Student Support

It’s the most important decision of your life—and we’re committed to seeing you through it. At NECO you’ll be supported by knowledgeable staff members and dedicated faculty members who are all invested in your success.

One of the hallmarks of the NECO student experience is feeling fully supported every step of the way, from the instant you hit “send” on your application to the moment you walk across the stage at graduation. Under our Center for Academic and Professional Achievement (CAPA), we’ve created an array of programs, services, and resources, all designed to help you.

  • Crush your coursework. Create your academic action plan with the assistance of our advising team. Plus, get help with your classes when you need it with tutoring, note-taking, and other support.
  • Nurture your mind and body. Feel your best during your time at NECO. You’ll have access to several health and wellness resources, including a free membership to the YMCA of Greater Boston.
  • Make yourself at home. Find the perfect place to live during your time in Boston and learn how to navigate the city with our housing and transportation resources.
  • Prepare for the Boards. Participate in robust exam prep sessions with your peers and faculty. We even designed a room to emulate the official test-taking location!
  • Be ready for your career. Engage with alumni and eye care professionals at networking events. Hear from brilliant thought leaders at lectures. Attend career fairs and conferences. Take an elective in entrepreneurship.

Explore our support programs in more depth in the next section to learn more about how we help you thrive at—and after—NECO.

Faculty invested in your success

You’ll find NECO faculty know your name and are personally invested in your academic and clinical success.

  • Faculty member teaching in class.

    Specialized Mentorship

    If you choose a concentration, you’ll be paired with a faculty mentor.

  • Faculty talking with student in research lab.

    Faculty Invested in You

    Faculty members are invested in your academic and clinical success.

  • Clinical faculty walking student through a diagnostic image.

    Guidance in Clinic

    You'll always have support as clinical faculty and preceptors help you learn in labs, pre-clinics, and clinical training.

Student Support & Resources

All across campus you’ll find people, programs, and resources to help you thrive during your time as a student at NECO—and after. Here’s a look at the many ways we support you:

We know optometry school is rigorous and challenging. To help you succeed as you take your education to a new level, we offer an array of academic assistance services, including:

  • Advising
  • Studying guidance and tips
  • Tutoring
  • Note-taking services
  • Class recordings for review
  • Accessibility services
  • Board prep support and review sessions by students and faculty
  • Campus library is staffed with knowledgeable experts to help you with research, citations, and more.

NECO has a long history of actively supporting and accommodating students with disabilities. The College complies with all applicable laws related to disabilities, including requests for reasonable accommodations.

The Center for Professional and Academic Achievement (CAPA) at NECO provides services and accommodations to students. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, individuals are eligible to receive reasonable accommodations on the basis of disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity.

Contact the CAPA office at c[email protected] or 617-587-5635 to discuss student accommodations. All students, regardless of the timing or identification of the disability, should present documentation of the disability if accommodations are requested.

Requests for accommodations are evaluated on an individual basis. Though the College will endeavor to work with you in regard to reasonable accommodations sought, the accommodations may differ from what you have received from a previous institution and may not necessarily be exactly what you request.

Your medical records and requests for accommodations will be kept confidential, except where disclosure is necessary to provide the reasonable accommodation.

Some accommodations and services available include:

  • Extended time for testing
  • Distraction-reduced locations for testing
  • Communication with faculty and advisors regarding student needs/concerns
  • Access to peer tutoring sessions

Among the many ways we support our students and alumni in their professional journeys are events programs such as:

  • Annual career symposium
  • Practice management events
  • Panel discussions with recent graduates
  • Brunch with ODs
  • Participation in national optometric conferences
  • Resume and CV review and proofing
  • Entrepreneurship course
  • Career Hub (a career resources and job postings platform)

For more details about these resources, services, and events visit Career Services.

NECO believes every student should feel welcome on our campus and a sense of belonging within our community.

Learn more about NECO’s diversity and inclusion resources.

We’ll help you find a place to live and find your way around Boston with services and resources such as:

Annual Housing Fair – Each June, our admissions office hosts a housing fair where you can meet classmates (potential roommates!) and local realtors.

MBTA Discount T-pass Program – Purchase pre-paid tickets each semester for unlimited use on the bus, subway, commuter rail, or ferry.

Campus Shuttle Service – Once you begin your clinical training, you can hop aboard a shuttle that provides service from our main campus to our Clinical Training Center and the NECO Center for Eye Care Commonwealth.

We’ve also compiled a host of resources for helping you relocate to Boston, including a guide to neighborhoods, details about tenant rights and responsibilities, and other housing FAQs.

Visit our Housing Resources website for more details.

NECO welcomes students from around the globe, and we offer plenty of support for incoming and current international students, including:

  • Informing you about options for financing your optometry education.
  • Assisting you in maintaining legal status in the United States as a student.
  • Serving as a resource for your immigration and employment status while studying.

You may also find information specific to your visa requirements through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) website.

Please note: Immigration is a complex area of U.S. law, and information on the NECO website may change as the government adapts its policies.

Your wellbeing matters to us. As a NECO student, you’ll have access to health-related programs and perks like:

Talk to a mental health expert whenever you need to. Our 24/7 counseling service is anonymous and free.

Fitness Membership
Get a free membership to the YMCA of Greater Boston, which is just a few blocks from campus. Simply show your NECO ID card to sign up. As a member of the Y, you can also visit other locations within the city.

Health Insurance
While enrolled at NECO, you’ll need to maintain adequate health insurance. For your convenience, the college offers a student health plan provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield and managed by University Health Plans.

Additionally, the City of Boston itself offers plenty of ways to stay active and healthy—and simply have fun—with its miles of trails, paths, and waterways.

Headshot of Jennifer Reilly
Voices of NECO

Open Door Policy

Jennifer Reilly, OD, MS, FAAO

I support student success by keeping an open door. Students are always coming by my office or attending my office hours. It helps me connect with them and identify their specific struggles or strengths.

  • Assistant Professor of Optometry Areas of Expertise: Community Health, Individuals with Disabilities, Ocular Disease, Primary Eye Care, Optometric Education

Get in Touch

Have questions about our student services? Our Center for Academic and Professional Achievement can point you in the right direction.

Center for Academic and Professional Achievement