If you think testing visual acuity, grinding the perfect custom lenses, and diagnosing a wide range of diseases and chronic conditions sounds hard - you’re right. Ophthalmic Science is a complex field with a specific skill set that includes anatomy & physiology, optics, and business savvy. However, if you have what it takes to become an Ophthalmic Technician or Dispensing Optician, you’ll have a rewarding career working alongside ophthalmologists in hospital clinics and private practice.
Accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation, RVCC’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program prepares you for a career of interpreting prescriptions, fabricating and grinding lenses, and fitting, adjusting and dispensing eyewear and contact lenses.

  • Nationally accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA)
  • Approved by the New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians
  • Prepares you for the New Jersey State licensing examination for ophthalmic technician and ophthalmic dispenser
  • Gain hands-on experience in the College’s ophthalmic laboratory and on-campus clinic.

For more information contact, Brian.Thomas@raritanval.edu

RVCC OPTICAL CLINIC
A teaching clinic for the students in the Ophthalmic Science program. It is open to RVCC students, faculty and staff only.
 
The students operate the clinic under the direct supervision of a licensed optician. While working in the clinic, the student opticians have the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and values required to correctly and accurately dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses. The student optician learns to interpret ophthalmic prescriptions, evaluate the patient's visual and lifestyle needs, and to select the appropriate frames, lens materials and/or lens treatments. In addition, the student optician learns the correct fitting, adjustment and adaptation of ophthalmic appliances to the patient.  Our most recent graduates have reported a 100% passing rate for both the State Board written and practicum examinations. In addition, they also report a 100% employment rate in the optical industry.

The program is approved by the New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians and accredited nationally by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA).

Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
PO Box 592
Canton, NY 13617
director@COAccreditation.com
(703) 468-0566
(999) 306-9036 – fax

LOCATION
College Center, Lower Level
908-526-1200 x8261

HOURS
Tuesdays, 10 am  to 1 pm and Wednesdays 7 to 10 pm

PATIENT INFORMATION
The patient who wishes to utilize our clinical services will receive the highest quality services and goods. Charges are made to cover the cost of materials and associated expenses. The individual cost will vary depending upon the frames and/or lenses selected. However, this cost is a mere fraction of the retail price. The patient will be expected to work within the time frame of the clinic schedule. We will strive to meet all individual time requirements, but not at the expense of the educational endeavor. Most prescriptions will be completed in one to two weeks.

In addition, the clinic is available for

  • Spectacle repairs and adjustments
  • Contact lenses
  • Prescription and non-prescription sunglasses
  • Eyeglass cleaning supplies

You may bring in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription or we may copy your existing eyeglass prescription.

FIRST SEMESTER

ENGL 111
English Composition I 3 Credits

General Education Course: English Composition
Prerequisite(s): Grade of A in ENGL 050 Introduction to College Reading and Composition I or ENGL 060 Introduction to College Reading and Composition II, grade of B in ENGL 050 or ENGL 060 with corequisite of ENGL 070 English Composition I Workshop , or appropriate score on placement test.

English Composition I is the first in a two-course composition sequence. The central purposes of English Composition I are to develop critical reading and thinking skills and to write thesis-driven, text-based essays. The course takes a process-oriented approach to writing that incorporates prewriting, drafting, reviewing, and revising. Students in English Composition I learn basic research skills and apply them to at least one text-based research essay.

OPTH 100
Ophthalmic Materials I Lecture 3 Credits

An introduction to the basic principles of ophthalmic lenses. Topics include a history of development, definition of terminology, the geometry of lens designs, physical characteristics of lens materials, optical characteristics, and mathematical formulas used in lens computation.

If the student is registered with the State Board as an apprentice, Ophthalmic Materials I must be successfully completed to be eligible for the State Board Qualifying Technician Exam.

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

OPTH 105
Ophthalmic Materials I Lab 3 Credits

This course will cover computations and theories concerning basic lens formulas; preparation of prescription lab orders; operation of the lensometer/vertometer and the neutralization process; and operation of lens fabrication equipment including the automatic lens edger, blocking, marking and hand level edgers. Fabrication of eyeglass prescriptions involving spherical and compound lenses in plastic and metal frames; interpretation, computation and creation of prismatic prescriptions through decentration will also be addressed. The course will include lecture time on appropriate optical principles. Students will be required to supply their own tools.

If the student is registered with the State Board as an apprentice, Ophthalmic Materials I must be successfully completed to be eligible for the State Board Qualifying Technician Exam.

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

PSYC 103
Introduction to Psychology 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): Placement into ENGL 111 English Composition I with ENGL 070 English Composition I Workshop , or higher.

Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.  Psychology studies the interaction among biological, social, and personal influences that describe, explain, predict, and control behavior.  This course presents a broad survey of basic concepts, theories, and research in the field of psychology. Topics include research methods, development, neuroscience, learning and cognition, personality theories, psychological disorders, and therapy.

Mathematics
Mathematics 3 Credits

Mathematics by official placement test. Students must complete through Precalculus II (MATH 113).

SECOND SEMESTER

ENGL 112
English Composition II 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 English Composition I .

English Composition II is the second in a two-course composition sequence that continues to expand and refine analytical writing and critical reading skills. Students produce a series of documented essays based on a range of fiction and non-fiction sources, focusing on the challenges posed by writing longer essays and using advanced research techniques.

OPTH 101
Ophthalmic Materials II Lecture 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OPTH 100 - Ophthalmic Materials I Lecture.

This course builds upon the basic principles of prerequisite courses needed to understand ophthalmic lens development. Topics include prism, gross anatomy and physiology of the eye, history and function of bifocals and trifocals, bicentric grinding, vertex distance compensation, sagitta, surfacing, and mathematical formulas used in lens computation. The course terminates in complete study of ophthalmic lens design.

If the student is registered with the State Board as an apprentice, Ophthalmic Materials II must be completed to be eligible for the State Board Qualifying Technician Exam.

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

OPTH 106
Ophthalmic Materials II Lab 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OPTH 105 - Ophthalmic Materials I Lab.

A continuation of Ophthalmic Materials I Laboratory. Emphasis will be on the finishing aspects of prescription eyewear. Topics include neutralization, mark-up, layout, edging, insertion, and final inspection. Additional topics include frame and instrument repairs, rimless mountings and faceting. The student will be expected to learn the complete fabrication of prescription eyewear utilizing the instrumentation of the optical profession. The course will also include lecture on appropriate optical principles. Students will be required to supply their own tools.

If the student is registered with the State Board as an apprentice, Ophthalmic Materials II must be successfully completed to be eligible for the State Board Qualifying Technician Exam.

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

PHYS 112
Concepts of Physics 4 Credits

Prerequisite(s): MATH 030 - Intermediate Algebra or MATH 106 Technical Math.

This course is an introduction to the concepts of physics and their application to real-world phenomena.  Emphasis is on understanding the phenomena through demonstrations, experience, and experiments in physics and not through mathematical manipulations.  This course may be used as a science elective for non-science majors and is required for students majoring in many of the medical and technology programs.  It is also recommended for those taking General Physics without a strong high school science background.  Topics include classical mechanics, properties of matter, heat and the laws of thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, vibration and waves, sound, and optics.  Credit towards graduation will not be given for both Concepts of Physics and General or Engineering Physics.

OPTH 121
Anatomy & Physiology of the Eye 3 Credits

Study of the anatomy of the eye and its related structures, refractive errors, eye diseases, and eye muscle imbalances. Class time includes a dissection of a cow’s eye and the study of eye emergencies, first aid and ocular prosthetics.

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

Mathematics
Mathematics 3 Credits

Mathematics by official placement test. Students must complete through Precalculus II (MATH 113).

THIRD SEMESTER

OPTH 111
Ophthalmic Dispensing I Lecture 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OPTH 101 - Ophthalmic Materials II Lecture.

Ethics, practices, and responsibilities of the Ophthalmic Dispenser. Includes determination of patient’s needs, prescription analysis and interpretation of single vision, multifocal, and prism lenses, considerations in making glasses for occupational use, lens aberrations, the effect of tilt, and tinted lenses and their uses.

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

OPTH 115
Ophthalmic Dispensing I Lab 2 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OPTH 106 - Ophthalmic Materials II Lab.

This lab covers the theory and application of ocular measurements and the use of the corneal reflection pupilometer and other instruments. Attention is also given to frame materials and parts; cosmetic and anatomical consideration of the fitting triangle; fitting and adjustment techniques for various frames and mountings; neutralization and verifiction of ophthalmic prescriptions in single vision and bifocals through use of the vertometer/lensometer; use and application of various hand tools, pliers and gauges, and minor frame and temple repairs. A portion of the student’s laboratory time will be spent with direct patient contact in the on-campus optical clinic. (Students will be required to supply their own tools and instruments.)

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

OPTH 120
Principles of Optics 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OPTH 100 - Ophthalmic Materials I Lecture and OPTH 101 - Ophthalmic Materials II Lecture.
Corequisite(s): OPTH 111 - Ophthalmic Dispensing I Lecture.

