Chicago College of Optometry

Downers Grove, IL Campus

Academic Standards

Chicago College of Optometry

An annual didactic grade point average will be used as the central measure of academic performance. It is calculated from all didactic courses from a particular professional year. Grades earned in courses taken prior to matriculation in the professional program, grades earned for courses taken at another institution while enrolled in the professional program, and grades earned for courses taken at the College in a more advanced professional year than that in which the student is enrolled, are not included in the calculation of this annual grade point average.

Students must maintain an annual grade point average of 2.00 and earn a passing grade in each required course in their professional program to remain in good academic standing.

Students who have an “F/WF” course grade at the end of a quarter must resolve the failure prior to advancing in the program.

Students who have one, two or three "F/WF" grades in a quarter will be reviewed by the Student Promotion and Graduation Committee and will be either dismissed or will be placed in an extended program. The extended program year must take place in the year immediately following and the student will be required to repeat all the courses in which the grades of "F/WF" were received. The student may be required to repeat courses that would serve to enhance the mastery of optometry knowledge, skills techniques, and concepts and that are deemed critical for success in the Doctor of Optometry curriculum. A student is allowed to go through an extended program only once. To be returned to good academic standing, a student must raise his/her annual grade point average to 2.00 or above at the end of the repeat year. Such a student reenters the next professional year curriculum and resumes a full load. A reentering student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 at the end of each quarter to continue at CCO.

If the student does not meet the criteria for satisfactory academic performance at the end of the extended program year, he/she will be dismissed.

If a student earns a grade of "F/WF" in one or more required courses, the student is notified, in writing that he/she is being placed on academic probation for their next academic quarter. Probation represents notice that continued inadequate academic performance may result in dismissal from the program and the College. A student placed on academic probation is prohibited from:

  1. Holding an office in a class, student association, fraternal, or any other student organization.
  2. Participating in off-campus professional meetings and activities beyond program or course requirements during the academic year.

If the student earns an "F/WF" in four or more courses overall, and/ or fails a repeated course, the student will be dismissed from the College. The dismissal is based on the determination by the Committee that the student has not satisfactorily demonstrated that he or she possesses the aptitude to successfully achieve the standards and requirements set forth in the academic policies and professional expectations for the program.

A student must complete all courses in an academic year with a “C” grade or better, and a cumulative GPA of 2.00, to progress to the next academic year curriculum.

Academic recommendations are made by the Student Promotion and Graduation Committee to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Students will be notified, in writing, within two working days following the committee meeting regarding the recommendations of the Committee.

The following policies also guide decisions made by the Student Promotion and Graduation Committee:

  1. A student must pass all required courses before entering the next year of the professional program.
  2. Students placed on an extended program must pass any and all additional required courses assigned by the Student Promotion and Graduation Committee.
  3. Students must successfully resolve all “I” (Incomplete) and “IP” (In Progress) grades before beginning external clinical rotations.
  4. To proceed with clinical external rotations during the fourth professional year, all course requirements for the third professional year must be completed.
  5. Students must be in good academic standing to be eligible to take the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) or Canadian Examiners in Optometry (CEO) examinations.
  6. In the event that a student does not pass NBEO Part I, the student may continue in the program. However, a student must pass NBEO Part I and take NBEO Part II or the Written Assessment portion of the Canadian Examiners in Optometry (CEO) examination to receive a diploma.