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 1000 OSU 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. The Black Graduate and Professional Student Caucus also provides excellent opportunities for student networking and collegiality.
College of Optometry student organizations provide our students many opportunities for leadership development and participation in community service and social activities.
Following are the current Ohio State College of Optometry student organizations:
AOSA is the student component of the American Optometric Association (AOA). The goal of the AOSA is to promote optometry and improve optometric education. All students enrolled in the college are automatically members. 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 a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 following spring semester of the first three academic years are eligible for membership. The Ohio State Chapter of BSK provides mentorship to underclassmen in preparation for clinic practicals and creates an evidence based reference manual distributed to all optometry students nationwide.
Contact Lens Advancement Society (CLAS)
The Contact Lens Advancement Society (CLAS) is the newest student organization within the College of Optometry. CLAS's mission is to enhance and expand the education that future optometrists receive during their four years at Ohio State. This group hosts meetings with leading experts from industry and research to give its members a more complete education in this integral part of optometry.
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 fourth year Optometry students who have demonstrated outstanding professional and ethical attitudes through leadership and service to their class, college, and profession. Members are chosen through a competitive application process at the end of the third year.
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.
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.
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.
This group coordinates many student activities, represents optometry students at university functions, and serves as a liaison between the students and the faculty. With the financial support of the Optometry Alumni Association, Student Council helps organizes many of the welcoming and orientation activities for new students in the college. 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.
SVOSH helps provide vision care and eyewear to developing nations. This organization holds weekly meetings at which volunteers sort and package used eyeglasses donated by the Lions Clubs International and other organizations. Donations also fund airfare and living expenses for students going on trips to underprivileged countries to conduct free eye exams. Countries visited in the past include Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Kenya, Mexico, Tanzania, and Venezuela.