Jul 23, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2023-2024 
    
Academic Catalog 2023-2024

College of Optometry


Mission Statement

Pacific University College of Optometry prepares engaged learners to be highly competent practitioners, optometric leaders and vision scientists through a diverse education while advancing professional and ethical eye care, scholarship, and service to the community.

Values

Because a part of our mission is to mentor our students into the optometric community, the College of Optometry values:

  • Didactic and clinical preparation in an engaged learning and patient care setting.
  • An intellectual community that supports collegiality, integrity, scientific inquiry, mutual cooperation, and respect.
  • An educational experience that conveys multicultural competence, coupled with an enhanced awareness and appreciation of a diverse and changing society.
  • A life-long collegial relationship with our alumni.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Pacific University College of Optometry will provide diverse educational opportunities in a supportive setting that allow students to acquire a firm foundation in the basic and clinical sciences, together with optometric clinical and interprofessional experiences that prepare students for the practice of optometry.

Goal 2: Graduates of Pacific University College of Optometry consistently will demonstrate high levels of professional competency including the ability to critically analyze information.

Goal 3: Faculty and students at Pacific University College of Optometry consistently will demonstrate professional and ethical behaviors.

Goal 4: Pacific University College of Optometry will provide service to our alumni and to the public and health care communities.

Goal 5: Pacific University College of Optometry will be active in research and scholarship in vision science and health care.

Programs

The college provides learning opportunities and instruction embracing the full scope of contemporary optometric practice and vision science. Students are prepared to enter the modern health care system and vision research field with a high level of competence and self-assurance. They are encouraged to respect public health issues. They are expected to uphold high ethical standards. They are called upon to make a commitment to serving their communities and profession.

The college supports educational programs which culminate in the awarding of the:

In addition, the College of Optometry offers continuing education (CE) courses to licensed practitioners and others with interest in the profession. Programs are held on campus, in various communities across the U.S. and Canada, and on-line. Programs range from one-hour lectures to week-long conferences to on-line certification courses. Information is available online at http://www.pacificu.edu/optometry/ce/index.cfm.

Clinical Facilities

https://www.pacificu.edu/about/community/healthcare-clinics/pacific-eyeclinics

The college affiliates with more than 100 preceptors throughout the US and at selection locations in Canada, Europe and Asia. These externship rotations are a much anticipated, highly rewarding and exciting part of the program. Students in the professional optometry program have an opportunity to customize their fourth-year program by choosing sites that meet curriculum requirements as well as their individual interests and career goals. Sites currently meeting the standards of the College Externship Program 

Policies

National Board of Examiners in Optometry Policy

Candidates for the National Boards of Examiners in Optometry from our institution are required to release their scores to Pacific University College of Optometry. Scores will be used solely for program assessment.

Code of Academic and Professional Conduct

Academic and Professional Standards

Good academic standing in the College of Optometry is defined as continued enrollment, satisfactory academic progress (separate from Academic Progress for Financial Aid recipients), sound clinical ability, behavior that leads to professional competence and positive interpersonal and professional relations, and appropriate professional/ethical conduct and attitudes. Students are evaluated regularly in these areas.

Students are expected to demonstrate behavior consistent with policies outlined in the Pacific University Student Code of Conduct, Pacific University Catalog, the College of Optometry Academic and Professional Standards Manual, the College of Optometry Guidelines for Professional Behavior, the Optometric Code of Ethics, and the most current state and federal laws governing the conduct of optometrists. The College of Optometry reserves the right to define professional competence and behavior, to establish standards of excellence, and to evaluate students in regard to them.

Agreement to abide by the policies and procedures of the University and the College is implicitly confirmed when students register each term. Students are expected to adhere to the various administrative and academic deadlines listed in the College’s calendar and in course syllabi. Failure to do so may jeopardize their academic standing in the College of Optometry and may constitute grounds for Warning, Probation, or Dismissal from the College. Students must maintain good standing in the program in order to be eligible for, or continued on, any College administered scholarships.

A student’s standing and continued enrollment may be jeopardized by one or more of the following:

  • Indications of poor academic performance;
  • Insufficient progress in the development of clinical skills;
  • Failure to comply with College policies or procedures;
  • Unprofessional conduct, unethical conduct, or illegal conduct;
  • Evidence of behavior that may hinder professional competence and interpersonal or professional relations.

