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College of Optometry incoming students walk the Esplanade during WesternU Welcome Week day

Student Outcomes

Summary of Applicants and Number Matriculated

Since its inaugural entering Class, the College has seen a robust applicant pool with high ratios of applicants per matriculates. The information shown below summarizes the number of applicants and the matriculates from past admissions cycles.

College of Optometry Academic Outcomes

Class Year Anticipated Graduation (Fall of Matriculation)

 Number of Applicants

 Number Matriculated

Ratio of Applicants per Matriculate

2022  (2018 Matriculation)  693  85 8.2:1
2023  (2019 Matriculation) 416 69 6.02:1
2024 (2020 matriculation) 432 94 4.6:1

Attrition and Graduation


Year Initially Matriculated

2014

(OD2018) 

2015

(OD2019)

2016

(OD2020)

Graduated in 4 years*

 82%

91%

77%

Graduated in 5 or more years

93%

94%

77%

Graduated at any time

 93%

94%

77%

Attrition for Academic Reasons

 1%

1%

1%

Attrition for Other Reasons

 6%

4%

7%

Completed all curricular requirements but not met other graduation requirements

 0%

0%

0%

Still enrolled or on a leave of absence

 0%

1%

15%

  • Clinical Education

    Early entry into patient care and ongoing, diverse patient care experiences are hallmarks of the WesternU education. Clinical education begins during the first semester of the first year. Students participate in clerkship rotations from first through second year, advancing into greater involvement and more advanced levels of care. Every third year student has exposure to not only a comprehensive eye examinations but will also care for patients with ocular diseases, provide complicated contact lens fittings, and care for patients in pediatrics, and geriatrics. The third year students also care for all aspects of rehabilitative services such as low vision, vision therapy, and neuro-rehabilitation. During the fourth year, the student externs are off campus at a variety of external rotation sites including affiliated private practices, co-management and referral centers, and Veteran Affairs facilities.

    Average numbers of patient encounters for each aspect of the curriculum are provided in the table below:

    AVERAGE NUMBER OF PATIENT ENCOUNTERS PER STUDENT (OD 2020)

    FIRST YEAR: SCREENINGS

    28

    FIRST YEAR: CLERKSHIPS

    51

    SECOND YEAR: CLERKSHIPS

    88

    THIRD YEAR

    140

    *FOURTH YEAR

    1219

    ACROSS ALL FOUR YEARS COMBINED

    1526

    *students made up for closure of clinical rotation sites during the COVID-19 pandemic with remote learning activities.

  • Licensing Exam Performance

    The college values a student’s success and as such is continually improving our services. Based on our student feedback the College has implemented, and further enhanced our student support services as follows:

    • Optometry Review Course integrated within the curriculum
    • On-campus KMK NBEO (Part I) review sessions with access to books and on-line materials
    • Mock examinations supporting student growth and development
    • Personalized assessments to identify areas for improvement
    • Dedicated space for Mock Part III exam preparation as well as open access to pre-clinical lab facilities

    There are no barriers to a student’s success. Our curriculum provides students with the material needed to pass boards. It is a student’s hard work, preparation, study habits, work ethic, and utilization of all resources that contributes to their overall success on national board exams. We capture students’ success on the licensure exams in a few ways for several reasons. (See tables below)

    MEASUREMENT DESCRIPTION WHO IS INCLUDED WHY
    NBEO FIRST-TIME PASS RATES Students in each graduating cohort who have attempted and passed each part of the exam on their first attempt. To capture each cohort’s performance in each part of the exam on their first attempt.
    NBEO ULTIMATE PASS RATE Students in each graduating cohort who have attempted and passed all three parts of the exam by the time of graduation. To capture the graduating cohort’s performance by the time of graduation.
    NBEO-ASCO COHORT GROUPS Graduating students who have attempted all three parts of the exam within a specified time frame (October – September). To capture each institution’s yearly performance in a standard manner for all member schools.

