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PHILADELPHIA, PA, May 16 --- With potentially debilitating eye diseases increasing throughout the United States, the need for eye care professionals is on the rise. Demand for ophthalmic technicians alone is expected to increase 29% over the next six years. Recognizing those needs, Community College of Philadelphia and Salus University have partnered to bring an innovative Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate Program to Philadelphia.
Ophthalmic technicians work under the supervision of an optometrist or ophthalmologist, and perform a variety of pretesting and diagnostic procedures, which include assessing visual acuity, color vision, depth perception and pupil testing. Ophthalmic technicians also instruct patients on various aspects of eye care, such as the use of contact lenses and corrective glasses. The median annual Ophthalmic Technician salary in Philadelphia is $44,984, as of April 26, 2016, with salaries usually ranging between $39,288 and $51,385, according to salary.com.
“We are thrilled to partner with Community College of Philadelphia on this collaborative Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate Program, offering students comprehensive education and training that will ensure their success as healthcare professionals,” Salus University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Janice Scharre shared. “As the face of American healthcare continues to transition, inventive programs like this reinforce our commitment to provide quality interdisciplinary education and patient care.”
The program is set to launch in fall 2016. The first cohort will be comprised of up to 16 students accepted into the two-semester, full-time program that includes two clinical internships.
“This program puts the college in a unique position to advance optometry workforce initiatives, and foster access to more health-related fields in traditionally underserved communities,” Community College of Philadelphia President Donald Guy Generals said.
Upon graduation, ophthalmic technicians may work in eye care practices, health care clinics, optical dispensaries, optical laboratories and pharmaceutical companies, among other health facilities.
“This is a marvelous employment opportunity for our students, and a wonderful example of two educational institutions coming together that merges the expertise of both institutions,” said Dr. Mary Anne Celenza, Dean of Math, Science and Health Careers at Community College of Philadelphia.
The Ophthalmic Technician Program will operate as a dual location program at Community College of Philadelphia’s Northwest Regional Center, located at 1300 W. Godfrey Avenue, and The Eye Institute of Salus University, located next door.
“This collaboration embraces Salus University’s and Community College of Philadelphia’s joint commitment to serving a diverse student population while also developing a curriculum for a rewarding career that has great potential opportunities,” said Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, President of Salus University. “Not only will both institutions benefit from this program, but it benefits the City of Philadelphia since we can now offer a local ophthalmic technician program to residents.”
A signing of a memorandum of agreement between both institutions will be held Wednesday, June 15th from 1-2PM with an information session about the new program immediately following at The Eye Institute. More information about the program can be found here.
About Community College of Philadelphia
Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually and offers day, evening, and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.
About Salus University
Salus University, founded as the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1919, today is a diversified, globally recognized professional academic center of learning that offers a wide range of graduate degree programs in the professions of Optometry, Audiology, Physician Assistant, Public Health, Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Biomedicine, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology. Salus operates four clinical facilities in the Philadelphia area that provide highly specialized vision, hearing and balance, and speech-language pathology services. The University has more than 1,100 students, including PhD candidates, and more than 12,500 alumni worldwide. For more information, please visit www.salus.edu.