Guidelines for Professional Behavior

Students in the College of Optometry are expected to learn and practice appropriate professional behavior, as delineated below, while enrolled in the program and in preparation for a lifetime of community service. Failure to conform to these guidelines will lead to disciplinary action and can result in dismissal from the College. Conduct inconsistent with these standards, such as plagiarism, cheating, lying, and/or fraud, is considered unprofessional and will not be tolerated.

Attitude

Students are expected to possess personal qualities depicting honesty, dedication, responsibility, and strong ethical values; demonstrate attitudes depicting compassion and a positive outlook; and demonstrate an understanding and sensitivity for cultural differences and diversity. Students are expected to treat faculty, patients, and peers with respect; display a willingness to learn; be able to accept constructive criticism; be punctual; and not disrupt class by inappropriate behavior.

Attendance

Students are expected to attend all lectures, labs, and clinics unless excused by the instructor. Grades can be lowered by unexcused absences.

Ability to work independently

Students are expected to initiate and pursue study independently and to accept responsibility for their own learning.

Ability to work with others

Students are expected to cooperate, participate, share information, and show respect for colleagues. However, it is expected that the student show discretion in sharing information with academic colleagues, understanding that the purpose of doing so is to promote more efficient and thorough independent learning.

Appearance

Students are expected to display a confident and mature professional demeanor, and to observe professional guidelines for cleanliness and be appropriately dressed for in-person and remote learning activities. The clinic dress code must be adhered to any time the student is in a clinic area and patients are expected to be present.

Citizenship

Students are expected to serve humankind, displaying those attributes expected of a member of a learned profession; demonstrate social awareness and a sense of social responsibility; and, exemplify good citizenship in all social and community interactions. They must conform with all city, state, and federal laws and regulations, and should expect to be held accountable for their actions. Individuals convicted of a misdemeanor or felony may not be eligible for licensing in optometry. Students are urged to contact the appropriate licensing agency for further information.

Public Health and Safety

Students are expected to adhere to any guidelines, policies, or procedures provided by the College and/or University in the event of potential natural disasters, public health emergencies, or unexpected circumstances.

Social Media

Students are expected to exemplify professional behavior when posting on social networking websites and applications, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter and others. Students’ misuse of social media may be subject to allegations of violations of the Code of Academic and Professional Conduct.

Unauthorized Recording

Recordings of lectures or presentations may only be made with consent of the presenter.

University Rules and Policies

Students are expected to follow all guidelines set forth by Pacific University concerning smoking, alcohol use on campus, parking, etc.

Unsupervised Clinical Practice

Students may not independently perform any invasive or high-risk procedures on any person that is not enrolled at Pacific University College of Optometry.  All such procedures must be performed under the direct supervision of a licensed optometrist employed by Pacific University. Invasive procedures include any procedure that involves the use of pharmaceutical agents or any procedure that poses a significant risk of injury, including, but not limited to: applanation tonometry, pupillary dilation, cycloplegic refraction, dilation and/or irrigation of the lacrimal system, punctual plug insertion, scleral indentation, foreign body removal, contact lens application and removal, gonioscopy, epilation, forced duction testing, ultrasonography, corneal debridement, corneal sensitivity testing, ophthalmodynamometry, COWS testing, injections, electrodiagnostic testing, otoscopy, lid eversion, and digital tension.

Optometry Code of Ethics

It shall be the ideal, the resolve and the duty of the members of the profession of optometry*:

  • To keep the visual welfare of the patient uppermost at all times
  • To promote, in every possible way, better care of the visual needs of mankind
  • To enhance continuously their educational and technical proficiency to the end that their patients shall receive the benefits of all acknowledged improvements in visual care
  • To see that no person shall lack for visual care, regardless of financial status
  • To advise the patient whenever consultation with an optometric colleague or reference for other professional care seems advisable
  • To hold in professional confidence all information concerning a patient and to use such data only for the benefit of the patient
  • To conduct themselves as exemplary citizens
  • To maintain their offices and their practices in keeping with professional standards
  • To promote and maintain cordial and unselfish relationships with members of their own profession and of other professions for the exchange of information to the advantage of mankind.

*Modified from the Code of Ethics of the American Optometric Association.

Demonstrated deficiency in any of these qualities will be considered as evidence that a student is not suited to a professional career in optometry and, thus, constitutes adequate cause for discipline, including Warning, Probation, or Dismissal. Additional student conduct guidelines and regulations are outlined in the University’s Code of Conduct and the University Handbook.

