Program: OPTI
Credential: Ontario College Diploma, Co-op
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: 2 Co-op Work Terms
Length: 4 Semesters, plus 2 work terms
Duration: 2 Years
Effective: Fall 2018, Winter 2019
Location: Barrie


The Opticianry program is unique in that it offers a blend of health care and business management. The theory and practical experience in labs/clinics teaches students to competently dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses and sub-normal vision devices. The program also focuses on the expertise necessary to surface, fabricate, repair, customize and modify eyewear to the patient/clients’ needs. Emphasis is also placed on entrepreneurship by teaching how to establish and operate a small business, how to use effective sales techniques as well as enhancing communication and interpersonal skills in order to be successful in the optical retail environment.

Upon successful completion of the academic and co-operative education semesters, students are eligible to write the national registration examinations which allow them, if successful to practice in Canada as a Registered Optician.

Career Opportunities

Opticians are long-standing members of the health care delivery team in a field for which there is a growing universal need. Registered Opticians may dispense eyewear independently or as part of the eye care team. Consequently, many aspire to operate their own businesses. As recognized professionals under the Regulated Health Professions Act, career possibilities exist in large retail optical chains, independent dispensaries and medical clinics in Ontario and across Canada. Graduates obtain full-time positions readily, and often move into managerial roles.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. provide effective optical care that meets the National professional standards and requirements for registration as a licenced Optician;
  2. competently perform all aspects of dispensing eyewear including vision screening, basic refraction, contact lenses and low vision devices;
  3. educate and advocate effectively by promoting the benefits of ocular health and eye safety for a patient/client;
  4. communicate and collaborate effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary eyecare team using professional judgment and critical thinking;
  5. embrace the principle of life-long learning, continuing education and professional development and apply the new knowledge to daily practice;
  6. successfully function in a diverse optical environment which could include the traditional retail model, medical clinical settings, sales, self- employment and business management;
  7. employ environmentally sustainable practices within the profession;
  8. apply basic entrepreneurial procedures suitable for an owner operated small business or within a corporate environment.

Practical Experience

Co-operative Education is a mandatory component of all Co-op programs at Georgian College; it has been designed as a process by which students integrate their academic education with work experience related to their programs of study. This integration affects much more than simply earning a salary, including the adjustment to the work environment and the development of professionalism. It also reinforces skills and theory learned during academic semesters, develops professional contacts, job knowledge and career path, improves human relations and communication skills, and promotes personal maturity and financial independence.

Students are requested to register, attend and participate in their scheduled co-operative education classes. These classes are scheduled for all first year students and are expected to be completed in order for students to proceed successfully to their first co-op work experiences. To ensure students are eligible to proceed onto any co-op work experience, students should refer to Promotional Status and Eligibility for Co-op as outlined in the College Calendar. Co-op policies and procedures can be located on our website:

Georgian College follows the Co-operative Education guidelines set out by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) and Education at Work Ontario (EWO) by supporting the learning outcomes designed for the program specific graduate profile and curriculum as set out by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

The Program Progression

Fall Intake

  • Sem 1: Fall 2018
  • Sem 2: Winter 2019
  • Work Term 1: Summer 2019
  • Sem 3: Fall 2019
  • Sem 4: Winter 2020
  • Work Term 2: Summer 2020

Winter Intake

  • Sem 1: Winter 2019
  • Sem 2: Summer 2019
  • Sem 3: Fall 2019
  • Sem 4: Winter 2020
  • Work Term 1: Summer 2020
  • Work Term 2: Fall 2020


A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program co-ordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option. Additional information can be found on our website at http://www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C or U)  
    • OR Grade 11 (U) or Grade 12 (C or U) Chemistry 
    • OR Grade 11 or 12 (U), or Grade 12 (C) Physics

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/policies-procedures/

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:

Selection Requirements

Selection is based on admission requirements and academic grades.

Additional Information

In addition to the mandatory course work, comprehensive exams will be offered in order to prepare students for their National Exams. The grades given in each section will be either a successful or unsuccessful along with valuable feedback prior to the National Exams. These series of examinations are not graduation requirements

In order for a student to register for the comprehensive examinations the students must have:

  • successfully completed all academic semesters
  • successfully completed two co-operative work terms
  • successfully completed the practice requirements including:
    • 1000 hours of supervised dispensing experience
    • 250 spectacle fittings broken down into the specific areas
    • 15 soft contact lens fittings
    • 5 rigid lens fittings

Comprehensive Exams

OPTX0011 Comprehensive Written Examination
OPTX0012 Comprehensive Pathology Examination
OPTX0013 Comprehensive Eyeglass Examination
OPTX0014 Comprehensive Contact Lens Examination

Note: Winter Intake students may be able to complete their first work term while in class, allowing them to complete their program and write the Comprehensive Exams at the same time as the Fall intake; contact Program Coordinator for further details.

Graduation Requirements

31 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses
3 General Education Courses
2 Co-op Work Terms

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, from year to year, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.

Program Tracking

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses  
BUSI 3007 Business Principles for the Regulated Professional 42
OPTI 1009 Eyeglass Fabrication and Lens Design 1 Lab 56
OPTI 1010 Contact Lens Dispensing 1 Theory 28
OPTI 1011 Contact Lens Instrumentation Lab 42
OPTI 1012 Theoretical Optics 28
OPTI 1013 Basic Eyeglass Dispensing Theory 28
OPTI 1014 Basic Eyeglass Dispensing Lab 42
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 2
Program Courses  
OPTI 2015 Advanced Eyeglass Lab 42
OPTI 2016 Contact Lens Dispensing Optics 28
OPTI 2017 Contact Lens Intermediate Applications 56
OPTI 2018 Eyeglass Fabrication 3 42
OPTI 2019 Eyeglass Customization 1 Lab 42
OPTI 2020 Ocular Science 1 28
OPTI 2021 Comprehensive Eyeglass Theory 28
Communications Course  
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 3
Program Courses  
ENTR 2009 Entrepreneurship and Small Business 42
OPTI 2014 The Psychology of Eyeglass Dispensing Theory 28
OPTI 2015 Advanced Eyeglass Lab 42
OPTI 2016 Contact Lens Dispensing Optics 28
OPTI 2017 Contact Lens Intermediate Applications 56
OPTI 2018 Eyeglass Fabrication 3 42
OPTI 2019 Eyeglass Customization 1 Lab 42
OPTI 2020 Ocular Science 1 28
General Education Course  
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 4
Program Courses  
OPTI 2021 Comprehensive Eyeglass Theory 28
OPTI 2022 Comprehensive Eyeglass Lab 56
OPTI 2023 Advanced Contact Lens Dispensing Theory 28
OPTI 2024 Contact Lens Advanced Applications 56
OPTI 2025 Eyeglass Customization 2 Lab 42
OPTI 2026 Ocular Science 2 28
OPTI 2027 Advanced Optics 28
OPTI 2028 Eyeglass Fabrication 4 Lab 42
OPTI 2029 Optical Selected Topics 42
 Total Hours1400
Plan of Study Grid
Co-op Work TermsHours
COOP 1047 Opticianry Work Term 1 (Fall Intake occurs after Semester 2, Winter Intake occurs after Semester 4) 500
COOP 2038 Opticianry Work Term 2 (occurs after Semester 4) 500
 Total Hours1000

Information contained in College documents respecting programs is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. The college reserves the right to add or delete programs, options, courses, timetables or campus locations subject to sufficient enrolment, and the availability of courses.  

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