College of DuPage Offers New Eye Care Assistant Certificate Program

eye care assistant

By Brian Kleemann

Students earning the new Eye Care Assistant Certificate program at College of DuPage will gain the skills for entry-level positions as ophthalmology and optometric assistants under the supervision of licensed eye care professionals.

The program was recently approved by the Illinois Community College Board, and College of DuPage will seek accreditation for the new certificate through the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). Upon receiving accreditation, students can sit for the national certifying exam, the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA), administered by JCAHPO.

“Optometrists and ophthalmologists are in need of assistants who can do everything from scheduling appointments, taking history and physicals, to performing basic exams,” said Kathy Cabai, Professor and Coordinator of the Surgical Technology program at College of DuPage. “In DuPage County alone, there are more than 100 optometry offices.”

According to JCAHPO, the shortage of eye care assistants that has occurred during the past 10 years is expected to continue for several more decades. With the number of people 65 and over projected to double by 2030, the need for eye care assistants will continue to grow. projects new positions to increase 5.61 percent during the next several years.

The new Eye Care Assistant certificate program at College of DuPage consists of 33 credits and is expected to begin in fall 2017. Most courses will be offered online, with lab components held on campus. 

“Many people who have expressed interest in the program are currently working in eye care offices and want to add to their knowledge and skills,” Cabai said. “The online format provides them with the greatest amount of flexibility. Word is already spreading about the new certificate and we expect it to be very popular.”

For more information, email or call (630) 942-2259.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 27,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.  In celebration of its 50th anniversary, College of DuPage will host a series of on- and off-campus events throughout the year to highlight the institution’s history and service to students and District 502 residents over the past half-century.

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

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