By Maryann Santos, Program Director, Vision Care Technology, Goodwin College

Goodwin College’s Optical Training Store (OTS) is trying something new! It’s MOD. I am not referring to the modernistic style that started in London during the 1960’s, characterized by bold and bright colored fashions and popularized by The Beatles. But now that I am thinking of the MOD fashion, I am visualizing an eclectic optical shop carrying unique frames in bold and bright colors while “Here Comes the Sun” or “Love is All You Need” plays softly in the background. While we play coffee bar music on Pandora in the background of our Optical Training Store, I am thinking of maybe having a Beatles themed day next semester.

Back to reality… the MOD I am talking about is incorporating a Manager on Duty (MOD). This came about during class one evening. Let me explain. In our Ophthalmic Dispensing I class, the students have an opportunity to work with a frame representative each semester to go through the buying process. It is a great experience for the students and the instructor. Students have firsthand opportunity to see the latest trends in ophthalmic frames, examining them for ease of adjusting, repairing, and edging. The order is placed, and students receive the inventory, ensuring everything that was ordered was indeed received.

Back to MOD... Donna Schaub, LO, Sales Consultant with ClearVision Optical and our class were having a conversation when a student made a comment that seemed as though he was an “in charge” type of guy. The representative asked if he will be the MOD. To which I replied, “MOD?” I then was officially schooled on what a MOD is. Apparently a MOD is a Manager on Duty. At that moment I realized that incorporating a MOD for each shift at the Optical Training Store (OTS) would be a helpful addition to the curriculum. After meeting with faculty, we decided it was a go!

Goodwin College’s Vision Care Technology program faculty work tirelessly to develop and strengthen the curriculum, preparing students to pass the National Opticianry Competency Exam (NOCE) and the National Contact Lens Examiner (NCLE) exams administered by ABO-NCLE. In addition, Connecticut has a State Board Practical Examination which includes hands-on assessments in eyewear, contact lens fitting and dispensing, and state laws governing opticianry.

Graduates need to be employable. The OTS with a MOD model provides students meaningful experiences, preparing them to be workforce ready. The MOD will have to ensure that the store is ready to go for business. They will delegate opening and closing duties, ensure that frame boards are filled, develop and execute marketing initiatives, supervise the student staff, and be the go-to person if a patient has a question that the student is unsure how to handle. They will refer to the licensed optician instructor if need be. This experience allows them an opportunity to manage an optical dispensary.

I will let you know in 6 months how the MOD initiative worked out. Either way, I think having a British Invasion/Beatles Day would bring some fun and drum up business in the OTS.