Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Optometry has been granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE), retroactive to Feb. 6, 2013.

“This is a major milestone for all members of our College community, and I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our faculty members, administration, staff, and students who have all contributed to this process,” said College of Optometry Founding Dean Elizabeth Hoppe, OD, MPH, DrPH. “A special acknowledgment and thank-you to all members of the University community who have played an active and supportive role in helping us to attain this distinction. Thanks to our president, Dr. Philip Pumerantz, for his truly visionary leadership in creating a world-class health sciences university where all health care professionals are equal members of the health care team, serving the best needs of the patients.”

The College of Optometry was granted the accreditation classification of “Accredited,” which indicates the program has no deficiencies or weaknesses that compromise the educational effectiveness of the total program.

ACOE evaluates professional optometric degree programs through an on-site visit at least once every eight years, and all programs are reviewed annually through the annual report process. Accreditation by the ACOE is not necessarily for a specific period of time, since it is subject to continual review.

The College of Optometry welcomed its first students in August 2009. This inaugural class of 73 students earned Doctor of Optometry degrees in May 2013.