The College of Optometry was very pleased to receive the results of the NBEO Part One exam. According to Dr. Ed Bennett, Assistant Dean of Student Services and Alumni Relations, “the class of 2019 had an outstanding performance on Part One, the most comprehensive – if not rigorous – of the three NBEO examinations.  Their pass rate was 87.2%, whereas the national pass rate was in the 70s. Needing a score of 300 to pass the examination, this class averaged a remarkable 493.2.” Dean Larry Davis said, “We are extremely proud of them. To have such a big gap over the national percentage shows they’re off to a great start.”

The students bear the weight of studying for and taking the tests, but the college makes it a priority that students receive support that will help them be successful. A team of Drs. Ed Bennett, Larry Davis, Vinita Henry, Julie DeKinder, and Erin Brooks worked together toward the common goal of optimizing the students’ performance on this important examination. Students take a survey after the NBEO Part One examination which asks them what strategies and resources were successful and unsuccessful for each section, and that information is shared with the students who are preparing for the test. Dr. Brooks has provided a review course for students for several years, but Dr. Bennett feels that she has helped in another way: “She has been the instructor for the very important Anatomy, Physiology, and Disease Process course sequence for the past three years. The class of 2019 was the first to benefit from her abilities as an instructor.”

As for the significance of this NBEO result, Dr. Bennett believes that the impact of this performance goes beyond the class that achieved it: “We will have a much higher than national average report on our website, and this will be used as a positive factor when recruiting our class of 2023.” Upcoming classes can benefit from the comprehensive preparation program and look to the study habits of this group. Dean Davis adds, “Licensure is the most important outcome measure of our program.” It seems that this class is on its way to a strong finish. We look forward to celebrating the future accomplishments of the class of 2019.

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