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Baker College of Allen Park Opticianry Students Awarded National Conference Sponsorships

January 13, 2014

Three students selected as future opticianry leaders
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Baker College of Allen Park has announced that three students in its opticianry program have been selected by professional organizations to attend the 2014 national leadership conference of the Opticians Association of America (OAA), Jan. 16 to 18, in New Orleans.

Megan Redman, of Southgate, Mich., and Lara Suiter, Riverview, Mich., are sponsored by a grant that OAA received from the American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE). Duana Watkins, Inkster, Mich., earned a sponsorship from the Opticians Association of Michigan.

“We’re proud of Megan, Lara and Duana for being identified as future leaders in the opticianry profession,” said Aaron J. Maike, Baker College of Allen Park president. “This will be an excellent professional networking opportunity for our students, and their selection acknowledges the quality Baker College faculty and programming that are preparing them for opticianry careers.”

The three Baker College students will be among approximately 30 students from across the country who will join leaders of state opticianry associations—vice presidents, presidents and executive directors—at the conference. The OAA national conference addresses important issues facing the opticianry profession.

A goal of the OAA student program is to enhance leadership succession for state associations. Students will attend specific courses, interact with other attendees and share what they’ve learned with members of their state associations.

The Baker College opticianry program was developed in response to mid-Michigan employment demand for dispensing opticians. It offers a certificate and associate degree. Graduates of the two-year program will be qualified as “dispensing opticians” and may apply to the ABO and NCLE for certification.

Dispensing opticians are qualified to fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions from ophthalmologists and optometrists. Career opportunities are available in the offices of ophthalmologists, optometrists and other health practitioners who sell glasses or contacts directly to patients; optical stores; departments of merchandise stores; health and personal care stores, and in various capacities in the optical fields, such as for wholesalers or manufacturers for eyeglasses, lenses or contacts.

Baker College of Allen Park offers the only college-affiliated opticianry program in the state of Michigan and is one of 32 members of the National Federation of Opticianry Schools, an organization that supports formal opticianry education by accredited educational institutions. The Baker College program is accredited by the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of opticians was $32,940 in May 2010, and employment of opticians is expected to grow by 29 percent between 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations due to an aging population that is expected to increase the need for eye care services.

For more information about the Baker College opticianry program, contact the Baker College of Allen Park admissions office at 313.425.3700 or steven.peterson@baker.edu.

The Baker College System
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