Students who are interested in the profession of optometry are encouraged to join forces with other like-minded students through the pre-optometry club on their campus. If your undergrad institution does not have a pre-optometry club, this is a wonderful opportunity to set yourself apart from other pre-optometry students by starting a club on your own campus.
Why Start a Pre-Optometry Club?
- Representatives from the different optometry programs will schedule more visits should they anticipate an audience of pre-optometry students.
- Local Doctors of Optometry will be more likely to visit an organized club.
- Looks good on your interview resume to start a club.
- Looks good on your interview resume to participate in a pre-optometry club.
- You are doing something positive for the profession as a pre-optometry student. How great is that?
- Formation of and interest in a club will indirectly promote optometry to and enlighten pre-health campus advisors about optometry—also great for the profession!
Research Campus Requirements for Starting a New Club
Contact your campus Student Affairs Department and pre-health advisor for recommended guidelines for starting a new campus club. Also seek financial sponsorship if possible.
Find a Faculty Advisor
Your faculty advisor should be someone who is committed to helping your organization succeed.
Form an Executive Board
This should consist of a President, Vice-president, Secretary and Treasurer. Additional office positions can be added as needed in your club.
Write Club Bylaws
The bylaws of your pre-optometry club should be the base document by which your club is run. Make sure you consider all the aspects of your club when writing the bylaws. These bylaws can be updated periodically according to changes the club deems necessary.
Establish Club Email Address and Website
The club email address should be linked to the campus and not to an individual. An example would be firstname.lastname@example.org. A website is a great tool to recruit new members. The website should include information about meetings, events and speakers. It also a good idea to include the contact information of your club so schools and colleges of optometry and other outside organizations can contact you if needed.
Register Your Club with ASCO
ASCO has a database for pre-optometry clubs that is useful to all of our schools and colleges of optometry. This is helpful to them during the recruitment process. If you would like your club listed on the pre-optometry section of the ASCO website, please refer to the registration form.
Hold regular meetings to discuss topics about the optometric profession and exchange advice on how to be a competitive applicant. Invite local Doctors of Optometry to speak about the profession, in addition to representatives from the schools and colleges of optometry to speak about the application process and what life is like as an optometry student.
Add a service component to the pre-optometry club’s activities. This always looks great on resumes, but most of all it helps the community and builds strong character. Some ideas include: eyeglass recycle to raise awareness for vision or the need for eye health/vision care in third world countries; team with an Explorer’s Post or Girl Scout Ambassador group to sponsor a “consider optometry as a career day” where you can demonstrate equipment and talk about optometry as a career; or organize “Get to Know your Eyes Day” at a local middle school using a model or drawing of eyes.