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Kentucky College of Optometry, University of Pikeville.

PIKEVILLE, Ky.—The Kentucky College of Optometry at the University of Pikeville (KYCO) received accreditation earlier this month from The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE), an essential requirement for the future growth of the five-year-old institution. KYCO Dean Michael Bacigalupi, OD, FAAO told VMAIL that to earn the accreditation, the College underwent a five-year process that involved submitting a “self-study” explaining to the ACOE how they met its eight standards of accreditation. The eight standards relate to curriculum, research, students, faculty and the KYCO optometry clinic and other areas. Accreditation was granted following an on-site visit this spring from ACOE officials.

Dean Bacigalupi said that the Class of 2020, which graduated in May, consists of 61 students, which is the average size of the incoming class each year. He pointed out that the College, located in Appalachia, offers students some unique educational opportunities.

“We practice in Kentucky, so we’re able to have an expanded scope of optometric care in this state,” he noted. “We have our own procedures room where we’re able to perform laser procedures and minor surgeries on patients. I think our school is one of only two schools in the country able to perform these advanced therapeutic procedures on patients and train our students to do the same.”