Online Application is Down

Thank you for your interest in Erie Community College. Due to system upgrades, the online application will be down Wednesday, June 28, 2017. You can apply for the Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 semesters by completing the paper application and emailing it to or fax it to (716) 270-2961. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Office of Admissions at (716) 851-1455. Thank you in advance for your patience!

Vision Care Technology

Vision Care Technology

The Vision Care Technology Program offers classroom, clinical and laboratory training utilizing state of the art instrumentation in preparation for careers in the vision care field.

With the increase in the nation's population and the aging of the baby boom generation, the demand for vision care services and a trained corps of ophthalmic professionals has risen. This demand exists in private optometric and ophthalmological practices, national vision centers, health maintenance organizations, laser surgery and specialty practices, laboratory and ophthalmic sales.

Among program goals is the provision of necessary theoretical and practical training to enable students to successfully complete the American Board of Opticianry, National Contact Lens Examination and New York State licensing exams in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Contact Lenses.

Classroom lectures, clinics and laboratories involve skills training in lensometry, pupillometry, keratometry, biomicroscopy, tonometry, perimetry, auto-refraction, corneal topography and retinal imaging. Students are trained in the use of computers to maintain patient's protected health information and prescription requirements.

To complement classroom and laboratory training, students will participate in two clinical externships at participating optometric and ophthalmological private practices and vision centers. The program has over 70 affiliated and approved vision care sites in Western New York.

Second year students gain purposeful clinical experience through supervised participation in the Community Eye Clinic at Friends of Night People which offers eye examinations and prescription eyeglasses to those in need in the community.

Upon graduation of the program students participate in credentialing exams administered by the American Board of Opticianry and the National Contact Lens Examiners and state licensure exams through the Office of Professions, New York State Education Department.

Admissions Requirements

  • Applicant must be a high school graduate.
  • Advance transfer credit for general education or professional courses in which a "C" or above was earned may be arranged when course descriptions match ECC courses.
  • In addition to tuition, students will be responsible for paying for a set of ophthalmic tools, lab coat, liability insurance and a name tag for use in off-campus clinical work.
  • Students are responsible for providing transportation to off campus fieldwork sites utilized for general dispensing practice course.
  • Exceptions to the above criteria may be made for returning adult students and for those currently working in the field.

Program Competencies

Upon graduation with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Vision Care Technology, the graduate will be able to:

  • determine patient needs, make frame and lens type recommendations and illustrate and demonstrate the use and application of the appropriate ophthalmic products to fulfill the patient's visual requirements;
  • detect and verify prescription irregularities by applying knowledge of ophthalmic terminology and principles of refraction;
  • perform ophthalmic and medical history taking and basic ophthalmic screening procedures demonstrating proper utilization of ophthalmic instrumentation and procedures;
  • demonstrate eyewear fabrication laboratory skills within American National Standards Institute standards;
  • use instrumentation and other empirical methods to determine appropriate contact lens type and lens design ensuring ocular integrity, patient comfort and good visual acuity;
  • conduct a diagnostic contact lens evaluation based on patient's prescription and keratometric readings and determine the need for modification of lens design;
  • conduct oneself in a professional and ethical manner by adhering to ethical standards, being courteous, demonstrating proper manners and professional demeanor;
  • participate in the New York State licensing examination for Ophthalmic Dispenser and Contact Lens Fitter and the National American Board of Opticianry Certification Exam and the National Contact Lens Examiners Registry Exam; and
  • comply with all safety and environmental regulations relative to fabrication, dispensing, contact lens laboratories and clinics.


Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
PO Box 592
Canton, NY 13617
Voice: (703) 468-0566
Fax: (888) 306-9036


The following scholarships are awarded to the Ophthalmic Dispensing student population annually:

  • NYSSO Student Scholarship, sponsored by the New York State Society of Opticians
  • NFOS College Bowl Accommodations Award; sponsored by National Federation of Opticianry Schools
  • Lenscrafters Scholarships, sponsored by Lenscrafters, Inc.
  • Richard Terry Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by friends of Dick Terry
  • Corky Fratello Scholarship, sponsored by the Optical Society of WNY
  • Eyewear by ROI Scholarship, sponsored by Eyewear by ROI

Students are encouraged to participate in additional academic scholarship award contests provided on a local and national basis. Scholarships are available to matriculated students only.


Total Degree Credits: 63.5

First Year, Fall Semester
VC 100 - Ophthalmic Dispensing I Credit Hours: 2
VC 110 - Ophthalmic Lenses I Credit Hours: 3
VC 133 - Introduction to Contact Lens Laboratory Credit Hours: 1
VC 140 - Ophthalmic Assisting Credit Hours: 2
EN 110 - College Composition Credit Hours: 3
Social Science Elective Credit Hours: 3*
Liberal Arts Elective Credit Hours: 3

First Year, Spring Semester
VC 141 - Assisting and Refraction Lab Credit Hours: 2
VC 142 - Contact Lenses I Credit Hours: 2
VC 143 - Lab for OD 142 Credit Hours: 2
VC 150 - Ophthalmic Dispensing II Credit Hours: 3
VC 160 - Ophthalmic Lenses II Credit Hours: 3
EN 111 - Composition and Interpretation of Literature Credit Hours: 3
PH 170 - Computer Applications in Optics I Credit Hours: 3
PH 171 - Lab for PH 170 Credit Hours: (Included in the 3 Credit Hours for PH 170)

Second Year, Fall Semester
VC 232 - Contact Lenses II Credit Hours: 1.5
VC 233 - Lab for OD 232 Credit Hours: 2
VC 240 - Ophthalmic Dispensing III Credit Hours: 3
VC 245 - Ophthalmic Fabrication I Credit Hours: 2
VC 246 - Ophthalmic Dispensing Lab I Credit Hours: 3
BI 254 - Anatomy of the Eye Credit Hours: 2
PH 172 - Computer Applications in Optics II Credit Hours: 3
PH 173 - Lab for PH 172 Credit Hours: (Included in the 3 Credit Hours for PH 172)

Second Year, Spring Semester
VC 243 - Contact Lens Clinic Practice Credit Hours: 1
VC 250 - Ophthalmic Dispensing IV Credit Hours: 2
VC 255 - Ophthalmic Fabrication II Credit Hours: 1
VC 256 - Ophthalmic Dispensing Lab II Credit Hours: 3
VC 261 - General Dispensing Practice Credit Hours: 1
VC 264 - Ophthalmic Practice Management Credit Hours: 2
BI 255 - Physiology of the Eye Credit Hours: 2

Electives: VC 283

* i.e. AN 102, PS 100, HU 100, SO 100 

Note: The student must also demonstrate proficiency in algebra at the level of MT 013. This is a recommended sequence. Student should consult his/her academic advisor prior to registering.

Available At:

North Campus

Recommended H.S. Courses and/or Experiences:

Math II
General Science

Pre-Admission Recommendations:

2 Years Math
Vision Care Technology Handbook

Career Opportunities/Further Education:

Ophthalmic Assistant
Large and Small Independent Offices
Health Maintenance Organizations
Wholesale Ophthalmic Medical Sales

Hegis Code:


Curriculum Code:



Health Sciences
Vision Care Technology

Program Video

Need Help?

Vision Care Technology

John Godert
North Campus
Room B100A
6205 Main Street
Williamsville, NY 14221
P: (716) 851-1570