Jul 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog

Vision Care Technology, A.A.S.

Location(s): North Campus

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Degree: Associate in Applied Science
HEGIS Code: 5212
Curriculum Code: 549.VIS

Health Sciences Division

Pre-Admission Recommendations: 2 years Math
Recommended High School Courses and/or Experiences: Math II, Gen. Science

Career Opportunities/Further Education: Opticians, Optometrist, Ophthalmic Assistant, Large and Small Independent Offices, Health Maintenance Organizations, Wholesale Ophthalmic Medical Sales


Program Description

The Vision Care Technology Program offers classroom, clinical and laboratory training utilizing state of the art instrumentation in preparation for careers in the vision care field.

With the increase in the nation’s population and the aging of the baby boom generation, the demand for vision care services and a trained corps of ophthalmic professionals has risen. This demand exists in private optometric and ophthalmological practices, national vision centers, health maintenance organizations, laser surgery and specialty practices, laboratory and ophthalmic sales.

Among program goals is the provision of necessary theoretical and practical training to enable students to successfully complete the American Board of Opticianry, National Contact Lens Examination and New York State licensing exams in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Contact Lenses.

Classroom lectures, clinics and laboratories involve skills training in lensometry, pupillometry, keratometry, biomicroscopy, tonometry, perimetry, auto-refraction, corneal topography and retinal imaging. Students are trained in the use of computers to maintain patient’s protected health information and prescription requirements.

To complement classroom and laboratory training, students will participate in two clinical externships at participating optometric and ophthalmological private practices and vision centers. The program has over 70 affiliated and approved vision care sites in Western New York.

Second year students gain purposeful clinical experience through supervised participation in the Community Eye Clinic at Friends of Night People which offers eye examinations and prescription eyeglasses to those in need in the community.  

Upon graduation of the program students participate in credentialing exams administered by the American Board of Opticianry and the National Contact Lens Examiners and state licensure exams through the Office of Professions, New York State Education Department. 


Commission on Opticianry Accreditation 
229 East 85th Street #194
New York, NY 10028
Voice: 315-742-8066

Licensure Compliance Statement:

SUNY Erie Community College Vision Care Technology and its program of study meets the educational requirements by the Board of Regents in New York State to award an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) with a major in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Contact lens Fitting. Graduates are eligible to take the NYS Ophthalmic Dispensing and Contact Lens Licensing Exams. Other states may have different educational requirements for program completion and licensure requirements. SUNY Erie Vision Care Technology has made no determination of whether the curriculum meets the educational
requirements for professional optical licensure in states other than in New York. If seeking licensure in a state other than New York, please review the requirement of that State’s Board of Opticianry. To search a particular State’s Opticianry Licensing Board, please visit: https://www.aboncle.org/ABO/Exam_Information/Licensing_Boards/ABO/Boards/Licensing_Boards.aspx?hkey=c38ffeae‐0ffb‐472c‐87ab‐4bed32837354

Special Admission Requirements/Prerequisite

  • Applicant must be a high school graduate.
  • Advance transfer credit for general education or professional courses in which a “C” or above was earned may be arranged when course descriptions match SUNY Erie courses.
  • In addition to tuition, students will be responsible for paying for a set of ophthalmic tools, lab coat, liability insurance and a name tag for use in off-campus clinical work.
  • Students are responsible for providing transportation to off campus fieldwork sites utilized for general dispensing practice course.
  • Exceptions to the above criteria may be made for returning adult students and for those currently working in the field.


The following scholarships are awarded to the Ophthalmic Dispensing student population annually:

  • NYSSO Student Scholarship, sponsored by the New York State Society of Opticians
  • NFOS College Bowl Accommodations Award; sponsored by National Federation of Opticianry Schools
  • Lenscrafters Scholarships, sponsored by Lenscrafters, Inc.
  • Richard Terry Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by friends of Dick Terry
  • Corky Fratello Scholarship, sponsored by the Optical Society of WNY
  • Eyewear by ROI Scholarship, sponsored by Eyewear by ROI

Students are encouraged to participate in additional academic scholarship award contests provided on a local and national basis. Scholarships are available to matriculated students only.

Program Goals

  • Train students for professional employment in the ophthalmic field through comprehensive theoretical instruction strengthened by guided clinical experiences relevant to current industry needs.
  • Maintain a program that respects the rights and dignity of all students to facilitate optimal learning, professional growth and promote ethical patient care.
  • Insure a safe and healthy work environment and to be in compliance with all federal and state environmental regulations relative to fabrication, dispensing and contact lens labs and clinics.
  • Prepare students for successful completion of the National Opticianry Competency Exam (NOCE) offered by the American Board of Opticianry and the Contact Lens Registry Exam (CLRE) offered by the National Contact Lens Examiners.  Success on each of these national certification exams enables graduates to sit for respective New York State Licensing Exams in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Contact Lenses administered through the Office of Professions, New York State Education Department. 

Program Competencies

Upon graduation with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing, the graduate will be able to:

  • determine patient needs, make frame and lens type recommendations and illustrate and demonstrate the use and application of the appropriate ophthalmic products to fulfill the patient’s visual requirements;
  • detect and verify prescription irregularities by applying knowledge of ophthalmic terminology and principles of refraction;
  • perform ophthalmic and medical history taking and basic ophthalmic screening procedures demonstrating proper utilization of ophthalmic instrumentation and procedures;
  • demonstrate eyewear fabrication laboratory skills within American National Standards Institute standards;
  • use instrumentation and other empirical methods to determine appropriate contact lens type and lens design ensuring ocular integrity, patient comfort and good visual acuity;
  • conduct a diagnostic contact lens evaluation based on patient’s prescription and keratometric readings and determine the need for modification of lens design;
  • conduct oneself in a professional and ethical manner by adhering to ethical standards, being courteous, demonstrating proper manners and professional demeanor;
  • participate in the New York State licensing examination for Ophthalmic Dispenser and Contact Lens Fitter and the National American Board of Opticianry Certification Exam and the National Contact Lens Examiners Registry Exam; and
  • comply with all safety and environmental regulations relative to fabrication, dispensing, contact lens laboratories and clinics.


Total Degree Credits: 63.5

First Year, Fall Semester


Electives: VC 283  

* i.e. AN 102, PS 100, HU 100, SO 100.

The student must also demonstrate proficiency in algebra at the level of MT 013.

NOTE: This is a recommended sequence. Student should consult his/her academic adviser prior to registering.

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