    NBEO FIRST-TIME AND ULTIMATE PASS RATES

    CLASS YEAR NUMBER OF EXAM TAKERS PART 1 ABS FIRST-TIME PR NUMBER OF EXAM TAKERS PART 2 PAM FIRST-TIME PR NUMBER OF EXAM TAKERS PART 3 CSE FIRST-TIME PR NUMBER OF EXAM TAKERS ULTIMATE PASS RATE
    OD 2018 62 52% 62 74% 62 59% 60 70%
    OD 2019 86 59% 86 75% 84 86% 80 83%
    OD 2020 74 78% 73 88% 72 85% 63 79%

    NBEO-ASCO PASS RATES FOR COHORT GROUPS

    Time frame for Cohort Number of Candidates Part 1 ABS First-time Pass Rate Part 2 PAM First-time Pass Rate Part 3 CSE First-time Pass Rate Ultimate Pass Rate
    10/2020-9/2019 74 74.32% 85.13% 72.97% 85.14%
    10/2019- 9/2020 71 81.69% 87.32% 84.51% 90.14%
    10/2018 -9/2019 80 61.25% 78.75% 86.25% 87.50%
    10/2017 -9/2018 60 55.00% 76.67% 56.67% 81.67%
    10/2016 -9/2017 76 46.05% 67.11% 68.42% 68.42%

    The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) will review a professional optometric degree program that has less than a 70% ultimate pass rate for two consecutive years on the NBEO or any professional optometric degree program that demonstrates a decrease of 20 percentage points or more from the prior year’s ultimate pass rate. For more information visit the ACOE website.

  • ACOE Standard 1.3.1

    Within six years of initial matriculation, at least 80% of entering students must be (1) licensed to practice optometry, or (2) pass all three parts of the NBEO or (3) pass the equivalent Canadian registration examination.

    Number of students entering as matriculates in the cohort Number passing all 3 parts of the NBEO exam within 6 years of matriculation of Students Number passing CACO Canadian licensure within 6 years of matriculation Percentage of entering students meeting Standard 1.3.1
    Class of 2013: 78 69 1 89.7%
    Class of 2014: 86 76 2 90.7%
    Class of 2015: 86 74 2 88.4%
    Class of 2016: 86 70 0 81.40%
    Class of 2017: 91 75 3 85.71%
    Class of 2018: 68 58 0 85.29%
    Class of 2019: 86 76 0 88.37%
  • Post-graduate Residency Training

    Our graduates have been very competitive in seeking residency positions. Sixteen (16) graduates from the class of 2020 were selected to a variety of residency programs across the country. The specialties range from primary eye care/ocular disease, cornea and contact lens, vision therapy and rehabilitation/pediatric optometry and ocular disease/surgery co-management in Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Rhode Island, and California.

  • Student Leadership

    WesternU College of Optometry (WUCO) students have demonstrated strong leadership within the College and within the optometric professional community.

    The following College clubs have been actively involved in service to the College, the University and the local community. In the case of VOSH, WesternU students have traveled to Haiti, Mexico, Fiji and Peru to render service to those in need. WesternU Optometry students have also attained high-ranking positions in several national organizations.

    WUCO students have established WesternU chapters of:

    • American Academy of Optometry (AAO)
    • American Optometric Student Association (AOSA)
    • Beta Sigma Kappa Honor Society (BSK)
    • College of Optometric Vision Development (COVD)
    • Fellowship of Christian Optometrists (FCO)
    • Gold Key Honor Society
    • Lions Club International
    • National Optometric Student Association (NOSA)
    • Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA)
    • Optometric Extension Program (OEP)
    • Optometry Private Practice Business Club (OPPB)
    • Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH)

    Each year students elect Liaisons to Optometric professional organizations as listed below:

    • American Academy of Optometry (AAO)
    • American Optometric Student Association (AOSA)
    • American Optometric Association – Contact Lens and Cornea Section (AOA-CLCS)
    • American Optometric Association – Sports Vision Section (AOA-SVS)
    • American Optometric Association – Vision Rehabilitation Section (AOA-VRS)
    • American Public Health Association (APHA)
    • Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS)
    • Asian American Optometric Society (AAOS)
    • Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO)
    • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)
    • California Optometric Association (COA)
    • Inland Empire Optometric Society (IEOS)
    • Los Angeles County Optometric Society (LACOS)
    • National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
    • Orange County Optometric Society (OCOS)
    • Rio Hondo Optometric Society (RHOS)
    • San Diego County Optometric Society (SDCOS)
    • San Fernando Valley Optometric Society (SFVOS)
    • San Gabriel Valley Optometric Society (SGVOS)
    • South Bay Optometric Society (SBOS)

    On the University level, Class officers also serve as Senators and have a voice in the University’s Student Government Association.

    The University also provides opportunity for service and leadership through a wide variety of inter-professional student clubs and interest groups, which now number near 100 in total.