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Thread: 1 year Opticianry program anywhere??

  1. #1
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    Confused 1 year Opticianry program anywhere??

    I was wondering if there is a 1 year Opticianry program offerered anywhere in the US or Canada??

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    In Canada...

    I think the BC College of Optics offers 6 month and 1 year programs. You should also look at the distance education course offered through NAIT. It is 2 years (I think, but Schwing can clarify that for you, or look at the NAIT website), but the advantage is that you work while you're studying. Hands-on is really the best way to learn, in my opinion anyway.

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    Master OptiBoarder mullo's Avatar
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    Master OptiBoarder Shwing's Avatar
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    Nait

    Ehllo (Canadian for Hello)

    :}

    NAIT does not offer a fast track program

    The didactic is a two year course.

    Please contact the program assistant, Monique Mackay:

    optical@nait.ca
    Shwing

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    short term program

    Check out this short term program www.apcschool.edu/career_programs/ot.html

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    Thanks

    Thanks for the info. I think Im going to look into the college in BC which only takes 6 months but it sounds too good to be true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nada
    Thanks for the info. I think Im going to look into the college in BC which only takes 6 months but it sounds too good to be true.
    So how's going on with the college in BC ?

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    1 year program

    I think Intervoro Institute in NYC can have you out in 16 months assuming no remedial coursework. They run 3 semesters a year including a full summer session 212-399-0091 or 93

    Ed

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    optical schools

    Is everyone in here Canadian or from the UK? What's with the UK and Canadian schools, and how would I, as an American benefit from taking courses offered overseas? Since I can't refract here, what would be the point in taking these expensive courses overseas when I can take on line classes offered here in the states and get loans?

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    As far as I know there to take the online courses you still need to be within driving distance to the school for the finals. There are no US schools at this time that can do strictly on line learning. That is why I liked the ABDO courses. I don't want to limit myself to just the basic knowledfge of opticianry. I want to know the as much as I can about the field. It never hurts to learn as much as you can about your profession. Plus if you are a proven hard worker with a good track record and an above avaerage understanding of optics and refraction I don't think that it could hurt your chances landing a good job.

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    OptiBoard Professional Karlen McLean's Avatar
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    Also try...

    ...the National Federation of Opticianry Schools at www.nfos.com.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlen McLean
    ...the National Federation of Opticianry Schools at www.nfos.com.
    it is www.nfos.org

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    Thumbs up 4 month cram class in northern CA.

    There is a wonderful 4 month opticianary program in Union City, CA. It has a wonderful owner and a 30 year optician/ mathmatical genius, who has many different angles to make you learn. A little dumbfounding at first, but they make SURE you get it....I graduate in 2 days!!!!
    Bay Area Optical School is the name..EXCELLENT!

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    Thanks!

    Thanks for that info. I didn't know there was a 4 month program in Opticianry in Union City. However, I am nearing the end of the 2 yr on line program with Hillsborough Community College. I will be graduating in June of this yr. with an A.A.S. in Opticianry. I'm hoping this degree will lead to a teaching career in opticianry.

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    Exclamation Short-term Opticianry Program

    Quote Originally Posted by treetopper0 View Post
    There is a wonderful 4 month opticianary program in Union City, CA. It has a wonderful owner and a 30 year optician/ mathmatical genius, who has many different angles to make you learn. A little dumbfounding at first, but they make SURE you get it....I graduate in 2 days!!!!
    Bay Area Optical School is the name..EXCELLENT!
    Nice to see all the NAYSAYERS proven wrong when they suggest that you cannot become optically trained in a few months. Sure a 2-year degree can help make you a well-rounded person, but you can become optically qualified with an intensive short-term program.:cheers:

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    short term program

    Yes, you can become a qualified trained optician by participating in a short term program. I used to work with someone who took advantage of that opportunity. She was very professional and knowledgeable. Myself, I started off as a lab technician in the surfacing and finishing lab with no experience. I was trained on the job. I eventually became a frame stylist, moving my way up to certified and licensed optician just from what I learned on the job and self study. Customers always ask if I went to school to learn opticianry. I used to say yes, I have a degree in biology, but that confused them more because that degree isn't specific to opticianry. So then I started saying no, I was trained on the job, and for some reason, that info leads to a long explanation about how it's possible to become an optician without formal education. Now, I can say yes, I went to a 2 yr Opticianry school. I think Customers tend to be more comfortable knowing they are being serviced by someone with formal education, whether it be a short or long program.

