To raise awareness of the Vision Care Technology program, the vision care clinic has opened a new optical dispensary on the TJC Main Campus. It is located on the second floor of the Vaughn Learning Resource Center.

Apache Optical held an open house for the new shop on Feb. 9. During the event, they gave away door prizes and had a trunk show that displayed more than 1,000 designer frames and sunglasses.

The shop offers styles such as Varilux, Transitions and Thin & Lite. There were frame company representatives present, as well as vision care students who are enrolled in the TJC Vision Care Technology program who will run the shop under supervision of instructors as a part of their practicum.

“I believe the new shop is a great addition to TJC Main Campus and also a great benefit for TJC students,” Pam McDougal, the staff coordinator of allied health and nursing, said.

The store holds glasses and new designer TJC sunglasses, which were founded by student Brittany Magness. She says the shop and program are great and has already found work with a doctor.

But the new dispensary serves a greater purpose than just selling eyewear and helping students with their education.

“The main reason for this new shop is to raise awareness and increase interest in our vision care clinic and vision care technology program,” Steve Robbins, department chair of the vision care technology program, said.

TJC still runs its West Campus Vision Care Clinic, but the new shop is designed to bring student’s attention to the Vision Care Technology program that is offered at TJC.

After doing lecture work for their lessons, students enrolled in the program get to participate in hands-on learning with trained instructors.

“The program is great, and I really enjoy it,” Timoye Dews said, one of the vision care students who had been working at the dispensary, “I get really good field experience learning, as well as connections for a future in my career.”

The Apache Optical East will be open 1-4 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday until April 15, and the Apache Optical West will be open 1-4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday until April 16.

Eye exams are only given at West Campus located in the RTDC building, Room 138 and can be scheduled by calling 903-510-2020. TJC students only pay a reduced exam fee of $55, which at regular cost is $100.

TJC faculty and staff pay their $30 BCDS co-pay for exams. An additional $50 fitting fee is for contacts. Contacts can be ordered at Apache Optical East on main campus. Glasses start at $35 and go up, and sunglasses are about $20.

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