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Vision, Mission and Goals


The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry aspires to make significant contributions to eye and vision care knowledge and vision science and to provide meaningful service to humanity.


The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry adds value to the state of Alabama, the Southeast, the United States, and the world through excellent, effective, and efficient optometric and vision science education, research, service, and patient care programs. The UAB School of Optometry has an unyielding commitment:

  1. to scholarship and research, which provide the underpinning of optometric and vision science education and service;
  2. to strengthen the provision of optometric care to a diverse public;
  3. to cherish the value that diversity in faculty and students brings to optometry and vision science; and
  4. to fair and equitable treatment of faculty, students, and staff-the source of The School of Optometry's strength.

The School of Optometry's achievement of its mission will be measured by the success of students and faculty who learn, create, teach, and provide patient care in our doctoral level professional and graduate programs.

Goals and Objectives

The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry is committed to planning for the future to ensure continued improvement in its programs and to fulfill its mission. In support of this role, the School seeks to:

Goal 1

Recruit and admit a diverse group of applicants who will serve the primary eye care needs of the public in the state and region.

  • Objective 1A

    Continue an aggressive program of recruitment, both in-state and out-of-state, sufficient to maintain an applicant to position ratio of at least 2:1.

  • Objective 1B

    Host an annual open house to introduce pre-health professions advisors and prospective applicants to the facilities and programs of the School.

  • Objective 1C

    Promote and participate in the Each One, Reach One program of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

  • Objective 1D

    Participate in minority recruitment, summer research, and community outreach programs to increase the minority presence within the School to a level more representative of the general population.

  • Objective 1E

    Participate in the Southern Regional Education Board program.

  • Objective 1F

    Provide information to students and graduates that enable them to seek geographic areas where there is a need for eye care services.

Goal 2

Recruit and admit applicants capable of excellence in the practice of optometry.

  • Objective 2A

    Recruit students with excellent undergraduate records by promoting optometry and developing relations with pre-health professions advisors at undergraduate institutions with reputations for academic excellence.

  • Objective 2B

    Follow a consistent set of admissions standards that includes pre-requisite courses and policies and procedures for admission.

  • Objective 2C

    Provide the admissions committee with all the information necessary to make objective predictions of academic and clinical success in the program.

Goal 3

Prepare students for excellence in the practice of optometry.

  • Objective 3A

    Provide student support services, such as financial aid, tutoring, and counseling.

  • Objective 3B

    Maintain a system for tracking students’ progress in the professional program.

  • Objective 3C

    Apply a set of expectations of student performance that is consistent with entry-level practice.

  • Objective 3D

    Create and maintain classrooms, laboratories, clinics, libraries, and other physical facilities in a manner conducive to learning.

  • Objective 3E

    Recruit and retain faculty recognized for their expertise in basic and clinical sciences.

  • Objective 3F

    Review the curriculum periodically to ensure that both the didactic and clinical content are consistent with the broadest scope of optometric practice allowed by law.

  • Objective 3G

    Enhance the students’ exposure to clinicians and clinician-scientists of national and international reputation though a series of noontime lectures sponsored by the Clinical Visiting Scholars program of the School.

Goal 4

Instill in students knowledge of the arts and sciences related to optometry.

  • Objective 4A

    Include in the curriculum those courses that provide the foundation of scientific knowledge upon which eye care is based.

  • Objective 4B

    Include in the curriculum one or more courses that integrate basic science principles and clinical experiences.

  • Objective 4C

    Include in the curriculum opportunities for clinical experience that provide exposure to a diverse population of patients.

  • Objective 4D

    Structure the interactions among the student, the patient, and the clinical faculty member to optimize the value of the clinical faculty member as a role model for the student.

Goal 5

Develop in students interpersonal skills for the sensitive and responsive delivery of eye care.

  • Objective 5A

    Provide opportunities in the curriculum for students to develop their written, verbal, non-verbal, and cross-cultural professional communication skills.

  • Objective 5B

    Structure the interactions among the student, the patient, and the clinical faculty member to optimize the value of the clinical faculty member as a role model for the student.

  • Objective 5C

    Instill in students a sense of the importance of patient communication in providing primary eye care.

  • Objective 5D

    Instill in students an understanding of the ethical requirements of being a health care professional.

Goal 6

Prepare students for lifelong career satisfaction.

  • Objective 6A

    Ensure that students who are admitted express personal goals that are compatible with the principles embodied in being a health care professional.

  • Objective 6B

    Provide students with information about the impact of indebtedness on career opportunities.

  • Objective 6C

    Provide career counseling and placement information to students and graduates.

  • Objective 6D

    Provide opportunities that will enable students to continue their education through self-directed learning throughout their careers.

Goal 7

Provide the opportunity for students to develop their potential for leadership in their profession and community.

  • Objective 7A

    Facilitate the creation and maintenance of student government and other organizations within the institution.

  • Objective 7B

    Encourage and support the participation of students in national organizations.

  • Objective 7C

    Select student representatives for UAB HealthCorps, an interdisciplinary leadership program for health professions students at UAB.

Goal 8

Encourage and support interdisciplinary programs of health care training and delivery including eye care.

  • Objective 8A

    Create and support multidisciplinary clinical programs within the School and the University, such as those at the UAB Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation, Low Birth Weight/Newborn Follow-Up Clinic, and Sparks Center.

  • Objective 8B

    Create and support primary, secondary, and tertiary care affiliated clinics, such as those at the Northern Health Center and Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.

  • Objective 8C

    Provide externship rotations for students at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and other multidisciplinary sites.

Goal 9

Develop programs of community outreach.

  • Objective 9A

    Provide eye care to both ambulatory and bed-ridden residents of Jefferson County nursing homes.

  • Objective 9B

    In cooperation with public and private school systems in Jefferson County, provide vision screening and referral services for preschool and school-age children.

  • Objective 9C

    Support outreach efforts of the students and faculty, such as the Health Care for the Homeless program and mission trips of Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity, Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity, and Fellowship of Christian Optometrists.

Goal 10

Develop clinical programs that serve the public with outstanding merit and recognized excellence.

  • Objective 10A

    Develop and maintain an effective recall and patient monitoring system.

  • Objective 10B

    Maintain efficiency in the turn-around time for goods and services.

  • Objective 10C

    Develop and administer an ongoing program of staff development.

  • Objective 10D

    Maintain efficiency in the student-patient-faculty member clinical encounter.

  • Objective 10E

    Provide continuity of patient care by scheduling patients with a faculty member and/or student who has seen them previously.

  • Objective 10F

    Develop and continuously apply a quality assurance program.

  • Objective 10G

    Protect the privacy of patients in accordance with federal and state laws.

  • Objective 10H

    Develop and maintain a patient database that allows continuous monitoring of the types of patient problems seen in the clinic so that resources can be allocated in proportion to their need.

  • Objective 10I

    Ensure that patients, students, and faculty have access to the latest and best technology in eye care.

  • Objective 10J

    Ensure that patients with health care supported by third party payment programs have access to the clinical services of the School.

  • Objective 10K

    Establish and maintain relationships with community and regional eye care providers that encourage the referral of patients with complex eye or vision problems to the School.

  • Objective 10L

    Promote the clinical facilities and the reputation of the faculty in the community and the region.

Goal 11

Create programs of public and professional eye health education that will contribute to an understanding of eye health problems and their prevention, recognition, treatment, management, and rehabilitation.

  • Objective 11A

    Conduct screenings for the public when the opportunities arise.

  • Objective 11B

    Encourage students and faculty to participate in educational programs in their local school systems.

Goal 12

Prepare clinicians for careers in specialty service or education.

  • Objective 12

    Provide residency and fellowship training in a variety of clinical specialties of optometry both on-site and in affiliated facilities.

Goal 13

Provide resources to stimulate faculty and students in the pursuit of new knowledge in clinical eye care, in basic vision science, and in public health and community aspects of eye care.

  • Objective 13A

    Appoint and support a Director of Clinical Research.

  • Objective 13B

    Provide graduate programs in vision science and public health at the master’s and doctoral levels.

  • Objective 14C

    Provide support for grant writing.

  • Objective 13D

    Provide space and seed money for start- up research projects.

Goal 14

Prepare vision scientists for careers in vision research and education.

  • Objective 14A

    Maintain the master’s and doctoral level graduate programs for both optometrists and non-optometrists.

  • Objective 14B

    Maintain the O.D./M.S. program for enrolled optometry students.

  • Objective 14C

    Maintain the O.D./M.P.H. program for enrolled optometry students.

  • Objective 14D

    Maintain the O.D./Ph.D. program.

  • Objective 14E

    Encourage participation in interdisciplinary graduate degree programs.

Goal 15

Provide continuing education for practicing optometrists to maintain and enhance their clinical competence.

  • Objective 15A

    Appoint and support a Director of Continuing Education.

  • Objective 15B

    Provide support staff for the Director of Continuing Education.

  • Objective 15C

    Encourage faculty to participate in continuing education programs both within and outside the institution.

Goal 16

Create a professional environment that provides an atmosphere of mutual support and cooperation and that fosters the attainment of both individual and collective professional goals.

  • Objective 16A

    Develop and maintain a system of faculty governance that fosters communication between administration and faculty as well as among faculty.

  • Objective 16B

    Establish clear lines of authority within the governance structure.

  • Objective 16C

    Create and maintain classrooms, laboratories, clinics, libraries, offices, research space, and other physical facilities in a manner conducive to learning, research, and service.

  • Objective 16D

    Provide appropriate support staff.

  • Objective 16E

    Encourage collaborative efforts both within and across departments.

  • Objective 16F

    Create and consistently follow specific guidelines for promotion and tenure and for annual raises.

  • Objective 16G

    Offer faculty development programs.