ttispi123

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2018
26
12
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
Hello everyone! I'm currently at a crossroads for choosing between ICO and SCCO as the school that I want to attend. Both schools have an amazing optometry program, so I know that I'll get a good education at either school, which is what makes this decision so difficult. I have weighed the pros and cons of both and it looks pretty split even.

ICO
Pros
- Early patient exposure (within your first year)
- Board pass rates are really good
- The clinic, school, and RC are all right next to each other
- New experience in the big city (I've grown up in a small town all of my life)
- No dress code for lecture
- Accelerated OD program
- Offered the Presidential Scholarship (half-tuition)
- Good alumni base
- No need for a car because public transportation is relatively cheap
Cons
- Larger class size of about 150 students
- Two exams a week (will I be able to have a life outside of school?)
- Far from my family
- Big city so not as safe?
- Slightly older equipment and facilities
- Not a WICHE school
- Cold in the winter (maybe not too much of a con since I'm used to cold winter weather)

SCCO
Pros
- Interprofessional education
- Concurrent MS program at no extra cost
- Board pass rates are pretty good
- Small class size of about 100
- Closer to my family
- Can live with my grandparents and commute to the school (saves money)
- $10K scholarship for first fall quarter + state funding through WICHE
- Newly built clinic is really nice
- Warm weather all year long
Cons
- Commuting takes about 30 minutes without traffic (would be a hassle when I want to practice clinical techniques at the school outside school hours)
- No on-campus cafeteria
- Clinical exposure begins in second year
- Clinic is 20 minutes away from the school
- Dress code of business casual for lecture

If any of you are current optometry students at ICO or SCCO, would you be able to tell me why you chose to go to the school you're currently going to and your experience as a student? Also, I would just like some opinions and insight from other people in general to help me make my decision, but in the end, I know that ultimately it will be up to me. Thanks!
 

mil123

2+ Year Member
Dec 16, 2016
31
9
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
Hey! Im a first year at ICO and i love it! Some of your cons were the same for me. As for the two exams a week I was a little hesitant at first because im not the greatest test taker and was also concerned about not having a life but i was very wrong we all go out every weekend (in fact i think there has only been one weekend i havent gone out this quarter lol). It is very manageable and it forces you to be on top of things and its actually made me a better test taker! And all the profs try to mimic the boards so i definitely think its an advantage! As for the big city its amazing theres so many cool places to explore and eat out! I havent felt unsafe at all! Aside from those two things the clinic exposure is huge to me, im currently finishing up my first quarter and i can already perform 60% of an eye exam and in November we see our first patient and get to perform the skills we learned already! I think ICO does a really good job at preparing students and im very happy at making my choice.
My two reasons for not choosing SCCO was the clinic exposure in second year and the location of the school (kind of in the middle of nowhere and hard to get around to places). From ICO it is only a 10mins uber ride to the city :)
 
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ttispi123

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2018
26
12
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
Hey! Im a first year at ICO and i love it! Some of your cons were the same for me. As for the two exams a week I was a little hesitant at first because im not the greatest test taker and was also concerned about not having a life but i was very wrong we all go out every weekend (in fact i think there has only been one weekend i havent gone out this quarter lol). It is very manageable and it forces you to be on top of things and its actually made me a better test taker! And all the profs try to mimic the boards so i definitely think its an advantage! As for the big city its amazing theres so many cool places to explore and eat out! I havent felt unsafe at all! Aside from those two things the clinic exposure is huge to me, im currently finishing up my first quarter and i can already perform 60% of an eye exam and in November we see our first patient and get to perform the skills we learned already! I think ICO does a really good job at preparing students and im very happy at making my choice.
My two reasons for not choosing SCCO was the clinic exposure in second year and the location of the school (kind of in the middle of nowhere and hard to get around to places). From ICO it is only a 10mins uber ride to the city :)
Oh wonderful! Thank you so much for your insight on ICO! I'm glad to hear that you're still able to go out to the city despite having two exams every week. Yes one of the things that really drew me to ICO was their early clinical exposure. Thanks again for your detailed reply!
 
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JustInYurEyez

2+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2015
97
56
Las Vegas, NV
Status
  1. Optometry Student
Hello!

