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About Us

About SCCO and How It Will Change You 

A rewarding health care career begins with a quality education. Just ask any of the thousands of SCCO alumni, whose hard work, dedication and commitment have put them at the top of the optometric profession. 

When you choose our Doctor of Optometry degree, you’re getting a program that’s professionally and nationally accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association (AOA).

 Completing the SCCO curriculum will qualify you to apply for licensure in all 50 United States. 

Interprofessional Education

As a future optometrist, you’ll become an integral part of patients’ primary health care team, along with internists, specialists and other medical professionals. Studying at SCCO more than prepares you for this future. 

This aspect of your training is known as ‘interprofessional education.’ MBKU is the first health care university in Southern California to bring three primary care disciplines together, learning and working together as a team to provide collaborative, effective patient care. 

See Patients Your Second Year 

As an SCCO second-year student, you'll begin examining patients in a supervised clinical environment. Few other institutions offer the opportunity to develop your clinical and patient-management skills like this, in a collaborative, interprofessional educational setting.

You can further enhance your optometric skills through our Outreach Clinical Program, a unique opportunity for fourth-year students. As a student intern, you’ll work side-by-side with other health care professionals, doing four, 10-12-week rotations, one in Anaheim at the University Eye Center at Ketchum Health, and three in clinically diverse settings of your choice, such as VA medical centers, HMOs, military bases and others–both in the US and overseas.

SCCO Vision, Mission, Values 

SCCO is a top choice for prospective optometry students because of its vision and mission, preparing its students for the optometric profession of the future. For example:

Vision: We seek to reimagine the future of health care education.

Knowing that the future of health care is collaborative, we engineer patient-care experiences that expose students to perspectives and approaches outside their chosen profession. The coming together of optometry, physician assistants and pharmacy allows us to treat and manage patients from a broader perspective for better patient outcomes.

Mission: To educate today’s minds to provide tomorrow’s eye, vision, and healthcare.  Our mission is excellence in patient care, clinical education, and research.

Values: Marshall B. Ketchum University is guided by the values of:

  • Accountability: We are committed to honesty, fairness and responsibility for our words and actions.
  • Caring: We strive to address the needs of our university community and others by nurturing a spirit of compassion.
  • Excellence: Consistent with our legacy, we are committed to achieving outcomes of the highest quality.
  • Innovation: We have the courage to dream and experiment with creative and unique ideas.
  • Respect: We value the unique talents and diversity of people, strive to work collaboratively, and honor the open exchange of ideas. 



SCCO Program and Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

Each student will demonstrate content knowledge and clinical application of:

  • SLO 1.1: Biomedical science with an emphasis on the eye and visual system
  • SLO 1.2: Optical science and ophthalmic lenses systems including spectacle and contact lenses, and specialized optical devices
  • SLO 1.3: Vision science including visual optics, ocular motility and perceptual aspects of vision
  • SLO 1.4: Clinical science with respect to primary and specialty eye and vision care

Each student will demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills by:

  • SLO 2.1: Identifying, evaluating and developing solutions to problems
  • SLO 2.2: Integrating current knowledge, scientific advances and the human dimensions of health care
  • SLO 2.3: Acquiring, analyzing and applying new information

Each student will demonstrate clinical skills and knowledge by:

  • SLO 3.1: Accurately measuring the parameters of the eye and visual system
  • SLO 3.2: Identifying variations of ocular structures and visual function
  • SLO 3.3: Diagnosing, treating and managing conditions of the eye and visual system
  • SLO 3.4: Achieving competency through diverse clinical experiences
  • SLO 3.5: Effectively communicating with patients of diverse ethnicities and cultures

Each student will demonstrate research skills and application of research outcomes by:

  • SLO 4.1: Interpreting statistical tests and hypothesis analyses
  • SLO 4.2: Identifying characteristics of study bias and masking
  • SLO 4.3: Citing and critiquing peer-reviewed scientific literature
  • SLO 4.4: Applying evidence-based knowledge in clinical problem solving and decision making

Each student will demonstrate a commitment to life-long success as an optometrist through:

