Coping with COVID

How I Chose the Right Optometry School When I Couldn’t Visit In Person

With safety precautions due to COVID-19 requiring schools to move to interviews performed virtually, optometry students are faced with what can feel like an impossible decision: choosing to attend a school they’ve never been able to visit.

As admissions officers, we want to help students who find themselves in this predicament.

Because an administrative COVID-19 mandate limited campus tours to only those students who have qualified to interview, we had to find alternatives to the in-person campus tour. We stepped up our efforts by hosting extra online information sessions and offering to connect admitted students with faculty members, current students, and even the Dean. We are even filming a campus tour video which will show what campus life looks like during COVID-19 accommodations. Still we know there are other ways to help…

Zane Besler
SCCO Class of 2024

Eryn Kraning, Senior Director of Recruiting and Admissions at SCCO facilitated a Zoom interview with current first-year SCCO student, Zane Besler. In March 2020 and at the end of the 19-20 admissions cycle when COVID-19 first hit, his in-person interview was cancelled.  His interview was done virtually, and despite having never visited Southern California before, he chose to move from North Dakota to attend SCCO.  He’d never even stepped foot on SCCO’s campus or in the state of California!

Click on the image below to watch the video on Vimeo.

2020-11-04 14_51_00-Interview for Vimeo on Vimeo_full

In this video you’ll hear Eryn and Zane have a real conversation about how he made such a tough decision to commit to a program with so little actual experience with it.  Here are some of the questions  he asked himself to make the necessary decisions:

  • What can I do to learn more about the school when I can’t visit?
  • How do I feel about my interactions with the staff at the various optometry schools?
  • Should I delay attending optometry school and start next year instead?
  • How do I find housing and prepare a cross-country move when I can’t visit the area first?

He also shares about what it’s been like for him to adapt to a new place and his new classmates while dealing with the limitations of social distancing.

Use this link to access more videos in this series.

“SCCO feels homey and not like we are in quarantine.”

Zane also talks about the WICHE program and why he opted not to complete his bachelor’s degree before applying to optometry school.  To learn more about either of these options, click on the corresponding links which will take you to the articles on this Blog.

We hope this brief video may help you should you be considering these same questions.  As always, we’re here to help, don’t hesitate to reach out via email at questions or if you would like contact information for Zane who has offered to answer your questions.

“COVID was going to exist no matter where I was in school, so I figured it was best to start my optometry journey and further my career.”

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