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AZ/IL: Optometry Program Gets Green Light

November 18, 2008

by Karen Mattox

On November 1, the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association granted preliminary approval to Midwestern University's Arizona College of Optometry, slated to open in September 2009.

"Preliminary Approval" status is granted to professional optometric degree programs that have demonstrated their development in accordance with Council standards. The MWU College may now begin student recruitment and offer places in the incoming class, scheduled to begin in September 2009. Midwestern University is pleased to receive this accreditation classification for the newest College of the University. In the next four years, the College and University administration will work toward full accreditation, which is not available until a program has been in operation for a minimum of four years.

The new Arizona College of Optometry will offer a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) program on Midwestern University's Glendale Campus. It will be the only optometry college in the State of Arizona and only one of 19 in the country. With many medically under-served rural areas and an aging population, Arizonans will require additional optometrists to provide primary eye care and specialized services such as low vision rehabilitation. MWU's Arizona College of Optometry plans to graduate 50 doctors of optometry per year.

Midwestern University also plans to open and operate an optometry clinic by 2010, which will serve as an educational and training facility and will also complement current medical services provided by the Midwestern University Clinic.

For more information about the new optometry program, contact Hector Santiago, O.D., Ph.D., Dean, Arizona College of Optometry, at 623/572-3900, or visit us on the web at

More Information

For more information, please contact:
Karen Mattox