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Graduate Attributes

Southern College of Optometry Program Goals and Objectives

The Southern College of Optometry Faculty defines the Optometry program goals and objectives.  The Faculty refers to these as “Graduate Attributes” which describe the knowledge, skills, and professional attitudes they expect all the SCO graduates to attain.  In 2017, the Faculty approved an update of the graduate attributes.  The Graduate Attributes are listed below. 

Knowledge Goal

Graduates will have the foundational knowledge necessary to provide comprehensive optometric care.


  1. Assess the interrelationships between basic organ systems, including anatomy and physiology, emphasizing the normal and abnormal ocular and visual system
  2. Understand vision development; vision function; enhancement of refraction, accommodation, binocularity, and vision therapy; and rehabilitative theory
  3. Apply the theory of optics and lens systems relevant to the practice of optometry
  4. Understand the business concepts necessary to succeed in the independent practice of Optometry.

Skills Goal

Graduates will have the skills necessary to enter optometric practice and effectively serve their communities.


  1. Accurately perform clinical tests and procedures and interpret the results
  2. Treat and prevent diseases and conditions of the ocular and visual systems
  3. Communicate professionally with other optometrists as well as members of the health care team to improve patient outcomes
  4. Utilize community health care resources and patient advocacy to improve care

Professionalism and Ethics Goal

Graduates will embody professionalism and ethics in their optometric practice.


  1. Avoid potential conflicts of interest within the health care delivery system and its influence on optometric treatment decisions
  2. Operate a patient-centric practice
  3. Maintain the confidentiality of personal health information
  4. Make appropriate intra- and inter-professional referrals
  5. Participate effectively in local, state, and national optometric organizations
  6. Participate in community service through civic activities
  7. Engage in lifelong learning, the application of evidence-based medicine, and providing the highest standard of care