Student organizations are a lab to practice leadership skills, and an opportunity to explore your passions, serve your community, and build relationships. Student organizations are a vehicle to make your mark on the community, the optometry profession, and those in need in our community and around the world.
Our students have many opportunities to be active in the Ohio State and College of Optometry communities. Optometry students can participate in many of the nearly 1400 Ohio State campus-wide student organizations. Each year students from the college represent their peers in the Inter-Professional Council (IPC), an Ohio State professional school student government organization. Many of our students also represent Optometry in the Inter-Professional Orchestra and Women in White Coats organizations. The Black Graduate and Professional Student Caucus also provides excellent opportunities for student networking and collegiality.
Below are the current Ohio State College of Optometry student organizations:
American Optometric Student Organization (AOSA)
AOSA is the student component of the American Optometric Association (AOA). The goal of the AOSA is to promote optometry and improve optometric education. Membership is open to all students enrolled in the college. AOSA promotes vision care through vision screenings and outreach activities to area schools and organizes several social events throughout the year including the Eye Ball and seasonal activities.
Beta Sigma Kappa (ΒΣΚ)
This is an international honor society in optometry whose members have achieved academic distinction in their professional studies. Students who attain cumulative point-hour ratios of at least 3.5 on all work completed in the college through the semester preceding graduation are recommended for membership.
Contact Lens Advancement Society (CLAS)
The goal of the Contact Lens Advancement Society is to help students enhance their education on the broad spectrum of contact lenses, as well as connect with contact lens representatives and other experienced Optometrists. This group hosts meetings with leading experts in industry, research, and private practice to give members a well-rounded education on this integral part of Optometry.
College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)
The College of Optometrists in Vision Development is a non-profit, international association of eye care professionals with the mission of improving lives by advancing excellence in optometric vision therapy and rehabilitation. Ohio State’s COVD Club is a student chapter that is designed to educate on how patient lives can be enhances through vision therapy, how vision therapy can be successfully integrated into a practice, and to keep up with the latest advances in the field.
Epsilon Psi Epsilon (ΕΨΕ)
This organization is a professional fraternity for men and women optometry students whose primary goal is to promote the ideals and ethics of professional optometry. Each year members organize social and professional activities as well as several community events. The fraternity house serves as a gathering place for members and alumni and provides living quarters for about 18 students.
Fellowship of Christian Optometrists (FCO)
This organization is a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Optometrists International. FCO fosters the employment of optometric professional skills in a meaningful manner consistent with the Christian faith. The organization conducts weekly meetings during academic semesters, sponsors periodic social and fellowship events, joins with Christian optometrists from throughout the U.S. at an annual national retreat, and sends members on short term mission trips to an FCO optometric clinic in Haiti.
Gold Key International Optometric Society
Gold Key is an organization designed to recognize third and fourth year Optometry students who have demonstrated outstanding professional and ethical attitudes through leadership and service to their class, college, and profession. Membership is competitive.
Lions Club of the College of Optometry
The Lions Club of the College of Optometry is the local affiliate of the Lions Club International, a worldwide service organization known for their service projects supporting vision care for those in need (including the collection of used eyeglasses for distribution to those who cannot afford them). The club performs fund raisers for organizations such as Pilot Dogs, offers free community vision screenings, and participates in many of the area Lions Club projects such as Special Olympics and White Cane sales.
Low Vision Rehabilitation Club (LVRC)
The Low Vision Rehabilitation Club (LVRC) provides information to future optometrists so each member can further facilitate a deep and personally useful understanding of the nature and implications of disabling visual impairments and of current and emerging management options. Club members have the opportunity to experience low vision rehabilitation beyond what is provided through the standard optometric curriculum, have personal interactions with blind and visually impaired individuals, help organizations that serve those who are blind or visually impaired, gain information on low vision practice management strategies, and much more.
National Optometric Student Association (NOSA)
NOSA is the student chapter of the National Optometric Association (NOA). The student organization’s primary objective is to provide quality eye care to the minority community and underrepresented populations and to promote recruitment and retention of minority students, and is open to all interested optometry and pre-optometry students. Activities sponsored by NOSA include vision screenings, guest lectures, visits to area O.D.’s practices and mentoring programs involving prospective students.
Ocular Disease and Neuro-Optometry Club
This organization focuses on exploring careers in Ocular Disease and Neuro-Optometry. The goal is to raise awareness of the opportunities available to optometrists in the field of disease, ranging from acquiring a disease residency or co-existing with an ophthalmologist in an OD/MD practice post-graduation. Examples of events include lectures from well-known doctors, touring practices, and exploring the role of optometrists in hospitals.
Our Ohio State Optometry Ambassadors serve as a vital link between prospective students and the current student experience. The Optometry Ambassadors (OA’s) provide many helpful tips to our prospective students. Whether it be touring around the campus, hosting a student overnight, checking in with a student over the phone or by email, mingling with students on interview days, visiting with students at a high school or university, or connecting with alumni practicing in their home communities – this group does it all! Student-to-student contact and sharing experiences with alumni make this group a great recruitment tool for all interested students and liaisons.
Optometry Student Council
This group coordinates many student activities, represents optometry students at university functions, and serves as a liaison between the students and the faculty. Members are selected from each class and from principle student organizations within the college.
Private Practice Club
The College of Optometry Private Practice Club is an organization designed to give members a better understanding of the various modes of private practice as well as to teach members about the responsibilities and issues related to owning a practice.
Sports Vision Club
The Sports Vision Club is an organization designed primarily to provide vision screenings for student-athletes in the Columbus area. This screening targets the specific needs of the athlete and helps determine those individuals who require visual enhancement and/or vision therapy in order to develop their overall athletic skill.
Student Chapter of the American Academy of Optometry
The student chapter of the American Academy of Optometry promotes the art and science of vision care at The Ohio State University. As a member of this group, you will facilitate and support the involvement of students in the American Academy of Optometry. Our student chapter fosters a career-long involvement in the Academy, and thereby contributes to the advancement of clinical practice through life-long learning.
Student Volunteers for Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH)
SVOSH helps provide vision care and eyewear to underserved nations. Students spend time sorting, measuring, and packaging used eyeglasses donated by the Lions Clubs International and other organizations within the community. Their work leads up to an annual week-long trip to conduct free eye exams, dispense glasses, and provide ocular health education abroad. Community presentations help to raise donations to fund airfare and housing for students going on the trip. Countries visited in the past include Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Kenya, Mexico, Tanzania, and Venezuela.