The Future of Eye Care: Inside Southern California College of Optometry

optometrist examining a patient

A premier institution that provides comprehensive optometric education, research, and patient care. Established in 1904, SCCO has a rich history of excellence in optometry education and has consistently upheld its commitment to producing highly skilled and compassionate optometrists.

Located in Fullerton, California, SCCO is affiliated with Marshall B. Ketchum University (MBKU), offering a range of academic programs and clinical experiences tailored to the optometric profession’s evolving needs. Optometry education plays a pivotal role in healthcare by addressing the visual health needs of individuals and communities.

Optometrists serve as eye care providers, offering important services such as comprehensive eye examinations, vision correction, diagnosis and management of ocular diseases, and referrals to other healthcare specialists when necessary.

With the prevalence of vision-related conditions and the increasing demand for quality eye care services, optometry education is crucial in ensuring access to competent and compassionate eye care professionals.

This topic aims to provide an overview of SCCO, highlighting its programs, faculty expertise, student resources, and impact on the optometric profession. By examining various aspects of SCCO, this outline offers valuable insights into the importance of optometry education and its role in advancing healthcare.

Historical Background

The Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) was founded in 1904 to provide exceptional optometric education. Initially established as the Los Angeles School of Optometry, SCCO has evolved over the years, expanding its programs, enhancing its facilities, and advancing its educational offerings.

SCCO has been at the forefront of numerous vital milestones and developments in optometry education. From pioneering new teaching methods to conducting groundbreaking research, SCCO has played a significant role in shaping the standards and practices of optometric training.

Milestones such as accreditation by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) and advancements in clinical education have solidified SCCO’s reputation as a leader in optometric education.

SCCO holds profound significance in the field of optometry. As one of the oldest optometry colleges in the United States, SCCO has produced generations of highly skilled optometrists who have substantially contributed to the profession. The college’s commitment to excellence in education, research, and clinical care has earned it national recognition and positioned it as a respected institution within the optometric community.

Programs Offered

The Doctor of Optometry (OD) program at SCCO stands as a beacon of excellence in optometric education. Spanning four years, this program offers a comprehensive curriculum that blends theoretical knowledge with hands-on clinical practice.

Students delve into fundamental subjects like ocular anatomy, physiology, and pathology, progressing to advanced studies in diagnostic techniques, therapeutic interventions, and patient management strategies.

Through immersive clinical rotations and externships, students gain invaluable experience in diverse clinical settings, honing their skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals. The OD program at SCCO not only prepares graduates for licensure but also instills in them the confidence and proficiency required to thrive in the dynamic field of optometry.

Complementing the OD program, SCCO provides opportunities for postgraduate specialization through residency programs and fellowships.

These programs offer a unique chance for optometry graduates to delve deeper into specific areas of interest, such as cornea and contact lenses, pediatric optometry, and low vision rehabilitation.

Under the mentorship of expert faculty, residents refine their clinical skills, engage in advanced research projects, and contribute to the acknowledgment of their chosen specialty.

The residency experience at SCCO enhances professional competence and opens doors to diverse career opportunities and leadership roles within the optometric community.

SCCO remains committed to supporting the ongoing professional development of optometrists through its continuing education programs. These courses cater to the evolving needs of practitioners, covering a range of topics, from cutting-edge diagnostic technologies to practice management strategies.

Whether staying abreast of the latest clinical protocols or navigating changes in healthcare policy, optometrists benefit from SCCO’s commitment to providing relevant and high-quality continuing education opportunities.

By investing in lifelong learning, optometrists can uphold the highest standards of patient care, adapt to industry trends, and contribute to the advancement of the optometric profession.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students seeking admission to SCCO’s Doctor of Optometry program must meet specific academic prerequisites. These prerequisites typically include completion of undergraduate coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, providing a solid foundation for the rigorous optometric curriculum.

Clinical experience is highly valued in SCCO’s admissions process. Applicants are encouraged to gain shadowing or work experience in optometric settings to demonstrate their commitment to the field and readiness for optometry school’s demands.

The application process for SCCO’s OD program involves submitting transcripts, letters of recommendation, and test scores, such as the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). Deadlines for application submission typically fall in the fall or winter preceding the desired enrollment year, allowing prospective students ample time to prepare their applications.

SCCO evaluates applicants holistically, considering factors such as academic achievement, clinical experience, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and interview performance. The selection aims to identify individuals who demonstrate strong academic potential, a genuine passion for optometry, and a commitment to high-quality patient care.

