Page 8 - ASCO Annual Report 2019
P. 8

 ADVANCING OPTOMETRIC EDUCATION
One Future Applicant At A Time
We’ve said optometry is at a crossroads. Some may say it’s a crisis.
For several years, we have seen a troubling decline in • applicants to the 23 U.S. based optometric education institutions – both in quality and quantity. We must continue to attract the best and the brightest students
To increase the caliber of qualified applicants to U.S.-based optometry schools and colleges so that there are at least two qualified applicants with a GPA over 3.0 from their graduating institutions for every first-year training slot;
to the field of optometry. As the U.S. population continues to age, the need for optometric services continues to grow and Doctors of Optometry must continue being a vital part of the healthcare landscape to best serve patients.
• To increase the diversity of qualified applicants
to U.S.-based optometry schools and colleges so that there is an increase of 100% in the number of highly-qualified applicants from Hispanic/Latino and African-American/Black backgrounds; and
To increase awareness of optometry as a career option among high school students.
Per ASCO’s Strategic Plan, addressing optometric education’s applicant pool development is its number
one priority. ASCO’s five-year goals through 2022 are: •
• To increase the number of qualified applicants to U.S.-based optometry schools and colleges so that there are at least two qualified applicants for every first-year training slot;
A LITTLE HISTORY... NATIONAL DATA
 Application year
2009-2010
2018-2019
Number of applicants
2503
2472
Number of 1st year slots
1628
1862
Applicant to training slot ratio
1.5:1
1.3:1
  ASCO has recently expanded its efforts to broaden
the awareness of optometry through the Inspiring Future ODs program and also by promoting the career of optometry by exhibiting at various events. ASCO attends and exhibits at national optometric meetings such as American Academy of Optometry and the American Optometric Association to ask current practitioners and optometry students to join forces
to talk about optometry as a career choice. During the summer, ASCO staff focused its efforts on high school students by exhibiting at HOSA (Future Health Professionals, formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America) and ASCA (The American School Counselors Association). ASCO also continues to
strengthen its relationship with pre-health advisors through the NAAHP (National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions).
ASCO also plays a vital role in representing optometry during Health Professions Week (HPW), a collaborative effort sponsored by the organizations that promote health profession education. Held Nov. 5-9, 2018,
HPW attracted 11,377 people interested in a health profession to the virtual events where they could learn more about optometry and other health professions through keynote sessions and panel discussions, chats with a member of our faculty, and engaging through social media, games and more.
  Are you a member of ASCO’s Inspiring Future ODs Program? Join today at https://bit.ly/2tk6Dpv
8 • ASCO Annual Report


































































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