Why docommunity Colleges spend 2-years to properly train a Dispensing Optician whileprivate Colleges are able to do it in a much-shorter time frame?
Part of theanswer is different student demographics. The average high school graduatecontinuing to opticianry training at a community College is well under 20-yearsold. This young person is expected to grow while attending College, and doesleave school 2-years later as a much-more mature adult.
PrivateColleges have a different demographic. Their student population is generally mucholder, and some are recent immigrants with advanced degrees that are notrecognized here in North America. Some are forced into making a career change dueto labour upheavals, while others must re-train do to workplace injuries. Inmany cases this private school demographic have families to support, and wantto re-join the workforce as quickly as possible. They don’t want to spend thenext 2-years in an opticianry school, and they don’t care to spend Friday nightsdrinking with classmates at the local pub. They want a course offering acceleratedcareer training in the shortest time frame possible.
All privateand public opticianry programs teach various competencies listed in three categories... 1) Must Know (core), 2) Should Know and3) Nice to Know.
Eachautonomous opticianry school arranges its program to include these threecategories. But ‘old school’ programs continue to offer 2-year program durationwithout little regard for new advances in learning technologies, Internet, U-Tube,webinars, on-line, etc. Their goal is less about bringing a student to the workplacein a timely manner, and more about maintaining their program at 2-years duration,because “its always been a 2-year course”.
The businessmodel of private career training encourages the finding of new advanced trainingaids that can promote quicker learning, as time spent in school is an importantconsideration in their business model. Longer times spent in school usually resultsin higher student debt, and career training is not enhanced by farming out the ‘hands-on’practical portion of opticianry training to well-meaning store owners. It’ssimply a gamble... some store owners enjoy teaching students and can do a crediblejob, while other employers look at students simply as a source of low-costlabour and often don’t have the patience, energy or time to devote to continuousstudent questions.
The inventionof the Internet is the greatest source of increased public knowledge since theGutenberg press allowed for the mass printing of books. Yet the Internet has not produced any effect on communityCollege course durations. Fortunately private Colleges are in a position to useall current training technologies and can reduce opticianry course durations withoutcompromising optical competencies. Shorterduration programs is the wave of the future.