Southern California College of Optometry to expand

April 8, 2013

The Southern California College of Optometry is undergoing expansion and will now offer a Physician’s Assistant Masters degree program, SCCO President Kevin Alexander announced to his alumni at a meeting during Opto West on April 5.

 

By Ernie Bowling, OD

The Southern California College of Optometry is undergoing expansion and will now offer a Physician’s Assistant Masters degree program, SCCO President Kevin Alexander announced to his alumni at a meeting during Opto West on April 5.

As part of the change, the school has reincorporated and founded the Marshall B. Ketchum University to reflect its expanding programs. The new university name has historical significance to the college-the name is taken from the founder of the Southern California College of Optometry.

“The name of this university honors the legacy of our school, said Alexander. “Marshall Ketchum was a pharmacist who became a medical doctor and was the founding dean of the SCCO. He was a huge advocate for optometry.”

Dr. Ketchum’s textbook Ketchum's Lessons on the Eye (1920) was “dedicated to ‘the world of optometry’ and especially those who sacrificed their time and energy to the end that the word ‘optometrist’ may be honored by all other professions.”

“We are moving from a single stand-alone optometry school to a university that offers a physician’s assistant program initially but will expand to other degree-granting programs,’ Alexander said. “We have to think long term. Here we are creating a structure to be a multidisciplinary school. Yet nothing will change within the optometry college. Things will continue as they have always.”

The physician assistant program will led by Teresa Thetford, PA-C, RNP, MS. Daniel May, MD, will serve as medical director. Dr. May is well known within the optometric community and has lectured most recently to optometrists at the California Optometric Association's OptoWest meeting.