Optometry Assistant Apprenticeship Program

Optometry Assistant Apprenticeship Program


Dear Prospective Healthcare Program Students,

During this challenging pandemic, the KCC Health Education Non-Credit Unit (HENC) has numerous short-term training courses called RHEP-Rapid Healthcare Education Programs. We hope this page is informative as you contemplate upskilling or changing careers.

It is important that you attend a mandatory program Information Session for each program you are interested in. Due to social distancing and online delivery of programs in the near future, some details related to applying and registering for the program you are interested in may not be accurate on this web page. The Information Session via Zoom WILL have all the correct instructions you need.

You must attend the mandatory program Information Session(s) via Zoom and qualify for program entry in order to participate in these programs. Please refer to the RHEP Information Session Schedule

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

Fall 2020

  • Section Dates for Fall 2020: November 10, 2020 – March 25, 2021
  • Meeting Days & Times: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6pm – 9pm via Zoom
  • Certified Paraoptometric Exam Website: https://www.aoa.org/paraoptometrics/certification/exam-schedule
  • A limited number of $2300 tuition stipends are available through the State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant from the Hawai‘i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. No cost to qualified students!!

Program Info

Program Admission

Step one:  Attend a mandatory information session conducted online through Zoom on one of the following dates and times. No appointment is needed. If you do not have the Zoom application on your device, please be sure to download and create your account at https://zoom.us/test.

Zoom meeting link —–https://tinyurl.com/KAP20RHEP
Or access meeting with Zoom meeting ID: 930 4729 9098

  • September 22, 2020 Tuesday 5:00pm to 6:00pm Via Zoom
  • October 6, 2020 Tuesday 5:00pm to 6:00pm Via Zoom
  • October 27, 2020 Tuesday 5:00pm to 6:00pm Via Zoom

To qualify for program entry, you must meet the following prerequisites with supporting documentation provided to the program coordinator after the information session. Documents will not be accepted before or during the information session that you plan to attend.

• Evidence of minimum one (1) successful college course completion in any subject above 100 level.
• COMPASS or Accuplacer scores with placement levels at College English
• passing grades in high school 12th grade English;
• acceptable levels of SAT or ACT scores;
• prior college degree;
• certificate of vocational training in any subject;

Step two:  Admission into this program is on a First Qualified, First Accepted Basis. After attending the scheduled information session, you will be provided with an application form and instructions on how to submit supporting documents that meet the minimum prerequisites to qualify for entry into this course.

Step three:  Our office will review all applications and if approved, the student will be automatically registered and confirmation of grant approval will be sent to the student.

Financial Aid and Tuition

Course tuition of $2300 will be covered completely by U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant for those who qualify. There will be no cost to qualified students.

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



Kapi‘olani Community College x