Program Description

The Optometry Assistant Program is a one-year apprenticeship employment program including a 145-hour campus course that prepares students for the national Certified Paraoptometric (CPO) Examination offered through the American Optometric Association.

Optometry assistants learn to assist optometrists in running his/her optometry practice through well-developed on-the-job learning and related classroom instruction.

Apprentices may be employed in private practices or clinics.

The campus course is open to those already working in an optometry office and those considering employment in an optometry office.

Program Admission

Admission into the program is on a FIRST QUALIFIED, FIRST ACCEPTED basis. The program has limited enrollment and you are strongly encouraged to register early to secure a seat.

Completion of English 100 (Expository Writing) or higher, OR employer recommendation is required for entry into this program. Relevant course substitutions may be considered. If you have not completed college-level English, you may take the ACCUPLACER placement test offered through the Kapi’olani Community College Testing Center.

Attending an informational session is required prior to applying for this program. A brief discussion of the pre-program requirements and expectations will also be presented. For up-to-date information about this program or the informational sessions, visit the Health Non-Credit Programs Web Page for up-to-date information.

Financial Aid

Federal loans will not be eligible for this non-credit program. Alternative or Private loans are an option to consider for financing this education. Alternative/Private loans are designed to help students with educational expenses that exceed other financial aid such as grants, scholarships, work-study and federal loans. FAFSA is not required. Alternative loans are credit score based; therefore, a co-signer may be needed.

For detailed information regarding Alternative Student Loans, please contact your lender or financial institution directly.

Other options for financial assistance can be found through various community-based employment and training programs as well as military spouse benefits. Please contact the respective agencies for details.

Degree and National Certification

Students successfully completing the 2000 hours apprenticeship and the related training 145-hour campus course will earn a Certificate of Competence from Kapi‘olani Community College. Graduates will also be eligible to sit for the national Certified Paraoptometric (CPO) Examination offered through the American Optometric Association.

Contact Information

Martin Chong

Health Education Non-Credit Program Coordinator