I am currently a 1st year SCCO student and I actually interviewed at ICO also and was very close to going there as well.

So a few things that you mentioned about SCCO that I would like to touch base on:

Cons
- Commuting takes about 30 minutes without traffic (would be a hassle when I want to practice clinical techniques at the school outside school hours)
- No on-campus cafeteria
- Clinical exposure begins in second year
- Clinic is 20 minutes away from the school
- Dress code of business casual for lecture

-Commuting can definitely be a hassle, I have a few classmates that have a 45 minute to 1 hour commute to campus every morning.. but they are usually the ones to be the first on campus (to avoid as much traffic as they can)) and also tend to stay on campus pretty late (also to avoid traffic). I think it makes you more prone to staying on campus to study and be more productive. I personally live about 10 mins away from campus and my commute is rarely a big issue for me.
-Not having on-campus cafeteria is a little sad, but just know that MBKU constantly has events and there's always tons of leftover food from catering services that the students get to have first dibs on. Although we do not have a "cafeteria" we do have "ready to eat/drink" packaged food in our student union!
-Clinic exposure does "technically" begin during 2nd year, but at SCCO during your first quarter of OD school you learn most of the skills needed to perform a comprehensive eye exam. Most of the other schools that I interviewed with don't usually start "learning" actually clinical skills until the near end of 1st year and for us we learned how to do retinoscopy our first week of the quarter starting. SCCO is known for producing well-versed clinicians and I believe it is from the way they structure the curriculum. By the end of 1st year, we know how to perform a comprehensive eye exam, by the end of 2nd year, we've sharpened the skills for us to be more than prepared for clinic!
-The clinic is 20 mins away with decent traffic here and there, but during the first two years we don't really go to clinic that much anyways!
-Lastly, I can 100% assure you that we do not have a dress code of business casual for attending lectures. We can pretty much wear anything we want as long as it isn't considered "unprofessional" by the university handbook (booty shorts, ripped muscle tees, etc..) The only times that we dress professionally is for formal events or during proficiencies, in which we also wear our white coats!

On a side note: we are also known to have a rather "rough" didactic curriculum as well. The course load increases every quarter and the "roughest" week we had so far was 2 midterms and a proficiency in the same week. Once the quarter picks up, we usually have one midterm a week, with the following week having two midterms in the same week!

It's been 9 weeks since I've started at SCCO and it's been a hell of time. I've gotten so close to many of my classmates and we've all balanced studying together and hanging out outside of school and classes. It's truly an amazing feeling to be in a program that is filled with people that all want to succeed together. Everyone is your support system!

Honestly, both schools are great and you are going to get a great education no matter where you go! I chose SCCO because the entire school and my class all feel like a family. I am from Las Vegas, so driving back home isn't too bad for me! I was sooooo close to moving to Chicago and attending ICO, but I don't I could've handled the cold weather! I'm definitely enjoying the SoCal weather!

Please feel free to message me if you have any questions about SCCO! Good luck!
 
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ttispi123

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2018
26
12
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
Hello!

I am currently a 1st year SCCO student and I actually interviewed at ICO also and was very close to going there as well.

So a few things that you mentioned about SCCO that I would like to touch base on:



-Commuting can definitely be a hassle, I have a few classmates that have a 45 minute to 1 hour commute to campus every morning.. but they are usually the ones to be the first on campus (to avoid as much traffic as they can)) and also tend to stay on campus pretty late (also to avoid traffic). I think it makes you more prone to staying on campus to study and be more productive. I personally live about 10 mins away from campus and my commute is rarely a big issue for me.
-Not having on-campus cafeteria is a little sad, but just know that MBKU constantly has events and there's always tons of leftover food from catering services that the students get to have first dibs on. Although we do not have a "cafeteria" we do have "ready to eat/drink" packaged food in our student union!
-Clinic exposure does "technically" begin during 2nd year, but at SCCO during your first quarter of OD school you learn most of the skills needed to perform a comprehensive eye exam. Most of the other schools that I interviewed with don't usually start "learning" actually clinical skills until the near end of 1st year and for us we learned how to do retinoscopy our first week of the quarter starting. SCCO is known for producing well-versed clinicians and I believe it is from the way they structure the curriculum. By the end of 1st year, we know how to perform a comprehensive eye exam, by the end of 2nd year, we've sharpened the skills for us to be more than prepared for clinic!
-The clinic is 20 mins away with decent traffic here and there, but during the first two years we don't really go to clinic that much anyways!
-Lastly, I can 100% assure you that we do not have a dress code of business casual for attending lectures. We can pretty much wear anything we want as long as it isn't considered "unprofessional" by the university handbook (booty shorts, ripped muscle tees, etc..) The only times that we dress professionally is for formal events or during proficiencies, in which we also wear our white coats!

