It starts July 1.

(Press Release) Elkins Park, PA — Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry and Penn State University recently signed a memorandum of understanding to create an early assurance admission program. The program will provide exceptional fourth-semester students at Penn State the opportunity to apply for provisional early acceptance into the doctor of optometry program at Salus PCO.

Effective July 1, 2017, fourth-semester students at Penn State who meet established criteria will be eligible to participate in an early application process for Salus PCO’s OD program. Students accepted into the early assurance admission program will receive provisional acceptance into Salus PCO, which is finalized when they complete their Penn State undergraduate degree requirements and meet program standards. Students who are eligible to apply early to Salus PCO’s OD program will be required to submit a detailed application. Select applicants will go through an interview process and admission to the program will be determined by the committee after a full evaluation of each candidate interviewed.

The Salus PCO traditional doctor of optometry program offers a cohort curriculum, early clinical experience, small group learning and 16-month externships. The curriculum utilizes cutting-edge educational approaches and incorporates key competencies to provide students with the skills needed for contemporary practice. Over the last five years, 39 Penn State undergraduate students have attended Salus PCO’s traditional OD program.

“We are proud to partner with Penn State to create this Early Assurance Admission Program. We look forward to working with this prestigious University and welcoming their graduates into our Doctor of Optometry program. As the face of American healthcare continues to transition, collaborative programs like this reinforce our commitment to provide quality interdisciplinary education and patient care,” said Michael H. Mittelman, president of Salus University.

Penn State University professor of biology (Physiology) and Director of Premedicine and Science majors Ronald A. Markle said, “We are very pleased to put in place an early admission opportunity for Penn State pre-optometry students who have a keen interest in taking their professional studies at Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry. With more than 250 years of combined experience in higher education for Pennsylvania, our two schools have been informal partners for nearly a century. And with about 300 Penn State students applying annually to medical, dental and optometry schools, this agreement will help facilitate the preparation and matriculation of our highly motivated pre-optometry students wishing to attend Salus PCO.”