community College also offers hybrid courses, which combine online learning and classroom instruction. Applicants to the Ophthalmic Technician Training are required to pass a criminal background check.

 

TOP 35

Jefferson State Community College
2601 Carson Road Birmingham, Alabama 35215
Jefferson State Community College

Jefferson State offers a Vision Care Ophthalmic Assistant Training Program, which takes 60 hours to complete. There is classroom instruction in addition to hands-on training that will take place at a local vision clinic one night a week. A high school diploma or GED equivalency is required for admission. The course requires a one-time fee of $799 and students must also purchase a course textbook. Students will be eligible to sit for a national certification exam once they acquire 12 months of experience working in the field.

 

TOP 35

John Hopkins Medicine
John Hopkins Medicine

The Wilmer EYE Institute, which is part of Johns Hopkins Medicine, offers Ophthalmic Technician Training at numerous locations throughout Central Maryland. New technicians will join Wilmer as apprentices and learn at one of the highest-respected institutions of learning in the country. Ophthalmic techs at Wilmer are able to learn using the newest equipment and state-of-the-art technology. No experience is required to begin this apprenticeship program, although some is recommended. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have earned a minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalency.

 

TOP 35

Madison Area Technical College
1701 Wright Street Madison, Wisconsin 53704
Madison Area Technical College

The Optometric Technician program at Madison College is offered strictly online. This program takes one year to complete and is only available on a part-time basis. The Madison campus is located in Madison, WI, although out-of-state students in the Optometric Technician program are not required to pay out-of-state tuition. Part of the program includes having a mentor or preceptor to help students through their coursework. Transfer opportunities to over 140 schools are also offered through Madison College. Financial aid options extend to students who are part of the Optician Technician program at Madison College.

 

TOP 35

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
3800 RESERVOIR RD NW WASHINGTON, DC 20007
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

MedStar’s Ophthalmic Medical Personnel Training Program has several options that all have different time spans. The Academic and Clinical Program takes two years to complete and begins each July. Class size is limited and it also includes clinical instruction in Ophthalmology clinics located throughout the Washington D.C. area. There is also the Intensive Academic Courses program, which begins each August and is an intensive six-week classroom experience. No college credit is given to those who complete this program on its own. MedStar also offers a weekly Academic and Workshop Program. This is a nine-month modular course in which students meet once a week.

 

TOP 35

Middlesex Community College
100 Training Hill Rd. Middletown, CT 06457
Middlesex Community College

Located in Central New Jersey, Middlesex Community College offers an Ophthalmic Medical Assisting Certificate, which requires the completion of 16 credits. Cost of this program is low since it can be completed in just one semester and all the classes are taken simultaneously. Much of the coursework is done online, although students are required to meet for 13 clinical segments on the Middlesex campus. At the conclusion of the semester, students must also pass a final examination in order to earn a certificate. Submitting an early application is suggested because lab space limits the number of students accepted each semester.

 

TOP 35

Monroe County Community College
100 Training Hill Rd. Middletown, CT 06457
Monroe County Community College

Based in Monroe, MI, students can take advantage of MCCC’s Ophthalmic Assistant Certificate program, which can be completed in 10 weeks. Limited class size enables students to receive a lot of one-on-one instruction. Much of the instruction is conducted at Reed Vision Associates in the city of Monroe as students will receive an extensive amount of clinical training. To be admitted to this program, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and hold at least a high school diploma or GED equivalency. The Ophthalmic Assistant Certificate training at MCCC is considered a non-credit program.

 

TOP 35

NH-INBRE
NH-INBRE

The Ophthalmic Assistant training program offered at NH-INBRE is only offered on a full-time basis and takes 13 weeks to complete. The New Hampshire INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) was intended to create a network of research training throughout the state of New Hampshire. That also led to the development of technical training programs, which includes the Ophthalmic Assistant training program. Training is offered at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s Lebanon location. Start dates for the Ophthalmic Assistant training program are available at different times throughout the year.

 

TOP 35

Renton Technical College
3000 NE 4th St.Renton, WA 98056
Renton Technical College

Renton Technical College has two options for those interested in ophthalmic training. The first program option concludes with the awarding of a Certificate and takes four quarters to complete. The next option concludes with the awarding of an Associate of Applied Science and requires six quarters of study. Each program was designed to meet the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs standards. Admissions to each program requires applicants to pass a criminal background check and while enrolled, all students must provide proof of health insurance. Located in the city of Renton, RTC is operated by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

 

TOP 35

Rockland Community College
145 College Road, Suffern, NY 10901
Rockland Community College

RCC features a number of Health Professional Programs and that includes an Ophthalmic Assistant Program. This particular program is 50 hours in duration and includes classroom and lab instruction. There is no clinical portion included in the program, although it meets all the requirements set forth by the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) Ophthalmic Medical Assisting Exam. Classes take place two nights a week for approximately seven weeks. Textbook costs are also included in the overall tuition fee for RCC’s Ophthalmic Assistant Program.

