Some of the most recognized names in organized optometry today got their start in an SCO student organization.
The Student Government Association takes an active role in helping students participate in SCO’s mission. The SGA recommends policies, and its president is an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.
SCO students are also active participants in the American Optometric Student Association, the student equivalent of the American Optometric Association.
Most students are able to find more than one student organization to join. One of the more popular organizations is the Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH). Through SVOSH, about 80 students travel each year to Central America for 10 days to help provide vision care. This challenging, yet rewarding, program is partially sponsored by the Lions Clubs of America, and students lodge with Lions Club families.
There are numerous organizations that match students with others of similar interests, including religious, humanitarian, or purely social endeavors. These include:
American Optometric Student Association: AOSA is a national organization of optometry students dedicated to the enhancement of educational, political and professional concerns. It provides a student voice within the profession of optometry and allows students to travel to the annual international AOSA Conference.
Student Government Association: SGA presents student recommendations in school policy and governance matters to the proper administrative offices. The SGA president is an ex-officio member of the College's Board of Trustees. Composed of members representing the executive council, class officers, and recognized student organizations, SGA sponsors service endeavors, the SCOPE yearbook, student dances and intramural sports.
Beta Sigma Kappa: An international optometry honor fraternity whose purpose is to stimulate scientific attainment and ethical practice.
Gold Key Society: Honors outstanding students whose professional and ethical attitudes are in the interest of service to their class, college, and profession.
Student Ambassadors: Members assist in student recruitment, admissions and public relations functions of the College. Ambassadors are selected each year from the first-year class on the basis of academic performance, nominations by faculty and staff, and interviews. Once selected, ambassadors continue serving until graduation.
Special Interest Clubs
Amigos: Dedicated to providing a venue for students seeking to enhance their Spanish conversation skills.
College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD): Dedicated to raising awareness that vision involves more than eyesight and to expand the number of students that will deliver developmental vision care and vision therapy to their patients.
Contact Lens Society: Organization open to third- and fourth-year students interested in expanding their knowledge of contact lenses through presentations by guest lecturers.
Fellowship of Christian Optometrists: For the promotion of good will and Christian belief within the profession of optometry.
Gamma Omicron: Dedicated to increasing awareness of women’s issues in optometry, networking opportunities and professional development.
Intramural Sports: Organizes events outside of class and clinic that take place on campus and off campus. They include the following, but are not limited to: flag football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, golf, softball and frisbee golf tournaments. This club is a way to stay active and involved.
Lions Club: Promoting service through community involvement, especially working with those who are visually impaired.
Low Vision Club: Providing information for students interested in low vision patient care.
Ocular Disease Club: Dedicated to increasing exposure to ocular disease by discussing rare cases and learning more about future aspects of a career in disease management.
Optometric Private Practice Club: Dedicated to preparing students for the business of optometry by providing resources and information from experienced persons, practices and business entities.
National Optometric Student Association (NOSA): Dedicated to increasing minority representation in optometry.
Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA): Focused on bringing an interprofessional approach with multiple health care providers in order to advance the art and science of rehabilitation for brain injury patients.
SCOPE: SCO’s official yearbook created to reflect the year's events, highlights, and the lives of the people involved at SCO. SCOPE opens its editor and yearbook staff positions every year to any and all students interested in designing the next yearbook to be cherished beyond its years.
Spectrum: A school community where all students and faculty/staff feel welcome and supported, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Also promotes equality and diversity through social gatherings, community outreach and campus-wide activities.
State Clubs: A collection of students interested in practicing in a particular state. Approximately 30 states are represented through these organizations that bring in outside speakers and provide mentoring possibilities and guidance regarding practice opportunities and regulations.
The Sports Vision Society: Provides vision care to athletes at the state and international levels.
Student Chapter of the Academy of American Optometry (SCAAO): Official student chapter of the Academy promoting research and scholarly activity in optometry.
Student Public Health Vision Care Association (SPHViCA): Connecting students who have an interest in public health to promote health and wellbeing, with an emphasis on vision and eye health.
Student Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity (SVOSH): Founded at SCO in 1975 to provide free eye care and glasses to the underserved in Central America and throughout the world. SVOSH members work year-round to prepare for their annual 7-day service trips. Activities include collecting, inspecting and sorting donated eyeglasses, and various projects to help finance travel expenses. Membership is open to all interested students. Since 1975, SVOSH members have seen over 170,000 patients in 12 different countries.
Sororities and Fraternities
Omega Delta, Iota Chapter: Oldest and largest optometric fraternity; activities include the SCO Holiday Party, tutoring retinoscopy for first-year students, camping and canoe trips, and other social events.
SCO's student leaders have put together a great overview of the benefits of getting involved in student organizations. Check out the following letters from each club president in this flipbook:
(View it full screen, or click the PDF hyperlink below to read or download as a PDF.)
(Download a PDF)