Certified Opthalmic Assistant (COA)

The Certified Ophthalmic Assistant is the entry-level core designation that supports eye physicians and doctors of optometry by performing duties such as refractometry and muscle testing. Certified Ophthalmic Assistants also record prescriptions for eyeglasses and provide other specific areas of pre-screening under a doctor’s supervision.

Program Detail

Lecture/Lab/Extern = 270/150/50

Semester Credits
Lecture: 15 clock hours to 1-semester credit
Lab: 30 clock hours to 1-semester credit
Extern/Intern: 45 clock hours to 1-semester credit


Program Description
The Ophthalmic Assistant program prepares the student to become part of the eye-care team, assisting doctors who specialize in the diagnosis of diseases of the eye (Ophthalmologists). The program is an entry-level course designed to follow the guidelines of the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO). However, we are not a part of the IJCAHPO

Program Description
At the completion of this program the students will:

  • Demonstrate technical competence when performing ophthalmic procedures.
  • Demonstrate responsible, ethical and professional patient care.
  • Employ components of effective communication.
  • Demonstrate the ability to solve problems and think critically.