 

TOP 35

San Jacinto College
8060 Spencer Hwy.Pasadena, TX 77505
San Jacinto College

Students looking to pursue a career as an ophthalmic assistant can choose from one of three Eye Care Technology programs offered at San Jacinto College. The fastest option is to obtain an Occupational Certificate, which takes just one term to complete. Earning a Certificate of Technology consists of three terms while an Associate of Applied Science requires four terms of schooling. San Jacinto’s Eye Care Technology programs all begin in the fall and anyone who misses that deadline can meet with the program director to discuss other entry options.

 

TOP 35

Sandhills Community College
3395 Airport Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Sandhills Community College

An Ophthalmic Medical Assistant Diploma is offered at Sandhills Community College, which is located in Pinehurst, NC. To gain admission into the program, applicants must first complete an anatomy and physiology course. To complete the entire diploma program, students must accumulate 39 credits. Those credits include two practicums which are seven credits each. In these practicums, students will go through clinical rotations and receive hands-on training. Applications should be submitted in late January for early consideration while late consideration applications should be filed in late April.

 

TOP 35

St. Philip’s College
1801 Martin Luther King Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78203
St. Philip’s College

Students at St. Phillip’s have the option of earning an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Vision Care Technology. There are prerequisite courses that must be completed before applying to the Vision Care Technology program. There is also a selection process which includes a review of each application by the program director and faculty. Part of the program includes hands-on instruction from ophthalmologists at local practices. The program is spaced out so that it covers five semesters and once all of that coursework has been completed, graduates are eligible to sit for a national certification exam offered by the JCAHPO.

 

TOP 35

Stark State College
6200 Frank Ave. NW North Canton, OH 44720
Stark State College

Stark State offers two options for students looking to pursue a future as an ophthalmic assistant. There is an Ophthalmic Assistant Certificate which takes one year to complete and consists of 36 credits. Those credits can also be used to pursue an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Ophthalmic Technology. Students who pursue this Associate’s Degree can take choose from full-time or part-time options as the curriculum is designed to fit each option accordingly. Stark State also offers a pair of career enhancement certificates. This option is for those already working in the field of ophthalmology, but who are not yet certified.

 

TOP 35

Texas A&M University
7101 University Ave Texarkana, TX 75503
Texas A&M University

Texas A&M-Texarkana has recently introduced an Ophthalmic Assistant/Optician Training Course that spans a total of 15 weeks. The course will be offered in conjunction with the local eye care business, Texarkana Eye Associates. The course includes 60 hours of classroom instruction as well as 20 hours of lab training. Classes are offered strictly at night and students who complete the program will be eligible to sit for the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) examination. There is a flat fee for this program, although students are eligible for financial aid and other scholarship options.

 

TOP 35

Triton College
2000 Fifth Avenue River Grove, IL 60171
Triton College

Triton College offers an Ophthalmic Technician Associate’s Degree, which requires the completion of 63 credits. Students in this program are required to complete three separate practicums, which provide hands-on training in a clinical setting. The ophthalmic technician courses at Triton must all be taken in a sequential order. The program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs. This Ophthalmic Associate’s program is part of Triton’s Allied Health programs, which have a selective admission policy. There are also specific admission policies for new students.

 

TOP 35

USC Keek School of Medicine
1975 Zonal Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90033
USC Keek School of Medicine

The Keek School of Medicine at USC is home to the Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute, which features an Ophthalmic Technician Education Program (OTEP). This program lasts 21 months and is a non-degree certificate program. The design of this program is unique as it is one of just 14 of these OTEP programs throughout the country. The coursework combines academic instruction, clinical practice and technical training. Admissions are rolling and three letters of recommendations are required from all applicants. Clinical rotations are part of the curriculum and provide students with hands-on learning.

 

TOP 35

West Texas A&M University
WTAMU Box 60185 Canyon, TX 79016
West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M offers ophthalmic training as part of its Certified Ophthalmic Assistant course. This is a 12-week program that concludes with the awarding of a Certificate of Completion that is issued by WTAMU Education on Demand. The course combines 60 hours of classroom work with 20 hours of clinical teaching. Passing the final examination at the end of this course will qualify students to take the JCAHPO Certified Ophthalmic Assistant test. This coursework is taught by professional ophthalmologists and optometrists.

 

TOP 35

Volunteer State Community College
1480 Nashville Pike Gallatin, TN 37066
Volunteer State Community College

The Ophthalmic Technician program at Volunteer State Community College consists of 65 credits and concludes with the awarding of an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science. Admissions are limited and in order to be considered, applicants must first complete 16 required general education courses. Those general education courses are added into the total 65 credits needed for graduation. The program is structured so the ophthalmic courses are offered during three consecutive semesters and all students are expected to attend on a full-time basis. The Ophthalmic Technician Program has been accredited through the Committee on Accreditation for Ophthalmic Medical Personnel.

 

Methodology

(Methodology)
OptitionEDU.Org uses a number of important factors to determine overall rankings for our top 35 online program list. These factors include a combination of cost and financial aid, along with the number of programs offered. In addition, we consider student-teacher ratios, and employment/career counseling services. Finally, graduation rates were an important aspect when considering what schools to feature.