Student Support Services
Student support services are divided between those that are available through Ferris State University
Student Services and those originating from the Student Affairs Office of the Michigan College of
Ferris State University provides many student support services that are available to all students,
including those enrolled in the optometry program.
The webpage www.ferris.edu/htmls/StudentLife/Wheretogo/ lists important links and phone numbers
for students who have questions or need help with academics, finances, and student life issues.
Optometry students are directed to this general web page if they have student life questions regarding
affirmative action, housing needs for residential life, information about the Birkam Health Center,
parking permits, fees, fines and lot assignments. They are directed to the same general access page if
they have questions about fees or refunds, loans, grants or scholarships, student employment and
veteran’s benefits. Academic questions such as disabilities services and tutoring needs are also generally
described through links from those pages.
Other general web pages with important links regarding student services can be accessed from
www.ferris.edu/htmls/current/homepage.htm. Optometry students often have questions about Ferris
State University Student Government, tutoring services through the Academic Support Center and
Tutoring, general use of the FLITE Library, residency regulations for tuition purposes or in learning more
about University Recreation (UREC) and Fitness centers on campus.
The Office of Student Affairs in the Michigan College of Optometry has, as its primary function, the
responsibility for providing services to students in many aspects of student life at Ferris State University
and the Michigan College of Optometry. Students are advised to come to the Office of Student Affairs
for assistance with specific matters or problems. The items listed below include some of the major areas
of responsibility of Student Affairs office as they relate directly to students.
These functions are:
1. Serve as a liaison between students and the administration, faculty, and various campus offices,
including the Registrar's Office, Business Office, and Financial Aid Office.
2. Serve to assist the student organizations with their various activities at the request of the student
3. Serve as liaison between students and the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. Certify
students to register to take sections of the National Board Examination.
4. Provide counsel for students with academic or personal concerns.
5. Arrange for special counseling or tutoring of students on an individualized basis.
6. Make determinations of academic advance standing and/or course equivalencies.
7. Conduct registration on a semester basis, and maintain the academic records of all enrolled
8. Coordinate the activities of Student Employment and the WorkStudy Program in the College of
9. Administer the Student Emergency Loan Fund of the College of Optometry.
10. Provide a yearly expense list detailing the costs to students of the optometric program.
11. Assign student mailboxes.
All appropriate University and MCO services are reviewed at the initial Opening Day Welcome and
Orientation of new students to the program.
It is tradition at the Michigan College of Optometry to pair first, second and third year students together
on a “Big Brother/Big Sister List.” The main purpose of this pairing is to provide the incoming students
with a personal sponsor to assist them as they begin classes and throughout the year. This service
program assists the new student with the transition to our program and to the University. The
Optometry Student Government conducts a valuable orientation on the weekend that immediately
precedes the beginning of classes. We have an “Ice-Breaker” picnic sponsored by the American
Optometric Student Association and the MCO student government on Wednesday during the first week
of classes. This event allows the new student to begin to make the acquaintance of fellow classmates as
well as the upper classes and the faculty. We encourage the upper class students and class
representatives to collaborate not only with each other but with students in other classes so that
student service information is shared by all.
The Student Affairs Office provides other services such as arranging for the class picture and composite.
This is a photo that is displayed along the fourth floor hallway in addition to providing opportunities to
the third year student to purchase other photographs as part of “packages”.
The Student Affairs Office also manages all student employment. Each summer, the College of
Optometry employs a limited number of students to assist faculty with various new or ongoing projects.
Interested students are encouraged to obtain federal or state Work Study status through the Financial
Aid Office, where possible, otherwise the College supports a limited amount of student employment.
Work Study Student Employment is available for Fall and Winter Semesters as well.
The Academic Affairs Office in close association with Student affairs is responsible for organizing and
communicating all details for graduation, hooding ceremony and reception. Fourth year student interns
are provided detailed information utilizing the WebCT course. Third year students assist in the
Tutoring for classes in the Michigan College of Optometry is handled on an individual, case-by-case
basis. When a student reports academic difficulties in a class, or when the instructor believes a student,
or students, could benefit from a tutor, the instructor informs the Associate Dean’s Office that a tutor is
needed for that particular course. The instructor provides a recommended list of possible tutors. Tutors
are selected from MCO students who have previously had that course and earned an outstanding grade
in it. Once a student has agreed to be a tutor, the Associate Dean’s office notifies the Academic Support
Center with administrative details of course number, the name of the tutor and how many students
need tutoring services. The Academic Support Center assumes responsibility for hiring of the student,
payment for services and guidance in tutoring techniques.
In addition to the immunizations required for all Ferris State University Students, the MCO clinic manual
page 16 and 17 specifies the TB/Hepatitis B policy that MCO students must follow.
Interns must accomplish the TB skin test prior to the beginning of the second, third, and fourth
academic year. In addition, a Hepatitis B Series must be completed prior to the beginning of the second
academic year, or a signed and witnessed Hepatitis B Series waiver form must be completed.
Documentation of both of these requirements is to be submitted to the Assistant Dean for Clinical
Affairs Office prior to the beginning of fall semester each academic year for all Optometry II, III, and IV
Failure to comply with the requirements listed above will result in the student not being allowed to
examine patients in the Michigan College of Optometry Clinic or participate in any clinical patient care
activity on or off campus. Students will be required to make up any missed time in the clinic. At the
discretion of the clinic director, missed clinical responsibilities may result in a recommendation to the
Academic Review Committee of the college that the student repeat the clinical course during the
summer semester or a recommendation to the committee for dismissal of the student from the
program. The Academic Review Committee will give due consideration to the recommendation of the
clinic director, meet with the student and submit a recommendation to the Dean. The decision of the
Dean will be final, subject only to direct appeal by the student to the Dean.
Birkam Health Center also lists other non-required immunizations that are available through them.
If the Office of Student Affairs can be of assistance to you in any of these or other student related areas,
please feel free to contact the Associate Dean’s Office for Academic and Student Affairs. It will be our
pleasure to assist you.