Apply Now

Please Note: You must first be a member of the Section in which you wish to pursue Diplomate status before being able to move forward in the Diplomate application. If you're not sure if you're a current member of the Section, please email and we can verify and/or add you appropriately.

OE Diplomate program is administered by the Optometric Education Section. Dr. Patricia Hrynchak is the Section Chair. The mission of the Optometric Education Section is to serve the educational needs of its membership by advancing research, promoting innovation in optometric education, encouraging visionary thinking, supporting ethical practices, and affirming provocative concepts in optometric education worldwide.

In achieving its mission, the Section: 

  • Initiates forums on research in optometric education.
  • Disseminates knowledge of innovation in professional education.
  • Serves a visionary role in the advancement of new teaching and learning methodologies.
  • Advocates for faculty and students engaged in optometric education.
  • Collaborates with other sections in the joint sponsorship of educational programs.
  • Enhances the commitment of Academy members to highest ethical and professional standards of optometric education.

The educational process is the core foundation for the sustenance and advancement of the profession. Most optometric educators obtained their faculty positions because of a clinical expertise within the profession of optometry and identify themselves as both educators and clinical specialists. A percentage of optometric educators have identified the educational process as their primary area of focus and specialty. Although this group may also have a clinical specialty, their research and scholarly activities lie in the area of optometric education.

In 2012, the American Academy of Optometry Board of Directors approved the Optometric Education (OE) Diplomate Program. Academy diplomates are doctors of optometry who have strived to attain a level of excellence beyond the Fellowship program. An OE diplomate has demonstrated this excellence through training and scholarship in optometric education.

OE diplomates can demonstrate scholarship expertise, relevant to undergraduate, postgraduate, continuing and/or interprofessional education in areas such as:

  • Pedagogy and andragogy
  • Curriculum
  • Learning
  • Educational evaluation
  • Professional gatekeeping
  • Educational policy
  • Philosophy of education and/or
  • Sociology of education

OE scholarship typically takes the form of:

  • Data-driven studies—either scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) or discipline-based educational research (DBER)
  • Teaching case reports, and
  • Educational reviews

Diplomate Candidate Guide