BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus announced today that the Commission for Higher Education approved a Technical Certificate and Associate of Applied Science degree to be offered in Optometric Technology. General education and pre-requisite classes for the program will begin in Spring 2017 and enrollment is open. Indiana University discontinued its Optometric Technology associate degree program in 2015, creating a need for a professional Optician training program. Ivy Tech Community College now fills this role, offering the only Optometric Technology Associate of Applied Science degree in Indiana.

“We have received overwhelming support in starting the program, which will model Indiana University’s former program,” said Jennie Vaughan, Ivy Tech Bloomington Chancellor. “Optometry clinics and Indiana University Opticianry faculty and alumni are all delighted that we are keeping the training available.”

When students complete 33 credit hours in Ivy Tech’s Optometric Technology program, they will be eligible to sit for the National Opticianry Competency Examination, the Contact Lens Registry Examination, and the Certified Paraoptometric Technician Examination. Upon certification, they will be equipped for careers as Opticians, working closely with optometrists as part of the eye care team. Tasks include measuring visual acuity, color vision, depth perception, field of vision, and pressures within the eye. Opticians also fill vision prescriptions, produce and shape eyeglass lenses and assist in contact lens procedures.

For Dispensing Opticians, The U.S. Department of Labor reports a much faster than average growth rate of 24% from 2014 to 2024. According to an Economic Modeling Specialist International (EMSI) report, the median hourly earnings for Dispensing Opticians in Indiana is $14.32. The U.S. Department of Labor reports the median pay in 2014 for Dispensing Opticians is $34,280 per year.

“Optician salaries will vary based on employer and job requirements,” said Larry Swafford, Ph.D., dean of the School of Health Sciences. “For example, those managing an optometrist’s office could make quite a bit more than the median salary.”

Pre-requisite classes include: Quantitative Reasoning (MATH 123), Medical Terminology (HLHS 101), and Student Success in Healthcare (IVYT112). Classes begin in Spring 2017 and enrollment is open.

Professional courses include: Optical Concepts and Properties, Ophthalmic Lens Laboratory Procedures, Ophthalmic Optics, Ophthalmic Procedures 1 and 2, Ophthalmic Dispensing, Introduction to Clinic, Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye, Contact Lens and Ocular Refractive Corrections, Clinic Practicum 1 and 2, and Optometric Technology Capstone Course. In addition to classroom instruction, students will participate in clinical practicums at optometry facilities throughout South Central Indiana.

The number of students who can be enrolled in the Optometric Technology program each semester is currently limited to 23.

For more information about the Optometric Technology program, call (812) 330-6060 or email or (812) 330-6223 or Optometric Technology general education and pre-requisite classes begin January 17, 2017, but students should enroll by January 9 in order to be prepared on the first day of classes. To enroll, visit, stop into Ivy Tech Bloomington located at 200 Daniels Way, or call (812) 330-6013. Ivy Tech is open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.