Posted: Fullerton, CA, September 18, 2012
One hundred Optometric Interns of the Southern California College of Optometry's (SCCO's) Class of 2016 were honored at the traditional White Coat Ceremony on Sunday, September 16. The ceremony signals the official welcome of the new First-Year Class into SCCO's doctoral degree program and the profession of optometry.
"The College is privileged to have standing before us this group of diverse, talented and enthusiastic students, waiting to take on the coat that signifies their entry into the profession," said SCCO Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Clinical Education Harue J. Marsden, O.D., M.S., '87. "I charge each of you to pursue excellence in learning and to assume professionalism in your behavior. You will be judged by your behavior as well as your knowledge. Let this white coat serve as a reminder of who you are."
Each Optometric Intern received his or her white coat before a gathering of family, friends and College administration, faculty and staff, during the afternoon ceremony, held on the College's Fullerton campus.
"The white coat is about professionalism," said SCCO President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D. "It sets you apart from those outside the learned profession. The white coat also symbolizes responsibility, history and pride."
To close the ceremony the student interns took the Optometric Student Oath. The two major sponsors for the event were Allergan, represented by Mark Risher, manager, Eye Care Strategic Initiatives; and Vistakon, represented by Carol L. Alexander, O.D., director, Professional Development.
Established in 1904, SCCO is a private, non-profit, educational institution dedicated to educating today's minds to provide tomorrow's eye, vision and health care. SCCO grants a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (OD) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (MS). In August 2011, the College announced plans to start a Physician Assistant program – the first in Orange County – via a two-year graduate degree. The first Physician Assistant classes are anticipated to begin Fall 2014.
The College's superior clinical education program provides patient care experiences in community optometric clinics; exposure to the delivery of optometric care in multi-disciplinary settings; and experiences in practices serving a wide variety of ethnic and socio-economic patient groups. SCCO owns and operates two premier eye and vision care centers¬ – the Eye Care Center located on its campus in Fullerton, CA, and the Optometric Center of Los Angeles located in south-central LA.
A special component of SCCO's educational program is community service. Annually, SCCO faculty and optometric interns provide eye and vision care to thousands of uninsured or underinsured children and adults in our local communities through collaborations with other nonprofit organizations.