ICO offers a rich experience beyond the classroom and clinic by supporting a variety of organizations, clubs and activities. Naturally, extracurricular life extends into Chicago, a city renowned for its museums, music, theater, restaurants, sport teams, parks and night life.
- Student Association
- The Tomb and Key Honor Society
- The Beta Sigma Kappa Honor Society
- Gold Key International Optometric Honor Society
- ICO Omega Leo Club
- Council on Ethics and Advancement of Professionalism
- American Optometric Student Association
- Student Chapter of the American Academy of Optometry
- Private Practice Club
- Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity
- Collegiate Society for the Advancement of Contact Lens Care
- College of Vision Development Optometric Extension Program
- Fellowship of Christian Optometrists
- Canadian Students Association
- Muslim Students Association
- Multicultural Association
- State and International Clubs
- National Optometric Student Association
- Collegiate and Educational Society of the Illinois Optometric Association
Student Association (SA)
All students who are enrolled are members of the SA. Functioning in cooperation with the college administration, SA considers matters concerning student welfare and monitors a wide variety of student activities and publications.
The SA president and Board of Directors are elected by schoolwide balloting and serve as the official representatives of the student body on all matters. The Board of Directors includes representatives from every class as well as officers elected to perform specific functions.
Tomb and Key Honor Society
Tomb and Key Honor Fraternity is the highest academic honor organization at the Illinois College of Optometry. It was formed in 1934 to recognize academic excellence and to promote ethics within the field of optometry.
Gold Key International Optometric Honor Society
The purpose of this honorary society is to recognize upperclassmen who have demonstrated outstanding professional and ethical attitudes through leadership in their class, college and profession. Membership consists of five percent of the third professional year class and ten percent of the fourth professional year class. All of these candidates are chosen for a life-time membership.
ICO Omega Leo Club
The ICO Omega Leo Club is a service organization with a focus on enhancing the community at and surrounding the school, promoting the widespread community service through the International Lions Club Organization.
Council on Ethics and Advancement of Professionalism
Council on Ethics at ICO is dedicated to the principle that the public derives the greatest benefit from ethical, professional optometric care. To further this idea, the Council invites eminent guest speakers who can offer information and guidance in the attainment of a professional optometric future. Membership is open to all students.
American Optometric Student Association (AOSA)
AOSA includes students representing all of the schools of optometry in the U.S. and Canada. Each optometric institution elects a student trustee to represent its students at all AOSA functions. This organization represents student concerns to all other optometric groups including the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO). AOSA dues for ICO students are paid each year by the Student Association from student activity fees.
Private Practice Club
The Private Practice Club was established to help prepare ICO students to enter private practice by making students more knowledgeable of the business aspects of the profession. The club offers presentations, lectures and panel discussions on a monthly basis concerning all facets of practice management. The presenters include a variety of nationally known speakers, optometrists, and other professionals to share their knowledge with students. Topics often include associating with a doctor, practice acquisition, practice management, finance and marketing.
Student Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity (SVOSH)
SVOSH is an independent, non-profit, charitable organization whose objective is to provide vision care to foreign and domestic people who do not have access to professional vision care. Student volunteers for this independent organization accompany a practicing Doctor of Optometry and other health care professionals on a mission trip to examine local residents and distribute needed eyeglasses free of charge. Medical referrals are made when needed. During recent years missions have been made to Indian reservations in several states, and to countries in Central America and Southeast Asia.
Contact Lens Society
The Contact Lens Society serves to expand the knowledge of contact lens care and management of anterior segment disease among students, while also familiarizing students with advances in optometric health and the availability of products available to assist in improving patient care.
College of Vision Development Optometric Extension Program (COVD)
COVD is an organization devoted to the enhancement and rehabilitation of vision and vision development. In addition, COVD works towards educating the public on the benefits of vision therapy and this unique mode of optometric practice.
Fellowship of Christian Optometrists (FCO)
The Fellowship of Christian Optometrists (FCO) seeks to help optometrists become established in the type of mission work which combines eye care and the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ both in the workplace and on the mission field around the world. FCO meets weekly for fellowship, prayer, snacks, and Bible study. Additionally, FCO gets together for scheduled social, service, fundraising, and mission opportunities.
Canadian Students Association
Through their experiences and efforts, the Canadian Students Association strives to maintain an awareness of optometry in Canada by examining changes in each of the individual provinces. Their goal is to provide an opportunity for Canadian students to meet and discuss topics ranging from financial aid to life in Chicago.
The cultural diversity at ICO has been increasing in recent years. As a result, the Multicultural Association is organized to promote the understanding of the diverse cultures within the ICO and IEI communities.
State and International Clubs
The ICO student body is truly international in scope. Student body members come from all states and many foreign countries. When there is sufficient interest, students from various states often organize informal groups, naming the clubs after their home states. These active clubs have programs and often sponsor visits and presentations by optometrists from their home states to discuss current issues in their individual state practice.
National Optometric Student Association (NOSA)
National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) is affiliated with the National Optometric Association, an organization which was founded for the purpose of increasing the number of optometrists from minority groups. NOSA's mission is also to advance the visual health of minority populations. The ICO chapter of NOSA is involved in a variety of activities oriented towards educating youth about optometry, increasing interest in and awareness of the profession, and helping those underserved populations who are in need of the proper eyecare.
Collegiate and Educational Society of the Illinois Optometric Association (CESIOA)
CESIOA is an official state society. This group functions as a direct liaison between its members and the Illinois Optometric Association (IOA) members. Its members are eligible to join any of the 45 state committees and may participate in all civic, legal and professional aspects of Illinois optometry. One of the significant functions of the CSIOA is to help students secure part-time employment with professional optometrists in Illinois and to assist in locating solo and associate practice opportunities upon graduation. The CSIOA welcomes residents of all states to join its ranks and participate in Illinois events.