The Ophthalmic Technician is an Associate in Applied Science degree program designed to prepare individuals as entry-level Ophthalmic Technicians. Ophthalmic Technicians are health professionals who are an integral part of the team of medical practitioners providing vision care. They perform administrative and clinical functions under the direction of medical or osteopathic physicians who provide comprehensive, refractive, medical, and surgical eye care to the public. Technicians provide administrative support services by coordinating clinic schedules, charting, coding, and transmitting orders of the physician. Clinical functions may be generalized or specialized. Duties may include calibrating and maintaining ophthalmic equipment and supplies, recording medical histories and vision, testing eye movements and binocular functions, measuring optical power and visual fields, assisting in minor and major eye surgery, and performing ocular imaging and biometry services as applicable by local law.
The first year of the program is devoted to building a strong foundation in core technical courses and their corresponding academic support courses. Students receive a comprehensive introduction to ophthalmic technology with simulated and actual clinical equipment. During the second year, the program continues with advanced didactic conferences and studies while students begin the clinical component of the program, consisting of approximately 950 hours in a variety of diverse vision care clinical settings.
Ophthalmic technicians are employed primarily by ophthalmologists, medical institutions, clinics, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, university ophthalmology centers, or physician groups in which they may be assigned to an ophthalmologist responsible for their supervision and performance. They may be involved with the patients of an ophthalmologist in any setting for which the ophthalmologist is responsible.
Demand for ophthalmic medical technicians should remain strong due to the rising population of older persons, the segment of the population with increased frequency of chronic health conditions.
Applicants considering a career in optical care should be aware that during their course of study and in subsequent employment in the field, they are likely to work in situations where exposure to infectious disease is possible. This is an occupational risk for all health care workers. Persons should not become health care workers unless they recognize and accept this risk. Thorough education in infection control procedures is an important part of the Ophthalmic Technician program. Strict adherence to well established infection-control guidelines can reduce the risk to a minimum.Those with latex sensitivity or allergies should consult with a physician prior to entering the program for guidance on the merits of continuing in a health care career.
The Ophthalmic Technician program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical Programs, 2025 Woodlane Drive, St. Paul, MN 55125-2998.
Phone (651) 731-7244 or visit www.jcahpo.org/coa-omp.
The Ophthalmic Technician (OPT) core program begins with the fall semester. In addition to the HFCC college application, a separate OPT application is required and processed through the Admissions Office. Early application is advised for counseling and admission to the program. Students are accepted into the program on a “first-qualified, first-accepted” basis. Acceptance into the college does not constitute nor guarantee admission to the program. Final approval to enroll in the program comes from the Health Careers Division. OPT Program Admission Criteria
- Minimum high school grade-point average of 2.6 (4.0 scale), or if a student has taken college courses, a minimum of 12 academic credits, excluding less than 100 level courses, HPE activity, studio and performance classes (if applicable).
- COMPASS Reading score of 84 or better.
- BIO 134 or college equivalent with a C or better.
- COMPASS Writing score sufficient for placement in ENG 131. This requirement may also be fulfilled by successful completion of required developmental English courses.
- A COMPASS Pre-Algebra score of 39 or higher; or completion of MATH 101 or MATH 074 with a grade of C or better.
- Required Core Courses can be taken only after acceptance into the OPT program through the Health Careers Division.
- Required Support Courses may be taken prior to admission to the program.
- A minimum grade of C is required in all courses.
The Program Application Process
It is recommended that each applicant meet with a Health Careers Advisor (313) 845-9877 to discuss program options and then create an academic plan to qualify for the selected program.
Step 1 – Apply to the program
- First time applicants to HFCC will indicate the program selection on the application to the college.
- Current HFCC students must complete a specific program application. Program applications are available in the Health Careers office or Welcome Center. Applications must be submitted to the Admission Assistant of Health Careers located in the Welcome Center.
Step 2 – Qualifying for admission: Complete all program admission requirements.
Step 3 – Deliver information and track application
- It is the student’s responsibility to make certain official transcripts are sent to: Henry Ford Community College, Transfer Evaluation, 5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, MI 48128-2407.
- It is the student’s responsibility to make certain all necessary records are submitted to the Admission Assistant of Health Careers in the Welcome Center.
- Students are responsible to monitor their program admission progress via the WebAdvisor Program Evaluation link.
Step 4 – Qualifying and admission
- Students are qualified when all of the program’s admission criteria have been satisfied.
- Applicants are admitted on a first-qualified, first- admitted basis Application date may be used to determine placement on the qualified list if necessary.
- Students will only be contacted via the contact information provided through WebAdvisor.