Curriculum and Course Structure

The Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) curriculum encompasses a comprehensive range of core optometry designed to provide students with a solid foundation in vision science, ocular anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, optometric procedures, and patient care management.

Clinical rotations and practical experiences are integral to SCCO’s curriculum, allowing students to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world clinical settings. Through hands-on experiences in optometry clinics and externship programs, students gain invaluable practical skills and develop clinical competence under the supervision of experienced optometrists.

SCCO offers elective courses and specialization options to allow students to tailor their educational experience to align with their career interests and goals. Elective courses may cover contact lens fitting, low vision rehabilitation, pediatric optometry, and specialty contact lenses.

Integrating theory and clinical practice is a crucial focus of SCCO’s curriculum. Through didactic coursework, laboratory exercises, and clinical experiences, students learn to apply theoretical concepts to patient care scenarios, honing their diagnostic and treatment skills while developing a holistic understanding of optometry practice.

Faculty and Staff

SCCO boasts a faculty comprised of highly qualified and experienced optometrists, educators, and researchers with advanced degrees and specialized expertise in various areas of optometry. Faculty members actively engage in teaching, research, and clinical practice, ensuring students receive the highest quality education.

With a low student-to-faculty ratio, SCCO fosters supportive learning where students have ample opportunities for personalized instruction, mentorship, and guidance from faculty members. This close interaction promotes collaboration, facilitates learning, and enhances the educational experience.

C.SCCO provides students access to a dedicated support staff and resources to promote student success. These resources may include academic advisors, career services, tutoring programs, and student wellness initiatives, all designed to support students throughout their educational journey and beyond.

Student Resources and Support Services

SCCO provides comprehensive academic advising and counseling services to support students throughout their optometric education journey. Academic advisors help students develop educational plans, select courses, and navigate program requirements. Counseling services offer personal support, assisting students to manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

SCCO’s state-of-the-art clinical training facilities and laboratories provide students with cutting-edge equipment and technology for hands-on learning experiences. These facilities simulate real-world optometric practice environments, allowing students to develop clinical skills, perform diagnostic procedures, and provide patient care under the supervision of experienced faculty.

The career services office at SCCO offers a range of resources and support to help students transition from academia to professional practice. This includes assistance with resume writing, interviews, and networking opportunities. SCCO also facilitates internship placements, connecting students with externship sites and potential employers to gain valuable clinical experience and kickstart their careers in optometry.

Alumni Success and Career Outcomes

Graduates of SCCO reflect positively on their optometry education experience, citing the rigorous curriculum, hands-on clinical training, and supportive learning environment as crucial factors in their success. Many alums attribute their professional achievements to the quality education they received at SCCO.


SCCO graduates pursue diverse career paths in optometry, including private practice, academic research, corporate optometry, and specialty areas such as pediatric optometry, low vision rehabilitation, and ocular disease management. Alums leverage their education and training from SCCO to excel in various professional settings and make meaningful contributions to optometry.

The impact of optometry education from SCCO on professional success is evident in the accomplishments of its alums. Graduates attribute their clinical proficiency, critical thinking skills, and ethical practice standards to their education at SCCO, which has prepared them to deliver exceptional patient care, advance the field of optometry, and achieve recognition and success in their careers.

Data on Southern California College of Optometry

Attribute Details
Name Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO)
Location Fullerton, California
Founding Year 1904
Accreditation Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE)
Programs Offered Doctor of Optometry (OD)
Residency Programs
Continuing Education Courses
Clinical Training Facilities On-campus clinics, community health centers
Faculty Highly qualified faculty with expertise in various optometric specialties
Student Enrollment Approximately 400 students
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 9:1
Campus Facilities State-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, and clinics
Alumni Network Extensive network of optometry professionals worldwide
Notable Achievements Leading institution in optometric education
Research contributions in vision science and eye care
Career Services Internship placement assistance, career counseling services



The Southern California College of Optometry is a premier institution dedicated to excellence in optometric education, clinical training, and professional development. With a rich history dating back to 1904, SCCO has evolved into a renowned center of learning, shaping the future of optometry through its innovative programs and commitment to advancing the field. By offering comprehensive programs, world-class faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and extensive support services, SCCO equips students with the skills and experiences necessary to excel in the dynamic field of optometry. As graduates make significant contributions to the profession and community, SCCO continues to uphold its legacy of excellence and leadership in optometric education and healthcare.

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