On a side note: we are also known to have a rather "rough" didactic curriculum as well. The course load increases every quarter and the "roughest" week we had so far was 2 midterms and a proficiency in the same week. Once the quarter picks up, we usually have one midterm a week, with the following week having two midterms in the same week!

It's been 9 weeks since I've started at SCCO and it's been a hell of time. I've gotten so close to many of my classmates and we've all balanced studying together and hanging out outside of school and classes. It's truly an amazing feeling to be in a program that is filled with people that all want to succeed together. Everyone is your support system!

Honestly, both schools are great and you are going to get a great education no matter where you go! I chose SCCO because the entire school and my class all feel like a family. I am from Las Vegas, so driving back home isn't too bad for me! I was sooooo close to moving to Chicago and attending ICO, but I don't I could've handled the cold weather! I'm definitely enjoying the SoCal weather!

Please feel free to message me if you have any questions about SCCO! Good luck!
Wow thank you so much for your reply! It definitely gives me a better idea of what SCCO is like. Also, thanks for correcting me on the dress code! I'll definitely message you if I have any other questions :)
 

moonstone171

5+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2014
9
2
Hello everyone! I'm currently at a crossroads for choosing between ICO and SCCO as the school that I want to attend. Both schools have an amazing optometry program, so I know that I'll get a good education at either school, which is what makes this decision so difficult. I have weighed the pros and cons of both and it looks pretty split even.

ICO
Pros
- Early patient exposure (within your first year)
- Board pass rates are really good
- The clinic, school, and RC are all right next to each other
- New experience in the big city (I've grown up in a small town all of my life)
- No dress code for lecture
- Accelerated OD program
- Offered the Presidential Scholarship (half-tuition)
- Good alumni base
- No need for a car because public transportation is relatively cheap
Cons
- Larger class size of about 150 students
- Two exams a week (will I be able to have a life outside of school?)
- Far from my family
- Big city so not as safe?
- Slightly older equipment and facilities
- Not a WICHE school
- Cold in the winter (maybe not too much of a con since I'm used to cold winter weather)

SCCO
Pros
- Interprofessional education
- Concurrent MS program at no extra cost
- Board pass rates are pretty good
- Small class size of about 100
- Closer to my family
- Can live with my grandparents and commute to the school (saves money)
- $10K scholarship for first fall quarter + state funding through WICHE
- Newly built clinic is really nice
- Warm weather all year long
Cons
- Commuting takes about 30 minutes without traffic (would be a hassle when I want to practice clinical techniques at the school outside school hours)
- No on-campus cafeteria
- Clinical exposure begins in second year
- Clinic is 20 minutes away from the school
- Dress code of business casual for lecture

If any of you are current optometry students at ICO or SCCO, would you be able to tell me why you chose to go to the school you're currently going to and your experience as a student? Also, I would just like some opinions and insight from other people in general to help me make my decision, but in the end, I know that ultimately it will be up to me. Thanks!
I am so sorry for interrupting your discussion. Could you please let me know about WICHE?
 

ttispi123

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2018
26
12
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
I am so sorry for interrupting your discussion. Could you please let me know about WICHE?
Hi, yeah no problem! WICHE is kind of like the WUE for professional schools where certain western states participate in and you can get state funding. Here's a link that tells you more about it: WICHE Program
 

moonstone171

5+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2014
9
2
Hi, yeah no problem! WICHE is kind of like the WUE for professional schools where certain western states participate in and you can get state funding. Here's a link that tells you more about it: WICHE Program
Thanks ttispi123. I think I don't quality that one. Anyway, I will go to SCCO next year and I hope I can see you there. :)
 
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moonstone171

5+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2014
9
2
Hello!

