Southern College of Optometry
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|Motto||"Lux et Veritas (Light and Truth)"|
|President||Lewis N. Reich|
|Location||Memphis, TN, USA|
Southern College of Optometry is a college of optometry in the United States. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee and is dedicated to the study of optometry, the field of medicine that includes not only the performance of refractive eye examinations and the fitting of necessary corrective lenses or vision therapy, but also the diagnosis and treatment of numerous ocular diseases. After completing a 4-year graduate program, students at SCO receive the degree of Doctor of Optometry (OD).
SCO has often been distinguished for its high National Board passage rates. The college has consistently surpassed the average National Passage Rate, and currently holds passage rates of 92%, 98%, and 99% on Part I, Part II, and Part III respectively of the most recent National Board Examinations. 
The mission of Southern College of Optometry is to lead the profession by:
• Educating the best possible health care providers;
• Promoting lifelong learning and
• Fostering a personal commitment to service.
Southern College of Optometry is a private, non-profit institution founded in 1932, and it is one of only 23 schools of optometry in the United States. J.J. Horton, MD, an ophthalmologist, established SCO in 1932. The class of 1934 was SCO's first graduation class. Since then, SCO has educated more than 6,000 optometrists from all 50 states and several foreign countries. A new clinical facility was opened in 1953 at its current location, which was later expanded to include a campus of new administrative offices, classrooms and a library.
In 1970, SCO moved into its current structure, which houses multimedia classrooms, laboratories, faculty/administrative offices, the library, a student center, a computer learning resource center and an out-patient clinic known as the Eye Institute. The Eye Center at SCO opened in 2002. The 46,000-square-foot (4,300 m2) free-standing eye and vision center now serves up to 60,000 patients a year and is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States. There are 70 fully equipped examination rooms, 14 individual spaces for advanced technology-based testing, a retinal laser center, a digital angiography center, a full service optical, and on-site ophthalmology services.
In 2013, the college finished construction on a multimillion expansion program which included new state-of-the-art classrooms, study spaces, and new labs. Lewis N. Reich, OD, PhD, was named as SCO's seventh President in January 2016 and formally installed in the office in May 2016.
The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry
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The Eye Center cares for more than 60,000 patients annually, offering diagnosis, treatment of eye diseases and management of chronic eye health and visual disorders. The Eye Center provides a full range of service, including comprehensive eye examinations for patients of all ages. It is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States. There are 70 fully equipped examination rooms, 14 individual spaces for advanced technology-based testing, a retinal laser center, a digital angiography center, a full service optical, and on-site ophthalmology services.
Similar to a teaching hospital, The Eye Center is a primary health care facility providing services for patients, mostly from Memphis/Shelby County, West Tennessee, Arkansas & Mississippi. The Eye Center is under the direction of Dr. James E. Venable, vice president for clinical programs, and Dr. Christopher Lievens, chief of staff.
Health care services offered
As a teaching facility, The Eye Center is divided into service areas. These service areas cover a wide range of vision needs for our patients, including:
• Adult Primary Care Service, for patients older than 12
• Pediatric Primary Care Service, for patients 12 and under
• Cornea and Contact Lens Service, for patients of all ages
• Advanced Care Ocular Disease Service, for treatment of eye disease
• Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation Service, for patients of all ages
• The Technology Center, featuring the latest technology for vision testing and measurement
• The Eye Center Optical, offering designer and practical eyewear for the whole family
The Hayes Center for Practice Excellence at SCO
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In 2005, Dr. Jerry Hayes and his wife, Cris, funded the establishment of the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence at SCO. With matching funds committed by SCO’s Board of Trustees, an endowment was created to support the Hayes Center in its mission to serve the optometric profession as the premier resource for practice management education. One of the first of its kind, the center focuses on teaching independent optometrists how to manage the business side of their practice, strategic planning, budgeting, overhead control and increasing profitability.
The Hayes Center is under the direction of Lisa Wade, OD, who was named Director of the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence in 2015
SCO students represent a large cross-section of U.S. demographics and regions, and alumni live and practice in all 50 states and abroad. Notable individuals include:
- Dr. Gil Morgan, golfer who played on the PGA Tour and now often competes on the Champions Tour.
- Dr. Joshua McAdams, runner who competed in Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics.
- James Morrison, member of the Kansas House of Representatives
- John Boozman (R) US Senator Arkansas
- Dr. Joe Ellis, President of the American Optometric Association.
The winners of the Varilux Optometry Student Bowl in 2003, 2004, and 2005 were all students from SCO.
The fourth floor of the tower at SCO formerly featured the 20/20 Diner, an eatery which has received notable praise from Commercial Appeal blogger Leslie Kelly. In 2013, a new diner, Blink, opened.
- http://tec.sco.edu The Eye Center
- http://hayescenter.sco.edu Hayes Center for Practice Excellence