The most up-to-date and specific policies and procedures pertaining to Student Academic Standing for the College of Optometry can be found in the Academic and Professional Standards Committee (APSC) Policies and Procedures Manual. The program-specific policies and procedures in this manual reflect the standards of the optometric profession. The content of this manual is discussed with each class at the program orientation presented by the Deans at the beginning of each academic year. In addition, a copy of this manual is provided to each first-year optometry student.

Incomplete Grades

An instructor may issue a grade of Incomplete (I) only when the major portion of a course has been completed satisfactorily but health or other emergency reasons prevent the student from finishing all requirements of the course. Prior to submitting an Incomplete grade, the instructor and the student complete an Incomplete Grade Contract detailing the completion and submission of all remaining work, as well as the timeline. After submission of the work, the instructor completes a Grade Change form and submits it to the Associate Dean of  Academic Programs for approval; the form is then processed by the Registrar.

If agreed upon work is not completed and no grade change submitted by the deadline (and an extension has not been granted), when the Incomplete expires the grade becomes an F or N. Faculty may request an extension of an Incomplete (before the expiration date of the Incomplete) by submitting the proper form to the Registrar’s office.

Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Registrar or the Associate Dean of Academic Programs.

Substandard Grades

Semester grades less than “C” (“C-“, “D+”, “D”, “F”, “N”) in the Optometry and Vision Sciences Graduate Programs (VSG) are substandard and may not be used toward fulfillment of these degrees. 

The categories of Academic Warning, Academic Probation, and Dismissal apply only to grades assigned in courses used to fulfill the requirements for the Doctor of Optometry, Master of Science in Vision Science, Doctor of Philosophy in Vision Science, as appropriate.

Any substandard grade that has not been successfully remediated by the end of the third academic year will require APS review to determine suitability to move onto fourth year clinical rotations.

Academic Standing

Students may be either in good academic standing, on academic warning, or on academic probation. Good academic standing is reserved for those students who have never earned a substandard final grade or for those who have been removed from academic warning or probation as described below. Descriptions of academic warning and academic probation follow.

Academic Warning

The Academic and Professional Standards Committee will place a student on Academic Warning when a single substandard grade less than 75% but equal to or greater than 70% is received in any academic term of the program by a student in the Optometry program or the Vision Sciences Graduate Programs (VSG) who is not currently on Academic Warning or Academic Probation. All substandard grades need to be remediated before the credit(s) can be counted toward the pursued degree. A student returning from an Academic Suspension, who receives a single substandard grade will undergo an Academic Review, see page 29.  Students may also be placed on Warning for Professional Misconduct if they are found to be in violation of the Code of Academic and Professional Conduct.

Students placed on Warning due to academic performance will receive written notification from the Committee outlining the reasons for the Warning. Copies will be sent to the Dean, the Associate Deans, the Office of Student Affairs, and the appropriate faculty. The student will be asked to sign and return the original written communication to the Office of Academic Programs.

Students on Academic Warning are informed that, while on Academic Warning, a violation of the code of Academic and Professional Conduct will cause them to be considered for Dismissal from the College.

The Academic and Professional Standards Committee will remove students from Academic Warning following one full term in which no substandard grades are received, all substandard grades have been remediated, and the student has not violated the Code of Academic and Professional Conduct. Students placed on Academic Warning will remain on Academic Warning until removed by the Committee. Students on Academic Warning will be considered for Dismissal from the College if the Code of Academic and Professional Conduct is violated.

Academic Probation

The Academic and Professional Standards Committee will place a student on Academic Probation when one substandard grade less than 70% for optometry has been received, or when two or more substandard grades that have not been remediated exist on the student’s transcript at any time. In the Vision Sciences Graduate Programs, a student will be placed on Academic Probation if a substandard grade exists on the student’s transcript at any time. Students may also be placed on Probation for Professional Misconduct if they are found to be in violation of the Code of Academic and Professional Conduct.

Students placed on Probation due to academic performance will receive written notification from the Committee, outlining the reasons for Probation. Copies will be sent to the Dean, the Associate Deans, the Office of Student Affairs, and the appropriate faculty. The student will be asked to sign and return the original written communication to the Office of Academic Programs.