I am currently a 1st year SCCO student and I actually interviewed at ICO also and was very close to going there as well.

So a few things that you mentioned about SCCO that I would like to touch base on:



-Commuting can definitely be a hassle, I have a few classmates that have a 45 minute to 1 hour commute to campus every morning.. but they are usually the ones to be the first on campus (to avoid as much traffic as they can)) and also tend to stay on campus pretty late (also to avoid traffic). I think it makes you more prone to staying on campus to study and be more productive. I personally live about 10 mins away from campus and my commute is rarely a big issue for me.
-Not having on-campus cafeteria is a little sad, but just know that MBKU constantly has events and there's always tons of leftover food from catering services that the students get to have first dibs on. Although we do not have a "cafeteria" we do have "ready to eat/drink" packaged food in our student union!
-Clinic exposure does "technically" begin during 2nd year, but at SCCO during your first quarter of OD school you learn most of the skills needed to perform a comprehensive eye exam. Most of the other schools that I interviewed with don't usually start "learning" actually clinical skills until the near end of 1st year and for us we learned how to do retinoscopy our first week of the quarter starting. SCCO is known for producing well-versed clinicians and I believe it is from the way they structure the curriculum. By the end of 1st year, we know how to perform a comprehensive eye exam, by the end of 2nd year, we've sharpened the skills for us to be more than prepared for clinic!
-The clinic is 20 mins away with decent traffic here and there, but during the first two years we don't really go to clinic that much anyways!
-Lastly, I can 100% assure you that we do not have a dress code of business casual for attending lectures. We can pretty much wear anything we want as long as it isn't considered "unprofessional" by the university handbook (booty shorts, ripped muscle tees, etc..) The only times that we dress professionally is for formal events or during proficiencies, in which we also wear our white coats!

On a side note: we are also known to have a rather "rough" didactic curriculum as well. The course load increases every quarter and the "roughest" week we had so far was 2 midterms and a proficiency in the same week. Once the quarter picks up, we usually have one midterm a week, with the following week having two midterms in the same week!

It's been 9 weeks since I've started at SCCO and it's been a hell of time. I've gotten so close to many of my classmates and we've all balanced studying together and hanging out outside of school and classes. It's truly an amazing feeling to be in a program that is filled with people that all want to succeed together. Everyone is your support system!

Honestly, both schools are great and you are going to get a great education no matter where you go! I chose SCCO because the entire school and my class all feel like a family. I am from Las Vegas, so driving back home isn't too bad for me! I was sooooo close to moving to Chicago and attending ICO, but I don't I could've handled the cold weather! I'm definitely enjoying the SoCal weather!

Please feel free to message me if you have any questions about SCCO! Good luck!
Hello JustInYurEyez, do you receive free books when joining SCCO?
 
May 14, 2019
30
16
Status
  1. Optometry Student
Hello JustInYurEyez, do you receive free books when joining SCCO?
Hi there! It's actually part of your tuition I believe. You will receive all the course manuals during orientation and everything else is optional. You can also access a lot of books through the library so I wouldn't worry. First year at SCCO as well =)
 

moonstone171

5+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2014
9
2
@
Hi there! It's actually part of your tuition I believe. You will receive all the course manuals during orientation and everything else is optional. You can also access a lot of books through the library so I wouldn't worry. First year at SCCO as well =)
Could you please let me know about the first year at SCCO? Do you join dual degree? Thanks.
 
May 14, 2019
30
16
Status
  1. Optometry Student
@

Could you please let me know about the first year at SCCO? Do you join dual degree? Thanks.

