Optometry Assistant Apprenticeship Program

Optometry Assistant Apprenticeship Program

Program Description

The Optometry Assistant Program is a one-year apprenticeship employment program including a 145-hour campus course that prepares students for the national Certified Paraoptometric (CPO) Examination offered through the American Optometric Association. Optometry assistants learn to assist optometrists in running his/her optometry practice through well-developed on-the-job learning and related classroom instruction. Apprentices may be employed in private practices or clinics.

The campus course is open to those already working in an optometry office and those considering employment in an optometry office.

Fall 2018

Program begins on October 16.

A limited number of $2000 tuition stipends are available through the State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant from the Hawai‘i Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

Your cost is only $300!

Program Info

Course Schedule
Session Dates October 16, 2018 to April 30, 2019
Times Tuesdays & Thursdays   6pm – 9pm
Location Kapi‘olani Community College   Room TBA

We reserve the right to cancel the course due to insufficient enrollment or for other reasons.

All dates, times, and other information may be subject to change with or without prior notice.

Program Admission

Admission into the program is on a FIRST QUALIFIED, FIRST ACCEPTED basis. The program has limited enrollment and you are strongly encouraged to register early to secure a seat.

Completion of English 100 (Expository Writing) or higher, OR employer recommendation is required for entry into this program. Relevant course substitutions may be considered. If you have not completed college-level English, you may take the ACCUPLACER placement test offered through the KCC Testing Center.

Please attend one of the following REQUIRED program information/eligibility sessions listed below to determine your eligibility and to receive approval for registering. No appointment is needed and free parking is available on campus. A brief discussion on the pre-program requirements and expectations will also be presented. Please bring with you a picture I.D. and a copy of college transcripts, report cards or college diplomas, or ACCUPLACER placement test results or employer recommendation letter.


Information Sessions

August 22, 2018 Wednesday 4:30pm-5:30pm Kauila 109
September 12, 2018 Wednesday 4:30pm-5:30pm Kauila 109
September 26, 2018 Wednesday 4:30pm-5:30pm Kauila 109
October 10, 2018 Wednesday 4:30pm-5:30pm Kauila 109
Registration Procedure

After you receive signed approval by attending one of the scheduled information/eligibility sessions, you will be provided with online registration instructions. You may also choose to register and pay in person at Manono 113 (Non-Credit Registration Office). Once full payment has been received, you are enrolled in the program.

NOTE: Fall 2018 tuition is discounted from $2,300 to $300 due to grant stipend.  There is limited seating and students are accepted on a First Qualified, First Accepted basis. Textbooks are included in the tuition and will be provided on the first evening of class.


A 100% refund is given if cancellation of enrollment is made at least ten (10) business days before the start date of the course. A 50% refund is given if cancellation is made five to nine business days before the start of the program. No refunds will be given if cancellation is made less than five business days prior to the start of the program.

Financial Aid

Federal loans will not be eligible for this non-credit program. Alternative or Private loans are an option to consider for financing this education. Alternative/Private loans are designed to help students with educational expenses that exceed other financial aid such as grants, scholarships, work-study and federal loans. FAFSA is not required. Alternative loans are credit score based; therefore, a co-signer may be needed.

For detailed information regarding Alternative Student Loans, please contact your lender or financial institution directly.

Other options for financial assistance can be found through various community-based employment and training programs as well as military spouse benefits. Please contact the respective agencies for details.


Regular tuition is $2,300.  The Fall 2018 course is discounted through the State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

All students will only pay $300 to be registered.

Learning Outcomes
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the day-to-day functions, capabilities, duties, personnel, and work-flow of an optometric practice
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the office principles utilized by optometric personnel (paraoptometrics)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the process of assisting doctors and patients
  • Demonstrate preparation for the CPO Exam
  • Understand the anatomy and physiology of the eye
  • Understand basic eye disorders, diseases, and treatment
  • Understand and explain the patient’s medical eye examination information
  • Be able to instruct patients on the different eyewear options to improve a patient’s vision
  • Understand office management skills including billing and coding
Degree and National Certification

Students successfully completing the 2000 hours apprenticeship and the related training 145-hour campus course will earn a Certificate of Competence from Kapi‘olani Community College. Graduates will also be eligible to sit for the national Certified Paraoptometric (CPO) Examination offered through the American Optometric Association.

Contact Information

Continuing Education


Kapi‘olani Community College x