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    Tyty

    Thank You for the credits....I know there is much to learn....But I am very proud that I made it thru this condensed version...I give much more credit to the field than I previously thought..There is alot to this. Hats off to anyone in the field or attending school for this.Its facsinating!:cheers:

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmorse View Post
    Nice to see all the NAYSAYERS proven wrong when they suggest that you cannot become optically trained in a few months. Sure a 2-year degree can help make you a well-rounded person, but you can become optically qualified with an intensive short-term program.
    I still do not think you can become optically qualified in just a few months, not properely anyway. To earn an AAS degree you need to go five semesters, each semester is sixteen weeks. In that sixteen weeks I still do not think that they get enough of what they need. I am not familiar with the program in Union City, CA, but there is so much information that I they are missing.

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    Education vs. Training

    There are condensed programs that do a good job of training, such as NOSTRA, the outstanding military Opticians school. It is 40 hours per week for six months and the folks that leave there can generally function in all facets of spectacle dispensing and fabrication. They are trained well. Probably some of the others are good. Mr. Morse has been around a long time, and I am certain does a good job. A degree, however, does provide value and benefit to the student by rounding out that training and adding to it in substantial ways. Communication, both oral and written, are components of a well-educated individual. An understanding of physics and chemistry that relate to the subject matter, and others provide a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Keep in mind that the AAS degree that most educated Opticians receive is not generally considered an academic degree at all, but is technical in nature and career focused. As proof of that try to transfer your dispensing 1 course into the local university. Some of the most liberal may give you transfer credit, but you will probably receive nothing. The learning is valuable, but not academically. The program directors at the Opticianry schools are required (with some exceptions....several do not hold them because they became directors prior to the implementation of the rule) to have at the very least a Bachelors degree. In any accredited senior college or university, a Masters degree and 18 hours in the discipline required. Opticians are the ONLY folks I know who feel an associate degree is some lengthy process, and continue to argue the value of such a degree. But they want to be considered professional in most cases. Education is important, particularly in contemporary health care. In my opinion, and I am certain I will get blated from many for this post, we (Opticianry) must move forward educationally and I hope one day arguments like this will be null and void. I am not in any way disparaging training programs, and in fact feel the schools should grant credit for them; only asking if that is all we desire for future "professionals" in this field. What do you want opticianry to look like 10 years from now. In the past, most of the leaders thought that if apprenticeship was good enough for the father, and good enough for them, then it should be good enough for the son. I feel that we should advance our education with an eye on expanding our scope, and it should be everyone's goal that wants to see Opticians improve their lot for tomorrow. No one currently practicing would have to do anything, except llok to the future needs of the profession. OK.....have at me!

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    Certificate vs. A.A.S. program

    Quote Originally Posted by lensgrinder View Post
    I still do not think you can become optically qualified in just a few months, not properely anyway. To earn an AAS degree you need to go five semesters, each semester is sixteen weeks. In that sixteen weeks I still do not think that they get enough of what they need. I am not familiar with the program in Union City, CA, but there is so much information that I they are missing.
    You fail to state exactly what opticianry information you think an A.A.S. degree graduate lacks, and perhap you confuse 'training' with 'experience'.

    Most modern accreditting agencies no longer look at number of hours of instruction in this or that topic(s) in a opticianry school's curriculum, but rather they focus (pun intended) on graduate learning outcomes. Stict adherence to an old-fashioned 'number of hours' agenda stifles teaching innovation(s) and fails to take into account modern advances in learning tools and techniques that were simply not available to the earlier optical generation... ie. CD's, DVD's, Internet, etc.

