Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate


This program of study prepares students to become ophthalmic technicians who will work under the supervision of optometrists or ophthalmologists to provide patient care by performing many different eye- and vision-related clinical functions. Ophthalmic technicians take patient histories, perform the pre-testing of comprehensive and follow-up eye and vision examinations, conduct various diagnostic eye and vision care procedures, provide patient education, and perform various clinical practice administrative duties, such as scheduling appointments, telephone management, bookkeeping procedures and insurance claim processing.

Upon graduation, ophthalmic technicians may work in optometry practices, ophthalmology practices or health care clinics; optical dispensaries; optical laboratories; health care and optical equipment businesses; lens, frame or contact lens companies; and pharmaceutical companies.

The program courses will be offered at the College’s Northwest Regional Center and at The Eye Institute of Salus University.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate, you will be able to:

  • Communicate and collaborate effectively as part of an interdisciplinary health care team.
  • Apply an understanding of relevant scientific and mathematical concepts to ophthalmic care.
  • Demonstrate the ability to solve problems and think critically.
  • Display professional and ethical behaviors in the health care environment.
  • Demonstrate technical competence when performing ophthalmic procedures.
  • Perform administrative duties of an ophthalmic technician competently.
  • Calibrate and maintain ophthalmic equipment and instrumentation.

Program Entry Requirements:

Admission into the Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate is selective, competitive, and requires potential students to fulfill all admission requirements of the College. Applications submitted from October 1st until March 1st will receive priority in the Allied Health admissions review process.

Students must meet the following minimum requirements before applying to the Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate: 

  • High school diploma or GED documentation
  • Demonstration of readiness for ENGL 101and FNMT 118 as determined by the College’s placement tests, or by successfully completing developmental coursework
  • Applicants with previous college experience must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50

Students new to the College can begin the application process by first applying to the College. Transcript evaluation and completion of a placement test (or test waiver) is required.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the start of the Ophthalmic Technician designated courses.

Current College students must complete the OPH Program admissions process:

Applicants who complete and meet the aforementioned requirements will be eligible to continue in the admissions process and will be contacted, in writing, concerning the scheduling of an admissions interview with the Program Director (or designee). A scheduled interview does not guarantee admission. 

Conditions for Acceptance:

All applicants are notified in writing regarding the admissions decision. All offers of acceptance are contingent upon successful completion of the following: 

  1. Acknowledgement of Core Performance Standards for Health Care Career Programs and physical demand analysis.
  2. Completion of Criminal Background Check
  3. Completion of Child Abuse Clearance
  4. Completion of Drug Screening
  5. Additional conditions for Program commencement include:
    • Documentation of a complete physical examination, including required laboratory tests. All health information is kept confidential. Students will have direct contact with patients, and have the responsibility to maintain very high standards of health practice. Health problems which would interfere with the applicant’s ability to meet program objectives will be dealt with on an individual basis. 
    • Documentation of up to date immunizations prior to clinical assignment. Additional immunizations (e.g., influenza) may be necessary.
    • Documentation of current health insurance coverage, which must be maintained throughout the Program. 
    • Attendance at scheduled Program orientation prior to entry.
    • Purchase of student uniform.
    • Adult, child, and infant CPR certification for Healthcare Providers (due prior to the commencement of Clinical Education I).

The following guidelines are used in making decisions about an applicant’s criminal and child abuse background:

Child Abuse Clearance:

  • Any record results in denial of admission into the OPH program.

Criminal Background Check:

  • Conviction of serious and/or violent crimes results in denial of admission into the OPH Proficiency Certificate Program.
  • Any felony conviction within the past 10 years results in denial of admission to the OPH program.
  • Any felony conviction more than 10 years old will be evaluated based on the nature of the offense, length of time since the offense, and any explanatory letters/materials submitted by the applicant or student.
  • Any misdemeanor will be evaluated based on the nature of the offense, length of time since the offense, and explanatory letter/materials submitted by the applicant or students. (Any punishment over one year indicates a felony according to federal sentencing guidelines.)

Drug Screening:

The OPH program requires participation in clinical education. Some clinical affiliates of the OPH program require evidence of a negative drug screening test in order for a student to participate in the clinical experience at their facility. Therefore, any student with a positive drug screening test cannot be admitted into the OPH program.


An applicant who believes that an error of fact has been made in terms of the information provided to the decision making committee can request reconsideration by the committee. This request must be made in writing within ten days from the date of the letter notifying the applicant of the decision. The reconsideration should address what the applicant considers to be errors of fact.

Following reconsideration by the decision making committee, the applicant can appeal the committee’s decision to the Vice President for Academic and Student Success, whose decision is final. Any official change or the initiation of any governmental proceeding affecting the information revealed by the required criminal or child abuse background check must be reported immediately to the OPH program director.

Involvement in any incident which resulted in a disciplinary action against a student at Community College of Philadelphia or any post-secondary institution is considered in the admissions process. The OPH program reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant who has a history of violating College rules and regulations or who has been previously suspended or expelled from the College or any other post-secondary educational institution.

Additional expenses for students in the proficiency certificate include travel to clinical facilities, purchase of a uniform, laboratory coat, required textbooks, a physical examination and inoculations. To remain in the program, students must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course.

A student in the Ophthalmic Technician Proficiency Certificate whose skills, attitude, and behavior are viewed as inconsistent with professional standards may be dropped from the program by the program director, in consultation with the Department Head.

Students dropped from the program because of academic deficiencies will be considered for a second admission to the program after remediation of the deficiencies and recommendation of the OPH faculty. Students may be readmitted to the program only once. Part-time students must complete the program within five years of their initial enrollment. 

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

Successful completion of the program requires a “C” grade or better in each of the courses listed.

Course Sequence:

Semester 1

Course Number and Name Prerequisites Credits
OPH 101 - Ophthalmic Pre‐Testing   3 credits
OPH 102 - Ocular and Ophthalmic Concepts   2 credits
OPH 105 - Ocular Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology   3 credits
OPH 106 - Optical Dispensing   3 credits
OPH 110 - Clinical Experience I   1 credit

Semester 2

Course Number and Name Prerequisites Credits
OPH 120 - Cornea and Contact Lenses OPH 101, OPH 102, OPH 105, OPH 106 and OPH 110 with a grade of "C" or better 3 credits
OPH 130 - Ophthalmic Specialty Testing OPH 101OPH 102OPH 105OPH 106 and OPH 110 with a grade of "C" or better 3 credits
OPH 140 - Patient Relations/Practice Management OPH 101OPH 102OPH 105OPH 106 and OPH 110 with a grade of "C" or better 2 credits
OPH 150 - Clinical Experience II OPH 101OPH 102OPH 105OPH 106 and OPH 110 with a grade of "C" or better 2 credits
AH 116 - Interpersonal and Professional Skills in the Health Care Setting   3 credits

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate:


General Education Requirements:

All general education requirements necessary for graduation are met through the courses in the program as indicated above. Students who wish to take courses that differ from the general education courses indicated above must complete a course substitution request form. To access the form, login to the MyCCP portal, and in the Student tab, under Electronic Forms, click on the Records and Registration Forms link, then choose Request For Course Substitution Of Graduation Requirement link. A more detailed explanation of the College’s general education requirements is also available.

For More Information, Contact:

The Division of Math, Science and Health Careers, Room W1-1, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8430

Gainful Employment:

Gainful employment information is intended to provide students with better information about the effectiveness of college programs in preparing students for careers. Information provided includes estimated program costs and time needed to complete the program, financing options and related careers.