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Palm Beach State College

College Catalog 2019-2020

Palm Beach State College

Ophthalmic Medical Technology AS

Ophthalmic Medical Technology  (AS 2229) LIMITED ACCESS

Type of Award
AS - Associate In Science

Program Website

Program Description
The ophthalmic medical technologist assists the ophthalmologist, eye physician and surgeon, in the evaluation of vision and treatment of patients with disorders of the eyes. The program's four-semester, competency-based curriculum is a college-level program consisting of full-time (eight hours per day) didactic classroom experience, hands-on optical analysis and specialized training in vision testing. Students develop, through extensive clinical internships, technical proficiency, including hands-on training in our state-of-the-art medical clinic, under the supervision of a Board-Certified and licensed ophthalmologist, combined with practical experience in local ophthalmic practices, clinics, and hospitals.

Program Learning Outcomes
For detailed information, visit

General Admission Requirements to the College

  • Submit an official high school or GED transcript and official
    college/university transcripts from each post-secondary
    institution attended. Refer to the Admission Procedures
    section of the college catalog for more information regarding transcripts.
  • Submit placement test scores if not exempt from placement testing. To determine if you are exempt, go to
  • Complete all other requirements for admission outlined in the Admission Procedures section of the college catalog.


Admission Requirements for Ophthalmic Medical Technology
In addition to the General Admission requirements, student must meet the following eligibility criteria to be considered for selection to the program. (Meeting admission criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the program).

  • Attend a mandatory Ophthalmic Medical Technology information session;
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher;
  • Document at least four hours of observation in an approved ophthalmic medical practice;
  • Complete the following prerequisite program courses with a grade of C or higher by the application deadline: BSC2085/BSC2085L (Anatomy and Physiology 1 and Lab), BSC2086/BSC2086L (Anatomy and Physiology 2 and Lab) and MCB2010/MCB2010L (Microbiology and Lab);
  • Submit a completed Ophthalmic Medical Technology program application, located on the program website, and pay the application fee by the deadline.


Completion Requirements
Student must complete all courses listed in the catalog for this program with a grade of C or higher.

Program Length
This is a four-semester program beginning in August each year. It requires a full-time commitment.

The program is offered at the Palm Beach Gardens campus.

For More Information
Contact Robert M. Kershner, M.D., F.A.C.S.,, (561) 207-5726

Employment Opportunities
The region has a high concentration of health care employers. According to the Florida Society of Ophthalmology there are 1,400 ophthalmologists in Florida. Employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 22 percent from 2008 to 2018. Along with that growth, coupled with the increase in the aging of the population, the demand for COT personnel is expected to increase sharply.

Certified Ophthalmic Technologists (COAs, COTs, and COMTs) work closely with an ophthalmologist in a medical practice. They apply their knowledge of the evaluation of the ophthalmic patient with medical and surgical eye disorders by using their medical skills and high technology, specialized, diagnostic visual testing instrumentation. The information obtained by the COT is used and relied upon by the ophthalmologist to detect, evaluate, diagnose, and treat disease or injury. The duties of a COA include taking a patient's history, measuring visual acuity, assessing optical correction, testing pupils, ocular motility, inspection and assessment of the associated ocular tissues, external ocular examination, and recording intraocular pressure. In addition, the COT is a versatile and valuable member of the medical team by assisting other medical personnel in patient scheduling, performing administrative duties, and instructing and educating patients and their families. The further training of the COT allows for measurement of refractive error, recording the eyeglass prescription, the fitting and evaluation of contact lenses, and assisting in minor office-based ocular procedures, which also includes the supervision and training of other ophthalmic technicians. COMTs are further trained to assist the surgeon in the ambulatory or hospital-based operating room, and perform medical and surgical diagnostic and therapeutic procedures under the direction of the surgeon.

Career Path Notes
Courses from this program may transfer into Palm Beach State's Bachelor of Applied Science program in Supervision and Management. For more information, see the web at

Upon successful completion of the program, standardized examination, and clinical internships, graduates will be qualified to be certified by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA®), Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT®) or Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT®).

Career Center
For more information about employment opportunities including job outlook and salary information visit:
Occupational Outlook Handbook:
O-Net Online: