Only ophthalmic technician program in Texas turns students into graduates with job offers

11.21.2016 | By Jeannie Peng Mansyur

PASADENA, Texas – As the only ophthalmic technician training program in Texas accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Ophthalmic Medical Programs, San Jacinto College eye care technology is getting students job interviews before they take the commencement stage. 

Just ask Patrick Barraza, who has his choice of future employers. The eye care technology student said it was his own experience as a child wearing glasses that inspired him to help others in need of vision care.

“This profession is about changing people’s lives,” said Barraza, who recently participated in See to Succeed, a partnership of eye care professionals, including the San Jacinto College eye care program, that provides free eye exams, referrals, and eyeglasses to children across Harris County. Barraza will graduate in May 2017 with four clinical rotations to put on his resume. He’s received job offers from his clinical sites. This is not uncommon, according to Debra Clarke, program director of San Jacinto College eye care technology.

“We have a high job placement rate because we prepare our students very well for their clinical rotations,” said Clarke. “Many of our clinical affiliates chose to hire our graduates for this reason.”

The San Jacinto College eye care technology program offers an occupational certificate for optician training, a certificate of technology for paraoptometric training or ophthalmic scribe training, and the associate of applied science degree for ophthalmic assistants or ophthalmic technicians. The program is designed to correlate classroom and laboratory experiences with clinical experience in eye care facilities.  

Graduates have a variety of career options to choose from that include clinical research technician, contact lens technician, field service technician, ophthalmic assistant, ophthalmic surgical assistant, ophthalmic technician, optician, optometric assisting and retinal photographer.

Christy Martinez’s commencement is also coming up in the spring, and a job position has already been offered. Like Barraza, upon graduation and passing the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) international certification exam, Martinez will have her choice of where to work.

“The training here is rigorous; the professors push you and hold you to a high standard but it’s rewarding and enjoyable,” said Martinez. “It’s worth it, and there is job security.”

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 finalist and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 30,000 students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers seven areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to a four-year college or university or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, call 281-998-6150 or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.