I'm having such a good time to be honest. Everyone here is super nice...from my classmates to the staff and the doctors/professors. It's only been about 2 months, but so far the classes are very doable. My commute (wouldn't really call it a commute I guess) is about 15 minutes so it's transportation and all isn't too bad. I didn't apply for the concurrent MS program because I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle extra classes, but my friend applied and she's waiting to hear back right now. I think if you get in it's like one extra class per quarter which doesn't sound too bad. Let me know if you want to hear specifically about something else.
 

moonstone171

5+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2014
9
2
I'm having such a good time to be honest. Everyone here is super nice...from my classmates to the staff and the doctors/professors. It's only been about 2 months, but so far the classes are very doable. My commute (wouldn't really call it a commute I guess) is about 15 minutes so it's transportation and all isn't too bad. I didn't apply for the concurrent MS program because I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle extra classes, but my friend applied and she's waiting to hear back right now. I think if you get in it's like one extra class per quarter which doesn't sound too bad. Let me know if you want to hear specifically about something else.
Thanks aya stak. Could you please let me know workload in first year? Is it heavy?
 
May 14, 2019
30
16
Status
  1. Optometry Student
Thanks aya stak. Could you please let me know workload in first year? Is it heavy?

Hmm so far it's been okay. We don't really have homework, but we had two projects to do. One was pretty easy and the other is a bit harder. You do have to stay on top of your lecture material because you need to know it for the labs. Practicing for proficiencies (practicals) will take up a few hours per week as well. There are other random things you have to do too like go get an eye exam and go to a school screening which I didn't mind. They say the first quarter is the easiest so it's going to get harder for sure. Right now though, it's not bad in my opinion. I still have time to watch my shows and go out with friends time to time.
 
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May 2, 2019
6
1
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
I'm having such a good time to be honest. Everyone here is super nice...from my classmates to the staff and the doctors/professors. It's only been about 2 months, but so far the classes are very doable. My commute (wouldn't really call it a commute I guess) is about 15 minutes so it's transportation and all isn't too bad. I didn't apply for the concurrent MS program because I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle extra classes, but my friend applied and she's waiting to hear back right now. I think if you get in it's like one extra class per quarter which doesn't sound too bad. Let me know if you want to hear specifically about something else.
Do we have to apply for the MS program prior to entering first-year at SCCO? When exactly do we apply?
 
Dec 23, 2019
9
1
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
Hello everyone! I'm currently at a crossroads for choosing between ICO and SCCO as the school that I want to attend. Both schools have an amazing optometry program, so I know that I'll get a good education at either school, which is what makes this decision so difficult. I have weighed the pros and cons of both and it looks pretty split even.

ICO
Pros
- Early patient exposure (within your first year)
- Board pass rates are really good
- The clinic, school, and RC are all right next to each other
- New experience in the big city (I've grown up in a small town all of my life)
- No dress code for lecture
- Accelerated OD program
- Offered the Presidential Scholarship (half-tuition)
- Good alumni base
- No need for a car because public transportation is relatively cheap
Cons
- Larger class size of about 150 students
- Two exams a week (will I be able to have a life outside of school?)
- Far from my family
- Big city so not as safe?
- Slightly older equipment and facilities
- Not a WICHE school
- Cold in the winter (maybe not too much of a con since I'm used to cold winter weather)

SCCO
Pros
- Interprofessional education
- Concurrent MS program at no extra cost
- Board pass rates are pretty good
- Small class size of about 100
- Closer to my family
- Can live with my grandparents and commute to the school (saves money)
- $10K scholarship for first fall quarter + state funding through WICHE
- Newly built clinic is really nice
- Warm weather all year long
Cons
- Commuting takes about 30 minutes without traffic (would be a hassle when I want to practice clinical techniques at the school outside school hours)
- No on-campus cafeteria
- Clinical exposure begins in second year
- Clinic is 20 minutes away from the school
- Dress code of business casual for lecture

If any of you are current optometry students at ICO or SCCO, would you be able to tell me why you chose to go to the school you're currently going to and your experience as a student? Also, I would just like some opinions and insight from other people in general to help me make my decision, but in the end, I know that ultimately it will be up to me. Thanks!


Commuting in Southern California can be really hard on people if you aren't used to it. If you want to know what the commute may be in traffic you can look at google maps during rush hours to verify the times. I lived in LA for three years and I did it all the time. Just look at google at 8:00 am and 5:00 pm to get a better feel at commute times. Two to three hours in the car a day can be hard, especially if it is time you could be using to study.
 
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