A patient receiving care from an ophthalmic technician
HomeOphthalmic Technician Program

Ophthalmic Technician Program

St. Kate’s Ophthalmic Technician associate degree program, the first in Minnesota, addresses the shortage of well-trained ophthalmic medical technicians in the area.

If you're looking for a healthcare career with promising career opportunities, great working conditions and schedules, opportunities to work directly with patients and in healthcare teams, consider eyecare.

With an aging population and the diagnosis of pediatric eye conditions at earlier ages, this healthcare profession is expanding rapidly to meet the needs of persons of all ages.

“We deal with the whole human being,” advises program founder and director Aaron Shukla. “Your habits, lifestyle, occupation and physical condition all impact the health of your eyes.”

An important part of the eye-care team

A Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) is an important part of the eye-care team. As a COT, you will:

  • Work under the direct supervision of an ophthalmologist
  • Take medical, family and social histories
  • Measure vision, powers of spectacle lenses, eye pressure and pupil reactions
  • Perform ophthalmic tests for visual field, color and muscle movement
  • Perform advanced diagnostic testing

After graduating, you will be eligible to take the Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) certification exam given by JCAHPO (Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology).

Real-world clinical experience

You will learn through supervised clinical rotations in eye clinics in various settings as well as classroom lectures and discussion, laboratory demonstrations and practice. The curriculum includes 33 semester credits of liberal arts and sciences courses, 40 semester credits of ophthalmic courses and supervised clinical rotations in eye clinics. Clinical rotations, beginning in the first semester and progressing in complexity throughout the program, are an essential part of your education.