ASCO’s Partnership Endowment Awards Inaugural Grants

ROCKVILLE, MD, January 27, 2015 – The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) is delighted to announce the awarding of the first Partnership Endowment Grants. In its inaugural year, the Partnership Endowment will award $148,000 to 17 schools and colleges of optometry. Grants will be used to support any of the following programs or projects: faculty development; creating a diverse, highly-qualified applicant pool; developing new optometric pedagogies; developing new technologies for delivering optometric didactic education, clinical training, and continuing education; or any other purpose that advances optometric education.

The Partnership Endowment was established in 1996 as the Partnership Foundation for Optometric Education. The American Optometric Association and ASCO created the Foundation as a means to provide financial support for the advancement of optometric education. Since its establishment, every national optometric organization has participated in supporting the Partnership Foundation.

In 2013, the Partnership Foundation was re-developed and transferred to ASCO to establish the new Partnership Endowment.

The Partnership Endowment has two goals. First, a percentage of the investment income will be available through grants to advance optometric education. Second, the Endowment will continue to grow to ensure funding for future generations.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunities the Partnership Endowment is providing to the schools and colleges of optometry,” ASCO President and Dean of the College of Optometry at Pacific University, Dr. Jennifer Coyle says. “We received an impressive list of planned projects and programs. These programs would not be possible if not for the generous and continued support of the Contributing Partners to the Partnership Foundation for Optometric Education over the past 20 years. The endowment has become a genuine ‘partnership’ for the optometric community to invest in the future of our profession. ASCO looks forward to growing the new Partnership Endowment for many years to come.”

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The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) is a non-profit association representing the interests of optometric education. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Rockville, MD, ASCO is committed to achieving excellence in optometric education and to helping its member institutions prepare well-qualified graduates for entrance into the profession of optometry. Its membership encompasses the schools and colleges of optometry in the 50 states and Puerto Rico. A number of optometry schools outside the United States are affiliate members.