Message from the Dean

A Vision for the College

Dr. Elizabeth HoppeWestern University of Health Sciences has a distinguished history, and has set out to be known as a distinctive institution, as expressed by its Institutional Mission Statement:

To educate, in a humanistic tradition, health care professionals and produce biomedical knowledge that will enhance and extend the quality of life in our communities.

The nation’s newest College of Optometry will build upon this rock-solid foundation by establishing its own clear identity, delineating a central focus for its educational, clinical, and research programs, and by creating a distinguished reputation.

The vision for the College of Optometry encompasses four primary perspectives, and serves four distinct stakeholders: the public, the profession, the students, and the faculty. The underlying philosophy of the College’s vision emphasizes one central theme: building bridges.


The Public Perspective

The College will

  • Promote and protect the visual health and welfare of the public
  • Enhance quality of life in the community through optimal visual functioning and ocular health
  • Serve the public by graduating family-practice doctors of optometry with particular strengths in optometric rehabilitation, to meet the needs of an aging population, and to provide exceptional care to vulnerable populations

The College will build a bridge to span the gap between the latest advances in state of the art optometric care and underserved populations.


The Profession Perspective

The College will

  • Support the professional identity of optometry by promoting the expansion of optometric scope of practice and integration within the health care delivery team
  • Graduate doctors of optometry who experience advanced training as part of their professional and clinical education, and who will expect and create these opportunities in their future practice
  • Provide unique continuing education programs for optometrists practicing in California, the western region, and other parts of the United States, that capitalize on its close affiliation with the other health professionals at WesternU

The College will build a bridge to unite professional interests and to form a road to reach out to health policy decision makers.


The Student Perspective

The College will

  • Recruit and enroll students who demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning, personal development, leadership, and a desire to give back to the profession
  • Provide its students with an innovative curriculum emphasizing community-based clinical education to foster a humanistic approach to health care
  • Provide a value-added educational experience with opportunities for dual degree programs and the attainment of advanced degrees including the MS, MPH, and PhD degrees
  • Ensure that its graduates are compassionate and skillful caregivers

The College will serve as a bridge to provide a pathway for students to realize their dreams and commitments to clinical excellence, service to society, and the humanistic and ethical practice of optometry.

CO Alumni Reception 2013

Dr. Hoppe with three graduates from the College of Optometry’s inaugural Class of 2013 at our first Annual Alumni Reception in San Diego, CA.
(Three graduates: Dr. Kambiz Silani, Dr. Sahil Dosaj and Dr. Harout Khanjian)

The Faculty Perspective

The College will

  • Recruit, retain, and nurture a distinguished cadre of faculty dedicated to leadership in optometric education and service to the profession
  • Encourage its faculty to develop unique pedagogical techniques to enhance the educational process
  • Foster opportunities for collaborative research among its faculty and between various disciplines
  • Develop and maintain an environment of inquiry in support of the creation and communication of knowledge

The College will support its faculty to serve as bridges between the body of advanced professional knowledge and patients, students, policy-makers, and the public.



Elizabeth Hoppe, OD, MPH, DrPH
Founding Dean


 view of courtyard