WNEU Offers Pre-Optometry Program with New England College of Optometry

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University is joining forces with New England College of Optometry (NECO) in Boston to establish a Doctor of Optometry dual-degree program. The agreement will begin recruiting students this fall
for potential admittance to NECO in the fall of 2018.

According to the Vision Impact Institute research, three out of four people
in the U.S. use some type of vision correction. Of those people, 71{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} wear
glasses and 22{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} wear contacts. Given these facts, optometrists play an
important role in the health and well-being of society today. Assisting
people to live and work efficiently and comfortably makes optometry an
important and growing career path.

Through the 3+4 accelerated undergraduate program partnership, students
are awarded a bachelor of Science degree from Western New England
University, and a doctor of Optometry degree from New England College
of Optometry. The curriculum is an accelerated program for undergraduate
students who are interested in a Doctor of Optometry degree. The program
has two academic phases: Phase I will consist of six semesters of
prescribed pre-optometric undergraduate education at Western New
England University, and Phase II includes the remaining eight semesters in
optometry education at New England College of Optometry.

“This agreement showcases Western New England University’s continued
commitment to adding exciting new academic endeavors that complement
our already formidable array of degree programs in the health sciences,”
said Bryan Gross, vice president for Enrollment Management at Western
New England University.

“NECO is excited about this new partnership with Western New England
University,” said Kurt Thiede, executive director of Enrollment
Management at New England College of Optometry. “The types of
students this program will attract will strengthen each of our campus
communities and ultimately the optometry profession.”

To qualify for this program, students must have a grade point average of
3.0 with a strong science and math curriculum and an SAT score of 1100
in Critical Reading & Math or ACT of 24. Each participating student will
be expected to meet GPA and Optometry Admission Test standards for
admission to NECO.