June 28, 2022 | Downers Grove, IL
Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Optometry (CCO) held its 4th Annual Summer Eye Experience (SEE) program on the Downers Grove Campus for 30 college students and recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in optometry. Students representing states spanning from California to Florida attended the three-day program that took place in June.
“The SEE at CCO program was designed to help those who are currently interested in pursuing a future in optometry, as well as those who are still unsure and would like to see if optometry is for them. Through various interactive sessions, students gained insight into the optometric profession, including the application process and life as an optometry student.,” said John Gialousakis, O.D., FAAO, Director of Curriculum Development and Chair of the Admissions Committee at the Chicago College of Optometry.
While on the Downers Grove Campus, the program participants benefitted from small group seminars, interacted with students and clinical faculty at the Midwestern University Eye Institute, and enjoyed hands-on educational experiences. Students also attended workshops about interviewing techniques, study skills, and preparing for the Optometry Admission Test (OAT).
“As a first-generation college student, I didn't have a route or guidance on how to take the next step in the field of optometry. Being a part of this experience provided me the information I needed and made me feel confident that optometry is the right choice for me,” said Abigail Diaz, of Romeoville, Illinois, who is completing her final year at Lewis University.
Several participants cited the hands-on learning experiences on campus and at the Midwestern University’s Eye Institute as highlights of the program. “I enjoyed how passionate the faculty were when they were teaching us in our classes and at the clinic. The faculty were very helpful during the patient interactions, and I appreciated the opportunity to talk with patients and the other hands-on experiences. I learned a lot during the three days and this experience has strengthened my decision on going to optometry school,” said Divya Bhookya, from Bloomington, Illinois who will be a junior at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Others noted that they appreciated learning about the diverse opportunities available to optometry graduates. “I was excited to learn about all the different specialties in optometry and the different fields of optometry that I could choose to go into for residency after I complete my degree,” said Kayla Finley of Stuart, Iowa, who recently finished her sophomore year at the University of Iowa. “This program was a great experience, and it gave me good insights about applying to optometry school that I feel will help me be successful in my application,” she added.
Midwestern’s Chicago College of Optometry is fully accredited and has developed a curriculum to meet the needs of today’s practice environment. Students enrolled in the program earn a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree and benefit from small class sizes and faculty mentors who are dedicated to their success in the growing field of optometry.