The UAB School of Optometry has been named the National Optometric Association “School of the Year” for its effort to ensure a diverse student body.
The award is presented to a school of optometry that has made the most significant strides in the nation to advance minority student recruitment; increasing minority representation in the field of optometry is a large part of the National Optometric Association’s overall mission.
UAB School of Optometry Dean John F. Amos, O.D., said the award reflects the school’s long-standing commitment to increase minority student enrollment.
“We are honored to be recognized for our commitment to our minority students,” he said. “Recruitment of minority students and a diverse student body is a major priority for the school. We are working hard to continue to make significant strides in minority faculty and student recruitment, enrollment and retention.”
The School of Optometry’s strong relationships with minority alumni and pre-health advisors at historically black colleges and universities play a major role its recruitment efforts. In addition, while providing eye-care services to communities that include many racial minorities, the School of Optometry introduces students and parents to optometry as a profession.
One outcome of these efforts is an increase in the minority presence of the school’s entering class – from five, or 11.9 percent, in 2004 to 10, or 23.3 percent, in 2005.