New England College of Optometry has been educating optometrists for over 130 years.
Klein School of Optics
New England College of Optometry was founded in 1894 as the Klein School of Optics, and is the oldest continuously operating school of Optometry in the United States. During the past century, as optometry evolved as an independent health care profession, it expanded its curriculum and clinical programs to reflect the changing demands of the public. The name changed in 1901 to the Massachusetts School of Optometry, in 1950 to the Massachusetts College of Optometry, and in 1976 to the New England College of Optometry (NECO) to reflect its role in providing education for approximately 70% of the region’s optometrists. Today the College, through its Center for the International Advancement of Optometry, has also instituted the largest international optometric program in the world by developing extension programs, the first of their kind, with China, France, Italy, Spain, South Africa and, most recently, Germany.
Patient care has been an integral part of the College since 1933, when an external clinic was founded at the Harry E. Burroughs Newsboys Foundation. In 1941, it opened the Massachusetts Optometric Clinic on Commonwealth Avenue that continues today as our multi-site clinical subsidiary, New England Eye (NEE).
Learn more about the different eras of NECO’s history:
Decades of Change: 1940s-1970s
A Focus on the Future: 1980s to 2000s