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    Florida State College at Jacksonville
  Feb 02, 2023
2020-2021 Catalog [Aug. 2020-Aug. 2021] 
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2020-2021 Catalog [Aug. 2020-Aug. 2021] [Archived Catalog]

Ophthalmic Technician (2180) (A.S.)

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Associate in Science

This is a Limited Access program.


The mission of the A.S. Ophthalmic Technician is to create competent, ethical, confident entry-level health care practitioners committed to professional development through life-long learning in a positive, non-discriminatory and supportive learning environment.

The Program

The Allied Ophthalmic Professional (AOP) is a skilled person, qualified by didactic and clinical ophthalmic training, who performs ophthalmic skills under the direction or supervision of a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery and qualified in medical and surgical ophthalmology.

The function of the AOP is to assist in the care of the ophthalmic patient by obtaining subjective and objective information from the patient and to assist the ophthalmologist in medical and surgical treatment of the ophthalmic patient. 

Duties that may be performed by an Allied Ophthalmic Professional include:

  1. Obtaining an ocular and medical history
  2. Testing ocular functions, including visual acuity, ocular motility, pupillary function, tonometry, and visual fields.
  3. Determining lens combinations for optimal visual performance at a distance and for reading.
  4. Taking anatomical measurements of the eye and surrounding tissue.
  5. Administering advanced ocular motility and binocular function tests.
  6. Performing advanced visual system tests including color vision, tear film quality, and contrast sensitivity.
  7. Performing computerized diagnostic tests, including visual field analysis, optical coherence tomography, and corneal topography.
  8. Performing ophthalmic clinical photography, including external, anterior segment, and fundus photography.
  9. Assisting in fluorescein photography.
  10. Assisting in the fitting of contact lenses.
  11. Instructing the patient in use and care of contact lenses.
  12. Performing ophthalmic biometry and intraocular lens calculations.
  13. Administering topical ophthalmic medications.
  14. Maintaining ophthalmic instruments and equipment.
  15. Maintaining and sterilizing ophthalmic and general surgical instruments.
  16. Assisting in ophthalmic surgery in the office, hospital, or ambulatory surgical center setting.
  17. Assisting in procedure and diagnostic coding for ocular examination.
  18. Providing supervision and instruction of other ophthalmic personnel and patients.

Allied Ophthalmic Professionals supply important information to the physician who is assessing the patient and assist in areas such as surgery and patient education/compliance; they are not independent practitioners and do not diagnose or treat eye disorders, nor do they prescribe medications or optical correction.

The goal of this A.S. degree is to produce competent entry-level health-care practitioners in the eye care field in a positive and supportive learning environment. 

A minimum grade of C or better must be achieved in all professional coursework.

The Career

According to the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO), ophthalmic medical personnel are in high demand. This demand is due to technological advances in vision care and an aging population with many vision care needs.

Program Accreditation

The Ophthalmic Technician program is accredited by the International Council on Accreditation of Allied Ophthalmic Education Programs (ICA).


Each graduating student of the Ophthalmic Technician program must take the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO) Ophthalmic Technician Certifying Examination (COT) as a requirement for graduation. This examination is administered within one month prior to the end of the student’s last semester in the program. 

Application Procedure

This program is Limited Access and requires a separate application. Specific information on program admission requirements, application and costs can be obtained from the program director for the Ophthalmic Technician program, North Campus. Students must complete the required prerequisite courses prior to acceptance into this program.

Application Deadline(s)

The application deadline is May 15 each year with classes starting in Fall term.

Need More Information? Contact:

Call (904) 646-2300 or

More Information Online

  • Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology:
  • International Council on Accreditation of Allied Ophthalmic Education Programs:
  • International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO) Ophthalmic Technician Certifying Examination (COT):


The following courses must be completed prior to acceptance into the Ophthalmic Technician program. All General Education Coursework and Professional Coursework must be completed with a grade of C or better.


General Education Coursework

Credit Hours: 16

Professional Coursework

Credit Hours: 56

A minimum grade of C or better is required in all Professional coursework.

Total Credit Hours: 72

Recommended Course Sequencing

Semester I
Semester II
Semester III
Semester IV
Semester V


Most clinical agencies require students to undergo drug screen and criminal background checks prior to placement in the agencies for clinical experiences. Students whose drug screening and criminal background checks are deemed unsatisfactory may be denied access to clinical experiences by the clinical agencies. Failure to qualify for and meet clinical requirements at clinical sites may prevent completion of the program. Withdrawal from the program may be necessary if students cannot be placed for clinical experiences.

Some practice settings may have additional requirements including health insurance, a volunteer application, references, fingerprinting and background check, drug testing, and/or an interview prior to the start of the clinical experience. The additional requirements are the responsibility of the student, including expenses.

The cost of the background check(s) and drug screen(s) is borne by the student. Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to have all paperwork completed by the program’s published deadline (if applicable).

Students who are unable to complete the clinical requirements after acceptance into Limited Access or Selective Access programs are not eligible for refunds of tuition and fees.

A physical examination will be required upon acceptance to the program.

Graduation Requirements

In order to be awarded the Associate in Science degree, students must have met the following requirements:

  1. Fulfill all academic requirements for the chosen program of study as outlined in the Florida State College at Jacksonville catalog and curriculum.
  2. Earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) at Florida State College at Jacksonville in courses eligible toward the Associate in Science degree programs, excluding developmental education courses (A.S. Florida State College at Jacksonville GPA).
  3. Earned an all-college cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) on a 4.0 scale on all courses attempted. This includes Florida State College at Jacksonville college-credit semester hours and transferred credits (excluding developmental education) in lower division courses (All college cumulative).
  4. Complete a minimum of 25 percent of the total hours required for the program in residence at Florida State College at Jacksonville. Credit by examination and credit for prior learning do not count toward this residency requirement.
  5. Complete the required semester hours, as specified by the degree, of which a minimum of 15 semester hours must be General Education requirements.
  6. Earned a grade of a C or better in each course used to satisfy the general education requirements and any other area designated with a C or better requirement.
  7. Fulfill all obligations, financial or otherwise, to the College before graduating.
Note: Students are cautioned to pay particular attention to the following statements.
  • A student’s graduation date will be the date of the end of the College term in which the student has fulfilled all academic requirements. (The removal of an incomplete grade does not affect students’ graduation dates since the grade change is effective at the end of the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned rather than the term in which the incomplete work was made up.)
  • Students who enter under the (2020/2021) catalog will be assigned to the degree or certificate requirements in effect during the 2020/2021 academic year. The student’s assigned catalog year will remain in effect as long as the student maintains continuous enrollment. Changes to requirements as mandated by law or by rule of the District Board of Trustees may supersede this provision.
  • Many courses in this catalog have prerequisite and/or corequisite courses which are listed in the course descriptions. Students are advised to be guided by these requirements.
  • Students who place into developmental education courses are required to complete designated developmental education courses with a grade of C or better regardless of program of study.


This A.S. degree program articulates into a bachelor’s degree program. For more information, visit the Transfer Services Web page at and look for your A.S. program of study.

Baccalaureate Transfer

This Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degree programs are intended primarily for students who desire to complete an Associate in Science degree or an Associate in Applied Science degree and become employed. Students who decide to pursue baccalaureate transfer study must meet certain course and test requirements. For details, refer to the Baccalaureate Transfer Guide at

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