NECO to launch hybrid optometry program

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Hybrid OD degree program will combine cutting-edge distance learning with in-person, hands-on clinical training.

New England College of Optometry (NECO), the longest continually operating college of optometry in the country, today announced that it is expanding its program offerings to include an innovative hybrid teaching and clinical training model called the Agile Campus. This first of its kind program will make NECO’s highly regarded optometric programs more accessible to a diversity of students.

“We are at a moment of disruptive innovation in both higher education and healthcare. The Agile Campus model builds on New England College of Optometry’s history of innovation and excellence in optometric education through its mission Changing the way people see the world,” said NECO’s president and CEO Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO. “By combining cutting-edge distance learning with extensive and rigorous hands-on clinical training, we can extend our impact and make the NECO learning experience accessible to new and diverse students across the country.”

Courses will be developed by the College’s faculty, in collaboration with instructional design experts. Students enrolled in this program will blend online learning with rigorous, in-person clinical training that draw upon the expertise of the optometric community. This approach is expected to expand and diversify the base of individuals pursuing a professional career in optometry.

NECO is in the final stages of formalizing a partnership with a national leader in creating online and hybrid education models to help develop the platform.

“We recognize today’s students appreciate the flexibility offered by a hybrid learning model. To create a forward-looking OD degree, we will build digital offerings from the ground up to maximize new technology platforms and the curriculum development expertise of our faculty,” said Erik Weissberg, OD, FAAO, VP and Dean of Academic Affairs. “This four-year program will share the same academic and clinical training standards as our traditional OD program.”