Oct 27, 2014
23
6
Hey guys,

So I was lurking the PCO interview threads since I recently got an interview invite but I've read a lot of negative comments that have kind of made me nervous (i.e. school only cares about money, old equipment, mediocre faculty). Does anyone currently go to PCO and what are your opinions on the program? Pros and cons? I'm from LA so I just wanna make sure it's worth it to fly all the way to Philadelphia. Thanks in advance!!
 

Xtermination

OptOHopE2014
7+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2009
185
31
Status
Optometry Student
Hello, I'm a first year PCO student. Since the time I've started school, it seems like professors are great, and very helpful. We're under a new dean who graduated from a different school and she is making lots of changes to how the school operates and changes in curriculum as well. The clinic was renovated recently. Overall, I'm satisfied with mu school choice. PM me if you have any other questions.
 
Aug 8, 2015
14
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
I too just received an interview for this school and was wondering if anyone else had additional information about the pros and cons of this program and the city it is in? Also wondering how far away from when you were asked for an interview is too far to set an interview date? I
 
Nov 4, 2013
69
34
Status
Optometry Student
I'm glad to see that you're all doing some research on the schools and on current student opinions. It's a very smart way to make a decision as important as this one. There are reasons that negative things have been said on this forum, and if the school is shaping up, then I'm glad to hear it. However, it's only September. I remember being fairly happy with the school back in the first months, but then I put up with nonsense for years. Consider that the tuition is very high for this program that has also has a really large class size. I don't like to post a lot of my issues with this school out in the open forum due to some pressures that others and I have received in real life, but you can always feel free to send me a private message. I'm fairly busy these days, but I'll try to get back to you. Best of luck!
 
Oct 8, 2015
1
1
Status
Optometry Student
Hey there,

I’m also a first year OD student at Salus and it seems like they are making a lot of positive changes to the program. Like Xtermination mentioned, the curriculum is currently under revision. They've also changed the grading scale to +/- and made our evidence based practice course interprofessional (so we meet with our peers in Audiology, Speech Language Pathology, PA, and OT a couple times this semester to go over cases).The school itself is also undergoing renovations, including updates to the library and our clinical skills lab. The lab currently does have a lot of old equipment but the renovation with new equipment is projected to be completed by next fall (2016).

While the class size is definitely on the larger side here, we have a couple of smaller courses where it’s just 8 of us and the professor. For our labs and seminars we are divided into smaller sections of about 40 with multiple faculty around to help during labs. We also have optics problem solving sessions that are only about 20 students. In my experience, the professors have been accessible, helpful, and extremely knowledgeable. The administration has also really been listening to our class and very accommodating. The upperclassmen have also been a great resource as we adjust and I think overall there’s a nice community feel.

I think a big positive that really impacted my decision to come here was that as first years we get into clinic within the first couple weeks of school. While we are only observing, the couple times I’ve gone already have been really good learning experiences. It’s awesome to be able to watch the second and third years working through the exams since it’s what we’ll be doing in just a couple semesters. It’s also a great opportunity to speak with the doctors and ask questions.

Hopefully this helps any of you considering Salus!
 
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Myopia Sucks

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2014
20
5
New Jersey
Status
Pre-Optometry
Feel free to shoot me any questions as well! Currently a first year OD at Salus along with OD_2019 and Extermination (curious as to who you guys are haha)
 
Nov 8, 2015
2
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hey current Salus students,

I have recently been accepted to PCO, i loved the campus and clinic, although im still deciding if PCO is the school for me. You seem to have positive experiences there so far and others not so much. Overall, would you say its worth attending PCO, with the high tuition and cost of living and do you think the curriculum & coursework prepares you well for the boards?
 
Jan 16, 2013
55
13
31
Status
Optometrist
They have been below the national average for NBEO Part 1 (the largest exam) for several years now. This is the statistic for the first pass rate. In my opinion, it doesn't make sense to pay one of the highest tuition rates in the country for standards that are literally sub par. Glad to hear they're making positive changes, but it never should have been allowed to slip in the first place, especially not when they're charging the prices that they are. The level of disorganization is frustrating. Even basic things like getting your schedules on time and trying to get excused absences for important things like taking state boards can become a headache at Salus.

