Asian optometrist working at office

We are pleased to announce that we will offer this program for 2023!

Limited seating – There are only 10 seats –
Enrollment is based on first come, first served!

Registration opens May 8, 2023 and closes June 30, 2023.
OAI Registration fee of $219.00 will secure your seat!
Click here for our registration form.

This two-part program takes 8.5 months to complete 700 hours.
Seated, online, and clinical hours make up this comprehensive program.
Current Clinical Partners include Buglisi Eye Care, Office Park Eye Center, Retina of Coastal Carolina, and Wilmington Eye!
This program prepares students for a career in ophthalmology as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant
Prerequisites: 1) HS or equivalent, or higher education transcript  2) CASAS reading score 248 and CASAS math score 239 or higher. CASAS tests are free and administered on campus.

The Ophthalmic Assistant Program is based on the standards outlined by the International Council of Accreditation and by the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO). It is designed for staff currently working with an Ophthalmologist/Optometrist and for people seeking to start a career as an Ophthalmic Assistant.

The main role of an Ophthalmic Assistant is to support an Ophthalmologist/Optometrist with daily clinical tasks such as initial patient assessment, ophthalmic procedures and surgery preparation, various vision tests, equipment and record maintenance, and customer service.

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills necessary to take the IJCAHPO national Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) exam and work in the Ophthalmology and Optometry field.

Ophthalmic Assistant Exam Prep (OAXP) Hybrid (Non-clinical) August 1, 2023 – April 30, 2024
(260 hours/ $219) The OAXP program is designed for personnel currently working with ophthalmologists and need formal training to pass the IJCAHPO Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) National credentialing exam.


Ophthalmic Assistant Clinical Program Hybrid Dates: August 1, 2023 – April 30, 2024 (700 hours)

Ophthalmic Assistant I Hybrid (OAI) August 1, 2023 – December 15, 2023, T & TH, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
OAI Registration Fee $219
96 classroom hours + 63 OL hours + 208 clinic hours = 367 total hours
The classroom hours and lab hours take place T & Th, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Weekly online hours are completed asynchronously.
OA-I Clinical Internship: 28 (eight-hour) internship days. September 5, 2023 – December 7, 2023
Clinic hours (16 hours a week) at participating clinical sites during the day.
In order to enroll, students must register and pay for the course prior to ORIENTATION
Orientation is scheduled for June 28, 2023, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Orientation is a requirement for all students.

Ophthalmic Assistant II Hybrid (OAII) January 2, 2024 – April 30, 2024 T & Th, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
OAII Registration Fee $186
80 classroom hours + 21 OL + 232 clinic hours = 333 total hours
The classroom hours and lab hours take place T & Th, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Weekly online hours completed asynchronously.
OA-II Clinical Internship: 29 (eight-hour) internship days. January 2 – April 12, 2024
Clinic hours (16 hours a week) at participating clinical sites during the day.
Prerequisite: Successfully pass OAI

 Total Course Costs:

  • OAI  Registration Fee $219
  • OAII Registration Fee $186
  • Textbooks – $350 (Estimated)
  • Scrubs x2 / Name Tags – $200.00 (Estimated)
  • IJCAHPO exam fees paid to IJCAHPO  $300.00
  • Total Program $1250.00 Estimated

 Funding options:

WIOA Grant can cover 100% of costs, Application required / Call 910-938-6309 for more information
Application Link:

For details on this career field, download this helpful resource from IJCAHPO on the certification, curriculum, exam fees, and other useful information.