Students on Academic Probation are informed that, while on Probation, a violation of the Code of Academic and Professional Conduct will cause them to be considered for Dismissal from the College.

The Academic and Professional Standards Committee will remove students from Academic Probation following one full term in which no substandard grades are received, and all substandard grades have been remediated and the student has not violated the Code of Academic and Professional conduct. Students placed on Academic Probation will remain on Probation until removed by the Committee. Students on Academic Probation will be considered for Dismissal from the College if the Code of Academic and Professional conduct is violated.

Academic Review

The Academic and Professional Standards Committee will conduct an Academic Review for a student who fails to sustain satisfactory progress (separate from Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients) toward completion of the degree program as evidenced by:

  • three or more substandard grades existing on the student’s transcript at any time;
  • two semesters of academic performance which, when considered individually, would meet the guidelines for Academic Probation;
  • not receiving a passing grade after sitting for a course in its entirety a second time;
  • unsuccessful remediation that precludes curricular advancement;
  • two substandard grades that precludes remediation in a single semester;
  • a single substandard grade after returning to the College from an Academic Suspension.

The Academic Review could result in dismissal from the program.

Academic Suspension

Students pursuing an optometry degree may be required by the Academic and Professional Standards Committee to take an Academic Suspension, extending their course of study beyond four years in order to continue in the College of Optometry.  This requirement may occur when a student has received substandard grades in courses that cannot be remediated during the normal scheduled curriculum.  A student on Academic Suspension who, upon return to the College, receives a single substandard grade will undergo an Academic Review, which could result in dismissal.

Consideration for Readmission

In very rare circumstances, the College of Optometry may choose to readmit a student who has previously withdrawn and/or been dismissed. In order to be considered for readmission, a former student must write a letter requesting information on the process of readmission to the Dean of the College, with copies to the Associate Deans, the Office of Student Services, and the University Dean of Students. The Office of Student Services for the College will provide input to the Dean regarding any concerns during the student’s previous tenure. If the Dean determines that readmission is possible, he or she will determine in consultation with the Academic and Professional Standards Committee, what steps are required for readmission on a case-by-case basis.

Time Limits to Complete Degree

The optometry student must complete all degree requirements in a maximum of 5 years of academic enrollment, not to exceed 6 calendar years. Master of Science in Vision Science students must complete all degree requirements in a maximum of 5 years. PhD in Vision Science students must complete all degree requirements in a maximum of program is 7 years.

Auditing Courses

Students may register to audit a course before the add/drop date. However, no audited courses fulfill degree requirements. Students may decide to change registration from audit to a graded course, but this must be done prior to the add/drop date.

Repeating Courses

If a student has already passed a course, s/he cannot retake the course for credit.

Non-degree Seekers Taking Courses

Non-degree and non-certificate seeking students are not allowed to take optometry courses, unless by invitation of the college.

Grading system

Grades should indicate the students’ knowledge and/or performance skill in the given subject, inform the students of their level of accomplishment after each examination, and guide the instructor in altering the instruction for both the class as a group and for students requiring special academic attention (i.e., at the top and bottom of the class). Grades should demonstrate the standing of students relative to their class peers and provide a basis for awards, honors, recommendations, and academic standing.

Students receiving notification of a substandard final course grade (“C-“, “D+”, “D”, “F”, “N”) in any courses in the Optometry program or Vision Sciences Graduate Programs (courses provided by Pacific University) during a semester are required to make an appointment with their instructor(s) to discuss their performance. No substandard grade can be used towards the completion of the Doctor of Optometry Degree and, therefore, must be remediated. In instances of remediation that do not involve retaking the course in its entirety, the student will be enrolled for this attempt and receive a grade. These remediation grades will be used to determine a student’s standing (e.g., Academic Warning/Academic Probation), the APS Committee may determine that such grades preclude curricular advancement and place a student on an Academic Suspension. For example, the committee may determine that the overload created by unsuccessful attempts at remediation would jeopardize a student’s chance for success to the point an Academic Suspension would be imposed.

Beginning with the Class of 2023, each student will be allowed a maximum of three course remediations. Any substandard grades beyond the three remediations will require a retake of the course, pending the outcome of an Academic Review. When a student needs a third course remediation, an Academic Review by the APS committee will be conducted following completion of the third remediation. However, if a student has completed three remediations and has at least two consecutive semesters without a substandard course grade they may be eligible for one additional remediation at the discretion of the APS committee.