In my opinion, Salus is run in such a way that makes it seem as though the school doesn't understand that it exists because it has paying students. It has never seemed to be student-focused, and there were many times at the school where I felt disrespected. And they will nickel and dime you.

If you're a relatively new student and you like the school, then I sincerely hope that you have a good experience and that things continue to go well. But please, do prospective students a favor and tell us if you still have positive opinions after the practicals start.
 

BeesKnees22

Zoo of the New
Nov 14, 2011
126
2
Status
Optometrist
So, I haven't posted on these forums for a long time, but I always told myself that I would like to come back to talk to prospective students. I just want to echo the sentiments in this thread. I was not happy with my overall experiences at PCO, and I wish I had chosen a different school.

It's disorganized unlike any other institution I have seen. They have way more students than they can handle imo. The written portion curriculum is out of date, and it's reflected in NBEO Part I (where apparently nearly half the class recently failed on the first run through). They're secretive about board scores, but i guess there are reasons haha. I didn't feel prepared by their written or clinical portions. When working at the school's clinic, we would get thrown in randomly without preparation and in different departments. There are some nice doctors who genuinely care about teaching the students, but there are too many who are just rude and dismissive. They seem to forget that students are in a school to learn and that they can't do everything perfectly the first time. Some of the most disrespectful people I have ever encountered have been at this school. Students try to issue complaints, but sometimes it's unclear of where to even go. It always seemed like the school was composed of many small departments that were all on a different page.

Salus seems to care so much about the style of the school over the substance. They update logos and mascots, but seemingly ignore real issues like professors who receive consistently poor reviews, poor Board scores (for Part I most schools have a full month off to study, while Salus only gives one week), and rude doctors.

I am really disappointed that this school ended up with so much of my money, when I feel like I did not receive the education that they promised. Just throwing in my two cents because I feel like people have a right to know. I want to go out and live my life and not dwell on this stuff, so I don't know how much I'll come back and read, but the experience was overall disheartening.
 

asdfasdfasdf1234

NSU Optometry | Class of 20/20
Oct 6, 2015
41
22
Status
Pre-Optometry
So, I haven't posted on these forums for a long time, but I always told myself that I would like to come back to talk to prospective students. I just want to echo the sentiments in this thread. I was not happy with my overall experiences at PCO, and I wish I had chosen a different school.

It's disorganized unlike any other institution I have seen. They have way more students than they can handle imo. The written portion curriculum is out of date, and it's reflected in NBEO Part I (where apparently nearly half the class recently failed on the first run through). They're secretive about board scores, but i guess there are reasons haha. I didn't feel prepared by their written or clinical portions. When working at the school's clinic, we would get thrown in randomly without preparation and in different departments. There are some nice doctors who genuinely care about teaching the students, but there are too many who are just rude and dismissive. They seem to forget that students are in a school to learn and that they can't do everything perfectly the first time. Some of the most disrespectful people I have ever encountered have been at this school. Students try to issue complaints, but sometimes it's unclear of where to even go. It always seemed like the school was composed of many small departments that were all on a different page.

Salus seems to care so much about the style of the school over the substance. They update logos and mascots, but seemingly ignore real issues like professors who receive consistently poor reviews, poor Board scores (for Part I most schools have a full month off to study, while Salus only gives one week), and rude doctors.

I am really disappointed that this school ended up with so much of my money, when I feel like I did not receive the education that they promised. Just throwing in my two cents because I feel like people have a right to know. I want to go out and live my life and not dwell on this stuff, so I don't know how much I'll come back and read, but the experience was overall disheartening.
My worse fear :( choosing the wrong school...
 
Sep 28, 2015
27
6
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
This is a just a tiny thing, but I remember when I was interviewing last April, they drove us to the clinic and it was like 15 minutes away from the actual school (by car) which I didn't like. So to get to campus from the clinic it would take that long every single time which was dumb IMO. The clinic itself looked pretty nice but it was too far. Can any current students comment on if that is problem or not?
 
Nov 4, 2013
69
34
Status
Optometry Student
Hey, I know you weren't asking me, but I can still answer your question about the clinic location. It's definitely a little bit of a drive, but the only time I really found it to be annoying was during bad weather, where you are sometimes still expected to go to their clinic. Also, there are other locations in the city that you sometimes have to go to, and they can be further away. Sometimes you could end up being at a location far from the school at a late night shift, and there were points where I didn't like driving home alone from them.