  • SLO 5.1: Pursuit of continuous learning
  • SLO 5.2: Development of personal and professional goals
  • SLO 5.3: Knowledge of professional ethics and professionalism
  • SLO 5.4: Collaboration with other health care professionals
  • SLO 5.5: Respect for the dignity of each patient
  • SLO 5.6: Support for professional organizations within optometry
SCCO Comprehensive College Strategic Plan
  • 1.1 Attract a robust, diverse and highly qualified applicant pool
    • 1.1.1 Highlight faculty passion for teaching excellence, compassionate patient care, and leadership in the profession
    • 1.1.2 Increase entrance scholarships in number and amounts
    • 1.1.3 Continue an engaging media and outreach campaign to highlight benefits of attending SCCO at MBKU
  • 1.2 Continuous improvement and innovation in support of a cohesive, coordinated curriculum that addresses learning outcomes across the institution.
    • 1.2.1 Invest in faculty and faculty development for excellence in teaching in the didactic, clinical, and graduate programs
    • 1.2.2 Evaluate and optimize faculty: student teaching ratios
    • 1.2.3 Invest in innovative technology to enhance student achievement, confidence, and efficiency
    • 1.2.4 Incorporate interprofessional education in partnership with the College of Health Sciences and College of Pharmacy
    • 1.2.5 Promote a commitment to evidence-based critical thinking and passion for life-long learning
  • 1.3 Continue to develop a high quality, clinical educational experience both on-site and through a rich, diverse, and in-depth outreach program.
    • 1.3.1 Increase patient census 10%
    • 1.3.2 Explore, develop, and assess models for interprofessional collaborative practice
    • 1.3.3 Increase awareness about optometry’s role in primary care and public health
  • 1.4 Develop, implement and assess impact of student support services in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs.
    • 1.4.1 Counseling services
    • 1.4.2 Foster co-curricular activities which promote achievement of learning outcomes for the institution, program and students. E.g. enrichment programs, leadership certificate, clubs
    • 1.4.3 Support student governance and activities
    • 1.4.4 Develop programs that partner employees and students to encourage camaraderie, collegiality and sense of community resulting in lifelong relationships with the College
  • 2.1 Educate constituents on the financial status, limitations, needs and future goals of the College.
  • 2.2 Research revenue sources in coordination with the Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations – e.g., government, corporate, alumni contributors, foundations.
  • 2.3 Increase community awareness of patient care services and technologies in Ketchum Health and the University Eye Center Enterprise (Anaheim, Los Angeles, JWCH, Caduceus, Garden Grove, etc.)
    • 2.3.1 Develop showcase opportunities/events to highlight innovative technology and patient care advancement, which increases community awareness and engagement
    • 2.3.2 External marketing and communication – create a coalition of local area healthcare providers, host and participate in community events, network with potential patient referral sources, e.g., community leaders, nurses, principals and clinic directors.
    • 2.3.3 Develop internal marketing and practice management program to promote referrals and outstanding patient care experience
    • 2.3.4 Optimize revenue streams available through the UEC Enterprise
      • Review, deploy, and/or cut vision and medical plans based on patient access needs and revenue
      • Decrease unpaid claims and shorten revenue cycle
      • Centralize purchasing to maximize institutional buying power
    • 2.3.5 Work with clinical services to develop infrastructure to support increased patient encounters through enhanced efficiency, productivity, and staffing ratios
    • 2.3.6 Develop culturally-sensitive and diverse patient segments e.g. Latino and Asian
  • 2.4 Create programs to create an environment on campus that consistently demonstrates to employees their value
    • 2.4.1 Invest in faculty and faculty development for excellence in teaching in the didactic, clinical, and graduate programs
    • 2.4.2 Encouraging additional certification, leadership training, and advanced degrees, education for faculty and staff
    • 2.4.3 Employee recognition in coordination with Office of Human Resources
    • 2.4.4 Examples of support include loan forgiveness program, tuition reimbursement for advanced education, among others
  • 3.1 Explore entrepreneurial opportunities that align with the mission, enhance education, patient access, and positive margin.
  • 3.2 Establish alliances with community health clinics and regional school districts for comprehensive healthcare.
  • 3.3 Partner with government healthcare agencies to facilitate comprehensive health care collaborations.
  • 3.4 Identify and develop strategic growth opportunities for post-graduate education.
    • 3.4.1 Residency
    • 3.4.2 Graduate education – M.S. and Ph.D.
    • 3.4.3 International partnerships in the Pacific Rim
      • Eulji University and Tokyo Optometric College
    • 3.4.4 Expand quality, continuing education opportunities both live and on-line to a broad audience ranging from local to global
  • 3.5 Research
    • 3.5.1 Develop research endowment. Target: $300K
    • 3.5.2 Promote interprofessional collaborative research with College of Pharmacy and College of Health Science
    • 3.5.3 Institutional research for continuous quality improvement and accreditation requirements in partnership with faculty, students, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness
      • Assess, innovate, deploy solutions to identified challenges or gaps in optometric education to assure alignment with learning outcomes (i.e. institutional, program, and student)
      • Develop programs within each College unit (e.g., clinical affairs, academic affairs) to address efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace, e.g., implementing technology solutions, supervisor training, job enhancement training
    • 3.5.4 Industry-sponsored collaboration to help translate research into practice
    • 3.5.5 Encouragement and support for competing federally funded grants and activity
  • 3.6 SCCO enhances its commitment to practice management and health care resource development.
    • 3.6.1 Develop resources and personnel to create specific programs to assist graduating students, recent graduates and established practitioners in practice development and management
    • 3.6.2 Develop a network of experts of faculty, practitioners and others in all aspects of practice management, e.g., business issues, implementing new services and new technologies
    • 3.6.3 Formalize a faculty consultation service for patient care related questions
  • 4.1 Community engagement - external
    • 4.1.1 Partner with Alumni to encourage engagement and affiliation with SCCO and MBKU including resources such as practice management services, newsletters, and opportunities for philanthropy
    • 4.1.2 Leading efforts with legislators and active engagement in promoting health care advocacy
    • 4.1.3 Promoting the importance of children’s vision and successful learning to Regional School Boards and School Districts
    • 4.1.4 Partner with professional associations to reinforce the lifelong commitment in support of patient access, duty and responsibility, professionalism and ethics
    • 4.1.5 Collaborate with philanthropic partners who promote access to care for underserved populations
    • 4.1.6 Industry relations and support of common goals
  • 4.2 Create an effective communication strategy that will lead to a culture that keeps employees informed and engaged.
    • 4.2.1 Enhance and promote the university and college brand
    • 4.2.2 Use multiple channels to convey information to stakeholders – live, video, Moodle, town hall, newsletter, email, social media, annual State of the College, quarterly reports, etc.
  • 4.3 Be the college of choice known for its positive culture for students, faculty, and staff through our actions, philosophy, and ongoing commitment. We want our alumni and stakeholders to be proud of our collective accomplishments.
SCCO Program Goals

