Ophthalmic Assistant Program Information Session

The next information session will be for the Ophthalmic Assistant Program will be Wednesday, Sept. 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. in Ferguson Allied Health and Workforce Development Building, Room 449. Orientation will be Oct. 12 and the first class will be Oct. 13 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

If you would like more information about the program, call the Health Occupations Office (828) 398-7878

What is an Ophthalmic Assistant?

An Ophthalmic Assistant works with an Ophthalmologist (eye doctor) by helping with the patient's needs.

A-B Tech Continuing Education is accredited by the International Council of Accreditation (ICA).

We offer the opportunity to sit for a certification exam by The International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO) and this is an international certification.

Graduates from the program are eligible to sit for the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) Certified Ophthalmic Assistant® (COA®) exam upon completion of the program.

As part of the pre-requisite for this program, there will be a background check and a drug screen. More information about that can be found here: Criminal Background Investigation Drug Screening FAQ.

For more information on upcoming classes, please call the Health Occupations Office at (828)398-7878.

The full program consists of two courses with a total of 641 hours--108 lecture hours and 5 hrs CPR; 528 clinical hours and is taught by Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologists. Students must successfully complete both lecture and clinical portions to complete the program successfully. Students who successfully complete the entire program will be eligible to take the Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) exam.


Prerequisites for the course will include but are not limited to:

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Take a Reading Test (TABE) at the Health Occupations Office (call (828) 398-7878 for an appointment). Must score at an 11th-grade level
  • U.S. Government Issue, a signature bearing, non-expired photo ID
  • Interview with the lead instructor and/or coordinator of the program
  • $417.70 Registration Fee (Registration fee includes tuition, insurance, technology fees, lab supplies, and CAPS fee)


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