Eye on Education

Future of Optometric Education at Forefront at ASCO's March and June Board of Directors Meetings

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The ASCO Board of Directors met in March and June to address important association business and challenges facing optometric education today and in the future.

Additionally, just prior to the March meeting, ASCO held its highly anticipated Opening Our Eyes: A National Dialogue on the Future of Optometric Education (see Dr. Damari’s President’s Column for more information). Days prior to the March meeting, ASCO also launched its most comprehensive public awareness campaign to date, Optometry Gives Me Life. The Board viewed the campaign’s landing page, www.futureeyedoc.org; deliverables such as posters; a brochure; and videos of the three ODs featured. The Board made an important but difficult decision to approve a special dues assessment to help fund the campaign for the coming year.

The Board of Directors received very positive feedback from the campaign during its June meeting in St. Louis and the analytics from the first three months are strong. Representatives from the public relations firm Truth Collective and the media firm Butler/Till presented the latest updates at meetings of ASCO’s Student Affairs Officers, during the Annual Meeting (see article in this issue of Eye on Education), and to ASCO’s Corporate Contributors during ASCO’s annual Corporate Contributors breakfast.

Other Board actions of note at the March and June meetings were:

  • Adoption of three important documents -- Revised Traffic Guidelines for Admissions, Guidelines for Organizational Recognition of an Optometric Subspecialty, and Principles of Implementation (for the development of sub-specializations).
  • Direction to incorporate applicants’ GRE score data into OptomCAS
  • Approval of ASCO Award Winners (see next issue of Eye on Education for the list of winners)
  • Approval of  the fiscal year 2020 budget
  • Discuss content for a draft curriculum for a new Leadership Academy for optometric education
  • Approval of the ASCO Statement on Student Wellness and discussed the Student Health Profession Education Program
  • Appointed members to the ACOE and to the COPE Governing Committee
  • Approved volunteer governance structure changes and a change in the nomination process for ASCO’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
  • Approved ASCO’s joining two advocacy-focused coalitions
  • Creation of a new SIG focused on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (IPECP)

The ASCO Board also uses its meetings as opportunities to collaborate with other organizations. In March, the ASCO Board met with the NBEO Board of Directors. Representatives from the NBEO also presented at the June board meeting, providing an update on the plans for revising the Part III examination. Representatives from ASCO Corporate Contributors Allergan and Topcon also met with the Board.

Lastly, the new slate of officers of the Board of Directors was approved. They are: Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe, President; Dr. David Damari, Immediate Past-President; Dr. John Flanagan, President-Elect; Dr. Kelly Nichols, Secretary-Treasurer; Dr. Melissa Trego, At- Large Member.

The Board of Directors will next meet on October 22nd in Orlando in conjunction with the AAO Annual Conference. Stay tuned for more information in upcoming issues of Eye on Education.


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