Provide a comprehensive and broad curriculum that fully prepares students for entry level practice and licensure upon graduation. 

  • Education Objectives
    • Implement the changes recommended by the comprehensive curriculum review process to meet the needs of students and the profession.
    • Provide expanded opportunities for active student learning through online education, interactive seminars and case based discussion groups.
    • Expand electronic teaching modalities (e.g. ExamSoft, Moodle, and Lecture Capture) to supplement current teaching modalities.
    • Provide support for those students who need tutoring, mentoring and counseling to help them successfully complete the professional program in four years.
    • Develop Interprofessional education and collaborative practice opportunities

Provide support and development opportunities to enable faculty to successfully teach, engage in scholarship and participate in leadership.

  • Teaching and Scholarship Objectives
    • The recruitment of qualified faculty will continue as an ongoing priority to strengthen the academic and scholarship programs at the College.
    • The College will strive to recruit only those applicants with residency training or significant professional practice experience to serve as clinic faculty.
    • The College will strive to recruit the best-qualified faculty while seeking diversity to best complement the profile of our students and patients.
    • Provide faculty with high-quality support including electronic, multimedia, word processing, scanning and printing services to enable them to teach effectively and engage in scholarship.
    • Actively and continuously encourage faculty to submit for internal faculty research grants, as well as federal, foundation, and corporate funding.
    • Support selected faculty to participate in the Clinical Trials Workshop at ARVO, as well as the bi-annual AOA/AAO Summer Research Institute, Summer Institute for Faculty Development.

Establish programs to provide eye and vision care services to the public through access and education.

  • Service Objectives
    • Identify the community needs and funding sources.
    • Support Eye Force One (mobile service capability) to increase access to care and to provide vision care services outside of College-owned facilities.
    • Develop effective marketing and community promotion programs.
    • Develop collaborative relationships with local health care providers to gain program support.
    • Educate interns and doctors on communication with patients.
    • Provide outside CE to groups such as physician assistants, social workers, nurses, and other educators and non-profits to enhance their understanding of the importance of vision in learning.
    • Become a resource to patients and public through legislative advocacy.
    • Identify third party programs and funding sources for medical and vision care coverage
    • Expand vision rehabilitation services to support and emphasize geriatric rehabilitation (e.g. occupational therapy, orientation and mobility specialist, grief and trauma counselor, and support groups).
    • Children’s vision initiative to enable every child in Orange County to be vision-ready to learn