    Just because you can't see yourself doing something doesn't mean someone else can't accomplish it. I saw that with cancer survivor Terry Fox here in Canada, who ran a four (4)-month marathon (full 26 miles each day) for half the length of Canada (3000 miles) with an above-knee leg amputation until his cancer re-appeared. I didn't expect him to get through his first week.

    Too many people do a credible job dispensing most eyeglasses with only rudimentary in-house training. A shorter opticianry program that covers the basics of opticianry may interest them, but you can see their opposition to the notion their job requires an A.A.S. degree.

    IMHO get everyone in even short-term formal opticainry training and maybe one day convince the future generation that their best interests lie in a longer program. In the mid 60's the Ontario College of Optometry program was three (3) years in length. Now it's a five (5) year program at the University of Waterloo.

    Times change, and we should change with them.:D

  21. #21
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    Excellent points.......

    ......and I agree change is necessary. However in my experience in accreditation both at the regional and programmatic levels, most accrediting agencies do not and never did look specifically at clock hours, but credit hours. This is based on the Carnegie Commision's findings that 15 clock hours is roughly 1 semester hour of credit, so clock hours do have some significance. Since most US institutions utilize semesters currently, accrediting organizations do require a certain amount of time. However it should be clearly understood that accrediting the way we do it in the US is vastly different than other nations. In most countries, it is a government function. Here it is private, and they say voluntary. The requirement for accreditation comes in funding....if not accredited, an institution does not receive federal or state funding, generally speaking. But your point on any education being valuable is correct all the way. These kinds of programs are excellent, and I support them strongly. In fact, I served on the first COA accrediting team to visit NOSTRA, which is very condensed into six months full-time study. They combined with Thomas Nelson CC to allow the military students to complete an AAS degree with the completion of the general education component and additional CL studies. the students there are good and serve in positions across the country, so I do agree short-term programs are better than no program, and provide a service in many states in which Opticians have no requirements at all to enter the field.

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    private vs. public opticainry education

    Quote Originally Posted by wmcdonald View Post
    ...... most accrediting agencies do not and never did look specifically at clock hours, but credit hours. This is based on the Carnegie Commision's findings that 15 clock hours is roughly 1 semester hour of credit, so clock hours do have some significance. Since most US institutions utilize semesters currently, accrediting organizations do require a certain amount of time. However it should be clearly understood that accrediting the way we do it in the US is vastly different than other nations. In most countries, it is a government function. Here it is private, and they say voluntary.
    Yes the credit system was designed for public schools, where you could take as many credits as you liked per semester... and spend as many years as you liked towards obtaining your 'degree'. And most public schools have articulation agreements with other public schools that recognize each others credit hours.

    Now the 'certificate' private school system of career education has been instituted, and many member schools do not have noe do thjey want articulation agreements with public schools. Of course those students whose sensibilities require an A.A.S. degree still have that option and this is an excellent option for those that have the time and inclination. But private schools aim at those who are generally older, or displaced from their jobs, or undergoing a career change. They generally don't want to spend two (2) years to devote towards an A.A.S. degree. But trying to mandate what some would brand as an eletist education causes rifts in the field of opticianry. This may explain why opticianry is so divided against itself.

    And yes, our training is job-oriented and career focused, so the time training frame can be condensed. Hell, the US trained WWII combat pilots flying very expensive airplanes in three (3) months.
    ...arg...(shove)...
    OK I've let go of my soapbox:cheers:

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    Accreditation......

    ......is not just for public schools. The 6 recognized accrediting agencies are regionalized (some divided by institutional scope), and review private as well as public institutions. Here is a link describing them (http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accr...lInstitutional) For example, in my state of NC, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) reviews everything from elementary schools to senior, doctoral-granting institutions. In NY, it is the Middle States Association, and so on and so forth. You can review the facts on accreditation by Googling any of the agencies or reviewing the US Department of Education link above. Career colleges, which are certainly not new but have existed forever in the US, could also seek that review but typically will not be considered because they do not meet the basic minimum standards, whcih can be found on the DoE sites mentioned above and linked here(http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accr...n_pg2.html#U.S.). As to a 2-year degree being elistest???? It is a very minimal requirement and should be entry point into the field in my opinion. I am sure you do a fine job, but to say a condensed program is adequate for turning out professional Opticians is simply wrong. It can get someone the basic knowledge, but an apprenticeship properly structured can do that.
    Last edited by wmcdonald; 01-18-2007 at 04:47 PM.

