Mission & Values

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The mission of Illinois College of Optometry is to develop highly qualified clinical optometrists through excellence in optometric education.



Excellence: ICO is committed to excellence in education, scholarship and patient care.

Inclusiveness: We value a climate that encourages all members of the campus community to respect diversity. Our culture fosters an atmosphere where intolerance is unacceptable and colleagues keep one another accountable.

Service to the Community: ICO contributes to the health and welfare of Chicago’s most vulnerable communities through the provision of comprehensive eye health and vision services.

Creativity and Innovation: We will have a transformative impact on society through continued creativity and innovation in education, patient care and research. We are open to new ideas and forms of expressing intellectual curiosity.

Ethics and Professionalism: ICO is based on a solid foundation of trust. We demonstrate a deep conviction to the integrity of the institution and all of its people. We respect the dignity of each person and expect the utmost professionalism in all of our interactions.

Leadership: ICO will develop and empower effective leaders that serve our institution, our patients, our communities, our profession and our world.

Scholarship: We will contribute to the body of scientific knowledge. We foster life-long learning among our students, faculty and staff. We provide evidence-based patient care.


  • ICO will utilize strategic enrollment management to recruit and retain qualified students at a time when the ratio of qualified applicants to seats available is in decline nationwide.

  • ICO will provide a curriculum that prepares its graduates for the independent practice of contemporary optometry.

  • Through the Illinois Eye Institute, ICO will serve our community with high quality eye health and vision care in an environment of education and scholarship. 

  • ICO will develop a long-term campus master plan that reflects the priorities of the institution and supports the strategic plan goals.

  • ICO will develop fiscally responsible financial strategies to meet our mission as a single-program institution.

  • ICO will maintain an environment that supports and values all members of our community.