Deakin University admits first graduates to BVisSc degree

A full complent of 15 optometry acadic staff celebrated the occasion, along with senior university heads including vice-chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander, pro-vice chancellor Faculty of Health, Professor Brendan Crotty and School of Medicine head, Professor Jon Watson.
A morable address was delivered by optometry student, Jacqueline Kirkman, who brought smiles and laughter to the audience by cleverly weaving her mories of The Spice Girls into her serious message about the importance of the health professions.
Deakin took those first students into its accelerated optometry qualification in March 2011.
The first year of the program combines health, science, vision and business units to form a foundation for the probl-based learning curriculum that follows from second year onwards.
Students universally agreed that the second year of the program was far more intense than the first, frequently having classes that spanned the day from 8am to 6pm. In addition, students undertake several week-long rotations per trimester through the Deakin Optometry Training Facility at the Australian College of Optometry from second year, onwards (and are currently seeing patients in the college clinic).
While the first students still have another 15 months before qualifying as optometrists, after the graduation cerony, director of optometry Professor Harrison Weisinger told Insight that he was “extrely proud” of both his team and the students and “it’s days like this that justify the collective effort that went into starting an optometry program from scratch. That we have been able to develop, deliver and robustly assess three years of education in two years with minimal student attrition is a testament to the dedication and efforts of staff and students alike”.
Deakin Optometry has just enrolled its third cohort numbering approximately 75 into the Bachelor of Vision Science, while the first cohort now moves into the four-trimester Master of Optometry. The final two trimesters are spent in ‘residential’ placents, the first of their kind in Australian optometric education.
The Deakin Optometry program was accredited, with conditions, in 2013.

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