This course includes the study of the concepts of geometric optics, and the principles and nature of light. These principles are applied in the study of how light behaves in practical optical systems including lenses, spherical and plane mirrors, Galilean and astronomical telescopes, prisms and the human eye.

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

OPTH 200
Contact Lenses I 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OPTH 100 - Ophthalmic Materials I Lecture and OPTH 101 - Ophthalmic Materials II Lecture and OPTH 121 - Anatomy & Physiology of the Eye.

Includes a historical review as well as theory; design and optical principles of contact lenses; indications and contraindications for contact lens wear; patient evaluation; discussion of lens types and availability; fundamental techniques and fitting procedures including the biomicroscope and keratometer; evaluation of fit; and patient education on care, cleaning, insertion and removal of contact lenses.

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

BUSI 153
Small Business Management 3 Credits

This course is designed to acquaint the enterprising individual with the education and tools necessary to operate and manage a small business. The course material will include such topics as management functions with emphasis on the control function. Methodologies in such areas as finance, marketing and management will be discussed and will constitute the parameters of the course.

FITN 115
Dynamics of Fitness & Wellness 1 Credit

This course is designed to teach the student the necessary information to improve fitness and wellness by adhering to a healthier lifestyle.  Student will learn how to assess physical fitness and implement a program based on those results that will  enhance their fitness levels.  Stress reduction, nutrition and weight management,  and management of risk factors for major disease will be explored to improve life  expectancy and overall quality of life.
Elements of Physical Fitness (FITN 142) or Exercise Physiology (FITN 146 - pre-req Human Biology) may be substituted.

FOURTH SEMESTER

OPTH 112
Ophthalmic Dispensing II Lecture 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OPTH 111 - Ophthalmic Dispensing I Lecture.

A continuation of Ophthalmic Dispensing I Lecture. A further study of prescription analysis including visual problems of the aphakie patient, crossed cylinders, consideration of illumination and its effect on visual performance, the psychology of dispensing, the near addition, and iseikonic lens design.

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

OPTH 116
Ophthalmic Dispensing II Lab 2 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OPTH 115 - Ophthalmic Dispensing I Lab .

A continuation of Ophthalmic Dispensing Lab I. Topics include neutralization and verification of bifocal, trifocal and progressive multifocal prescriptions; usage and theory of the vision screen unit; discussion of therapeutic appliances; discussion of the visual need of the aphakic and subnormal acuity patient; occupational and vocational frame and lens designing; interpretation of the ophthalmic patient’s written prescription and the determination of their visual needs. The fitting, adjusting and measuring of ophthalmic frames and mounting, as well as the ethics, laws and regulations of the profession of opticianry will be discussed. Students will be expected to demonstrate these skills through direct patient contact in the on-campus optical clinic. A portion of the students laboratory time will be spent meeting patient needs in the optical clinic. (Students will be required to supply their own tools and instruments.)

Apprenticeship requirements. Apprenticeship program is only open to students who are employed in the field and currently registered with the State Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers.

OPTH 201
Contact Lenses II 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OPTH 200 - Contact Lenses I.

This course includes clinical application of corneal measurements; lens/cornea evaluation criteria; lens selection parameters; theory of over-refraction; lens verification techniques and tolerances; patient education and principles of practice management.

OPTH 290
Internship in Ophthalmic Science 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): Permission and placement by the Program Coordinator and completion of OPTH 111 - Ophthalmic Dispensing I Lecture and OPTH 115 - Ophthalmic Dispensing I Lab.

A clinical experience in which the student is placed in an optician’s practice. Specific evaluations of student objectives are conducted in a weekly consultation with the Program coordinator. In addition, biweekly lecture topics will include refraction, business concepts and current technology.

Humanities
Humanities 3 Credits

Select a course from the appropriate category of the General Education list.

Free Elective
Free Elective 3 Credits

Any college-level course. Recommended courses are Computer Literacy (CISY 102) and Microcomputer Applications (CISY 261).

Total Credits 66

NOTE FOR APPRENTICESHIPS: Students who are registered with the State Board as apprentices must successfully complete the following courses during their first year to qualify for the State Board Qualifying Technician exam:
Ophthalmic Materials I & II - Lecture
Ophthalmic Materials I & II - Lab


Apprentices must complete the following courses to be eligible for the State Board Ophthalmic Dispensers exam:
Ophthalmic Dispensing I & II - Lecture
Ophthalmic Dispensing I & II - Lab
Principles of Optics
Anatomy & Physiology of the Eye
Contact Lenses I

The this program earns you 66 college credits. To enroll in either program you must Apply to the College.