Like any endeavor worth pursuing in life, it takes careful preparation to become an optometrist.
Students are at the heart of our mission.
Get involved in our thriving alumni community.
SCO is one of the nation's leading optometry schools.
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The Student Government Association takes an active role in helping students actively participate in Southern College of Optometry’s mission. The SGA recommends policies, and its president is an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.
SCO students are 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.
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.
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.
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.
Who's Who—based on leadership, scholarship, and value to the profession whose members are nominated by faculty and selected by the senior class.
College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)—dedicated to facilitate the 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 issues for women in optometry, networking opportunities, and professional development.
Lion's 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.
Optometric Private Practice Club—dedicated to prepare 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—focused on bringing interprofessional approach with multiple health care providers in order to advance the art and science of rehabilitation for brain injury patients.
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 speaks 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 Club—Connecting students who have an interest in public health- to promote health and wellbeing, with an emphasis in 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.
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:
(Download a PDF)