Prior to starting the program: * Applicants must attend informational and orientation meetings scheduled by program director for Ophthalmic Technician Program. * Within two months of beginning clinical rotations, students must provide a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support, Healthcare Provider card (AHA, BLS Healthcare Provider ) valid through remainder of program. This may be completed by taking AH 105.
- Students will be required to purchase clinical uniforms and supplies including electronic devices (i.e. iPod Touch) for electronic clinical documentation. Do not purchase in advance. Specific directions will be given during orientation meeting.
- At the time of formal admission to the program, each applicant is required to pay a $100 fee to secure a place in the program. This fee is refunded only if the student is still active in the program Oct. 15 of Fall Term 1.
Students in the OPT program are expected to meet the same physical and mental health requirements as an ophthalmic technician.
A representative OPT Job Profile listing these requirements as well as environmental conditions of this occupation is available through the Health Careers Office.
Final acceptance and continuation in the OPT program is contingent upon fulfilling and maintaining minimum program requirements and proof of the following by specified deadline dates:
- Physical examination (must meet job profile requirements as determined by a physician and validated on health form)
- Required titers from previous immunizations and needed immunizations from titer results, if necessary. Evidence of titers must be provided by submission of current lab copies
- Tuberculosis screening
- Vaccinations as required by health care Community, including flu vaccine
- Health Insurance coverage throughout clinical externship portion of the program
Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen
Consistent with the Michigan Public Health Code and the requirements of our clinical affiliates, a Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen are required for all students in the OPT program prior to beginning clinical assignments. The cost for this test is in addition to the basic tuition and fee schedule. For questions regarding this policy, contact the Health Careers Office. Students who are not cleared for clinical through the Health Appraisal, Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen will not be able to complete the OPT program.
The Ophthalmic Technician program is 23 months in length. Students must complete all OPT courses within three years of beginning the formal program. Students are responsible for their own transportation to clinical sites and any expenses incurred.
The College continuously attempts to improve each program and as a result, courses and requirements may be modified. Curriculum, course content and admission criteria are subject to change by action of the College faculty and administration. Contact the Health Careers Office at (313) 845-9877 for any current program updates or visit www. hfcc.edu.
Withdrawal and Readmission
A students who fails one or both first semester OPT courses (OPT 101/OPT 134) must stop out of the program. Sequencing for OPT course work is not optional; courses are scheduled annually. Therefore, all students who fail a course must appeal for continuance with a remediation plan in writing. If a student fails a course on second attempt, they are out of the ophthalmic technician program and must reapply for readmission with a GPA of 2.6 or better.
Required Core Courses
All OPT courses must be successfully completed within three consecutive calendar years and may be repeated only once. A minimum of a C grade is required for all courses in this program.
Required Support Courses
HCS 131 is a required course for this program. It also satisfies the General Education Outcome #2: Computer Literacy course requirement.
SSC 131 is a required course for this program. It also satisfies the General Education Outcome #1: American Society, Events, Institutions and Cultures course requirement.
Associate in Applied Science Degree Requirements
Students must also complete the specific degree requirements for the Associate in Applied Science Degree. It should be noted that courses listed in the Required Core Courses and Required Support Courses may also be used to fulfill Associate in Applied Science Degree requirements when applicable. Developmental courses (developmental courses are those numbered below 100) cannot be used to fulfill these requirements.
Students must also complete the General Education requirements of the College. Courses listed in the Required Core Courses and Required Support Courses for this degree as well as courses used to fulfill requirements of the Associate in Arts degree, may also be used to fulfill General Education when applicable. Elective Courses
Complete as many elective credits as necessary to meet the minimum number of credit hours to receive your associate’s degree. No more than six credit hours may come from developmental courses (courses numbered below 100).
Note: Students considering transferring to a four-year institution are advised to consult current transfer and articulation guides to ensure that appropriate courses are selected.
Students must also complete the specific degree requirements for the Associate in Applied Science Degree. Courses listed in the Required Core Courses and/or Required Support Courses may also be used to fulfill Associate in Applied Science Degree Requirements when applicable. Developmental courses (developmental courses are those numbered below 100) cannot be used to fulfill these requirements.
Students must also complete the General Education requirements of the College. Courses listed in the Required Core Courses and/or Required Support Courses for the, as well as courses used to fulfill requirements of the Associate in Applied Science degree, may also be used to fulfill General Education requirements when applicable.
Requirements are Subject to Change
Recommended Course Sequence
AH 120*: Students may select either AH120 or SRG 160.
ENG 132*: Students may select either ENG 132 or ENG 135.
AH 105 should be taken Summer I semester, just prior to beginning the second year of the program.
If the student has not completed the Required Support Courses listed upon entering the program, they MUST follow the Required Course Sequence above.
A minimum C grade or better is required in all courses.