Students will gain hands-on experience in new optical clinic
May 31, 2011

Georgian College Optical has been a part of the college for many years, but it is receiving a facelift with the building of the new Centre for Health and Wellness.

State-of-the-art equipment will be brought in, much more space will be available and College Contacts, the contact lens clinic, will be situated right in the clinic. In addition, the clinic will be open five days a week, compared to the three days a week it currently operates.

“The new Georgian College Optical will really be a one-stop shop for vision care,” says Opticianry Co-ordinator Janice Schmidt. “The public can come and get an eye exam, and get a prescription filled whether it’s frames or contacts, all in support of learning opportunities for students.”

With reasonable prices and an array of styles of sunglasses and eyeglass frames, it’s worth getting vision care on campus for the benefit of students. Fitting eye glasses and taking measurements are examples of tasks that students get to complete while being supervised by a professional.

“There’s nothing like real-life experience when it comes to opportunities for the students,” says Janice. “They get to work directly with clients at the clinic, which prepares them for entering the opticianry field.”

The Lions Club of Barrie realizes the potential of Opticianry students and has a long-standing partnership with Georgian. It all started 13 years ago when the club established an achievement award for a qualified Opticianry student. More recently, the club donated $250,000 in support of Georgian College Optical in the Centre for Health and Wellness.

As part of this partnership, Georgian Opticianry students also get the chance to give back and help those less fortunate. The students collect used glasses in a drop off box that is available at the clinic. They then clean, neutralize and package them for shipment. The packaged glasses are taken to the Lions Club, where they are shipped to Third World countries for people in need.

“The donation project in partnership with the Lions Club is built into the curriculum,” says Janice. “Each of the students is required to devote time to helping fix broken or used glasses for the mission.”

Overall, the new Georgian College Optical clinic will focus on first rate education and experience for students, while providing vision care for the community in an extraordinary facility.

For more information about Georgian College Optical or the Opticianry program, please contact Janice Schmidt, Co-ordinator at (705) 728-1968, ext. 1450 or e-mail jschmidt@georgiancollege.ca.