Ophthalmic Medical Personnel


The Ophthalmic Medical Program prepares individuals to perform ophthalmic procedures under the supervision of a licensed physician specializing in Ophthalmology. Course work includes lecture, laboratory, and clinical training in ocular measurements; ocular testing; lensometry; administering topical and oral medications; eye care; and caring for instruments.

Beginning Spring 2024, Sandhills will offer a Non-Clinical Certificate that can be completed in two semesters (not including prerequisites).

Diploma completion is availble with the completion of additional general courses, which may be taken at any time, and are available in person or online, and additional OMP courses via Credit by Exam with qualifying employment in an Ophthalmology office.

Graduates may qualify as candidates to take the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel, Ophthalmology  (IJCAHPO) National Certification Exam to become a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) upon completion of 500 hours of qualifying employment under the sponsorship of an ophthalmologist. 



This entry-level pathway can lead to additional  levels of certification. Employment opportunities include medical institutions, clinics, or physician practices.


Additional Information

Students with pending criminal charges or a criminal conviction may not be eligible for employment or taking the national examination.


Admissions Process

  • College Application: Complete an SCC admissions application online. Set up your SCC student email account. Complete online or attend the College new student orientation.
  • Transcripts: Submit official (sealed) high school/high school equivalency and all college transcripts to the admissions office.
  • Course Placement Requirements: Students must place into ENG 111 without a corequisite and out of Transition Math and Co-requisite Math courses.
  • Prerequisite Classes: Anatomy & Physiology (high school or BIO 094) or Medical Terminology (MED 120) is required with a grade of C or better (must be verified by college or high school transcript).
  • All applicants must have at least a 2.0 GPA to be considered for admission.
  • HESI A2 (Admission Assessment Exam): A 75+ cumulative score is required to apply in Early Consideration. Students who do not achieve a 75 may apply in Late Consideration. Students may only take the HESI A2 twice in an academic year (September-May). HESI A2 scores for tests taken within the last three years will be reviewed. Tests must be scheduled in advance; dates and registration are online. The test cost is $55, subject to change.
  • Health Sciences Application: Submit an online application by the deadline listed below. Applications can be accessed from the Health Sciences webpage.


Application Deadlines

Early Consideration: November 30, 2023
Late Consideration: January 4, 2023


OMP Essential Functions

Before official enrollment in OMP Program courses, students must present a personal statement to verify that they can fulfill certain essential functions. These include, but are not limited to: Physical Ability, Visual Acuity, Hearing Acuity, Speech/Communication, Critical Thinking, Emotional Stability, Personal Attributes, and Ability to Travel.

A complete list of essential functions can be obtained from the Program Coordinator.


Program Accreditation

The Ophthalmic Medical Personnel program is accredited by the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, 2025 Woodlane Drive St. Paul, MN 55125-2998



Estimated Program Expenses

In addition to tuition and books, students are responsible for extra costs for uniforms, supplies, immunizations, background checks, and travel to clinical sites.

Tuition* $1,216.00 $4,288.00
Student Activity Fee $70.00 $70.00
Technology Fee $96.00 $96.00
CAPS fee $50.00 $50.00
General Education Course fees $0-100.00 $0-100.00
Textbooks $800.00 $800.00

*Program credit hours: 16 – $76.00 per credit hour in-state tuition, $268.00 per credit hour out-of-state tuition. Does not include tuition & costs for prerequisite courses, which vary by student.


Contact Information

General Health Sciences Admissions Questions

Susan Senior, LPN, COMT
Professor, Health Sciences Department Chair

145 Kennedy Hall