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    [quote=wmcdonald;172934] "accreditation ...is not just for public schools".

    Response:
    No one suggested otherwise. In operation since 1984, we are and have been voluntarily provincially (read US State) accreditted since 1998, which permits our students access to government student loans.


    "As to a 2-year degree being elistest???? It is a very minimal requirement and should be entry point into the field in my opinion".

    Response:
    This statement itself could itself be construed as elitist. There is a elitest perception among many A.A.S. degree holders that anyone else working in the field of opticainry is incompletely trained. And they are the elite of US opticianry.
    The Commission of Accreditation (COA) receives accreditation applications from US schools and is composed mostly of A.A.S. College instructors. I recall that a certain Colorado opticianry school applied for COA accreditation with their condensed nine (9)-month opticianry program, but supplemented with a voluntary local public College program where graduates could take additional non-optical credits to receive their A.A.S. degree from that particular College.
    When the COA first attended to do their accreditation audit and learned that no graduates chose to take these extra courses, the entire COA team packed their bags and immediately left. To their credit, they came back months later and completed the COA audit process and I understand that this nine(9)-month program finally received their COA accreditation status. Elitist? You decide.


    "I am sure you do a fine job, but to say a condensed program is adequate for turning out professional Opticians is simply wrong. It can get someone the basic knowledge, but an apprenticeship properly structured can do that".

    Response:
    I have absolutelyt nothing against apprecticeship programs. They have done a wonderful job in the past and I would submit that they continue to do so. They have their distinct place as a training option. But they have two (2) drawbacks... 1) They can take a very long time... up to five (5) years in some States and 2) your employer is deemed your mentor. If he/she is very good and is able and willing to share their opticianry knowledge, the apprentice can learn a great deal... but if the employer is simply looking for a method of paying low apprecticship wages over a vert long time... "because we are doing you a favour by training you"... then the apprenticeship method of training falls short. We tell our graduates to sweek an entry-level position, although they can confidently handle anything that comes through the door... and we don't equate our training with twenty (20) years of opticianry experience after formal schooling. And I am confidant that our graduates have learned all they need to know to do the job competently. Our mandatory continuing education keeps them sharp and current. And if they have an interest in some related field, like sight-testing, they have that option.

    As to your term 'Professional Optician", IMHO only US State licensing boards can bestow such a ranking. As you know, the majority of US States have no licensing legislation in place at all. But all 10 provinces in Canada have such legislation, and every Canadian licensed Optician has 'professional' status fixed by statute, including every one of our condensed program graduates who pass the 'National' Canadian licensing exams in Dispensing and in Contact Lens Fitting. More than 'basics' are involved in our program.

    Perhaps if you are in the Vancouver, British Columbia area you might want to drop in and examine our school's course materials and equipment. But until then, we will just have to 'agree to disagree' on this topic.

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    You suggested otherwise......

    I am sorry, but you suggested otherwise, sir. when you underlined public in your post, which is why I commented in the first place. We will disagree on levels of education and it is unfortunate. As to US states....they do not accredit anything. It is regional and a private function, as I said. I am aware of the Canadian provincial approval/accreditation, but that is not the US system. But still you miss my point. For many reasons we must have more education to reach professional levels here in the US. Your school (as well as several in California are good starting places, but we will not ever agree that a six-month program can do what a 2-year program can do, elistest or not. As to the faculty here......directors, as I mentioned in my first post, must have at least a bachelors degree. An AAS is not sufficient. General faculty can have only an AAS. As an educator, I am surprised you do not see the value of expanding education. I will stop by sometime, and would enjoy seeing your facility. I am sure you do a fine job, and will look forward to it. I enjoyed the discussion

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