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February 4, 2014

Students Can Now Choose from a Wider Range of Courses

SUNY Optometry has recently expanded the elective course offerings in its Doctor of Optometry (OD) program as a way to provide students with an even broader range of learning opportunities.

Dr. David Troilo, vice president and dean for academic affairs at the College, answers a few questions about what these new electives mean for students. 

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What kinds of new electives are being offered as part of the curriculum?

We offer students in our professional (OD) program electives on a variety of advanced topics that enhance their understanding and delivery of clinical care by diving deeper into general areas such as special topics in ocular disease, use of advanced diagnostic technologies, evidence based practice, emerging trends in clinical care, public health and foreign languages for clinical care.

The teaching formats are generally designed for small groups, many are in a seminar group discussion format, others include laboratory or clinical components, some are independent studies, many involve presentations and some even have international travel associated with them.

Why are these electives being added to the course offerings at the College?

The OD curriculum at the College already provides an excellent preparation for entry into clinic practice. In fact, we’re proud that the elements of our curriculum anticipate and prepare our students for the optometric practice of the future. Our elective program provides greater opportunities for students to customize their education by adding material that they find particularly interesting and valuable.

Have you seen an increased interest from students recently for a wider selection of elective courses?

Our students were asked and have identified many of the topics covered in our elective catalog, and our faculty has responded with many new offerings. The catalog grows each year and we pay careful attention to which electives are most popular. We also sometimes consider certain electives for inclusion into the required OD curriculum.

What does the College hope to achieve by providing a broader array of courses to students in the OD program?

We see our electives as value-added to an already strong program. They also help us meet one of our strategic goals, which is to deliver a customizable professional degree that enhances the student experience while ensuring active and integrated learning. We believe our electives advance student knowledge and prepare them even better to deliver the highest quality, problem-oriented, evidence based patient care possible.