The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) has approved The University of the Incarnate Word School of Optometrys (UIWSO) application for active membership. This makes UIWSO the associations 20th active member school of optometry.

UIWs school of optometry is set to open in San Antonio, Texas, in the fall 2009. Class size is projected to be about 60 students. It will be the only faith-based optometry school in the United States.

UIWSO is also launching a bachelors degree in vision science. Its curriculum, to be partially taught by the optometry faculty, will incorporate a two-year rotation through the optometry clinics and will provide the graduates with a strong foundation in vision science.

The schools primary location will be in San Antonios Medical Center area. It will include the academic headquarters and one of two clinical facilities. The second clinic will be located on the east side of San Antonio. The Eastside Clinical facility is, in my opinion, what constitutes the jewel of the program, says H.S. Ghazi-Birry, M.D., O.D., Ph.D., founding dean and professor. We are able to serve a significant population of the underserved. We are able to expand the mission of the university in terms of social justice, community service and the provision of health care.

Two other optometry schools also have plans to open their doors this fall: Western University of Health Sciences, in Pomona, Calif., and Midwestern University, in Glendale, Ariz.

Vol. No: 146:04Issue: 4/15/2009