The New England College of Optometry (NECO) prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences. NECO graduates compassionate and skilled optometrists prepared to practice in diverse settings. Located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay, the College is a small, independent graduate institution that currently enrolls students from 34 states and 8 countries. The College has its teaching location at Boston and three owned and operated eye clinics (in Boston and Roslindale, and at the Perkins School for the Blind).
NECO’s Mission is to change the world through optometric education, discovery and service.
We do so by:
- integrating innovative education with early and diverse clinical experiences to prepare students to become outstanding Doctors of Optometry
- advancing the frontiers of optometric knowledge through research, and translating that knowledge to improve patients’ lives worldwide
- cultivating compassionate care of the highest level of proficiency, integrity, and professionalism; influencing public policy; expanding access to comprehensive and specialty optometric services; and instilling sensitivity to the health and social welfare of diverse communities
The position and opportunity
NECO, working with our Distance Education Partner, plans to launch the first hybrid OD program in the country.
The Director of Distance Education Programs will report to the President of NECO, and will work with key constituents across campus, including the Dean of Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs, academic and administrative department heads and NECO faculty and the OPM, to ensure the IT infrastructure, course development, teaching, clinical training, admissions, billing, and student support services are all in place and working effectively together to ensure successful execution.
The Director of Distance Education Programs has overall responsibility for the successful launch, ongoing management, and financial sustainability of a hybrid OD (Doctor of Optometry) program for the New England College of Optometry, under the auspices of the Agile Campus.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Reviewing and negotiating contracts and services agreements with distance education partners;
- Identifying faculty to build and teach the courses within the distance education program;
- Recruiting and building an administrative team to implement the hybrid OD program;
- Coordinating accreditation activities and site visits for this program;
- Coordinating faculty efforts as they design and teach the program’s courses;
- Ensuring that faculty meet deadlines for delivering course content;
- Reviewing and approving all course plans, with the VPAA and the Office of Academic Affairs, and assets to ensure they are aligned with the program’s goals and meet NECO’s branding quality and expectations;
- Working with academic departments to develop and execute programs aimed at the continuing effort to improve student achievement on National Board exams;
- Reviewing all course plans to ensure the inaugural launch of the OD program is completed on time, on budget and delivers an exception educational experience to students and an exceptional teaching experience to faculty;
- Reviewing educational and clinical technologies that can be used to enhance the student educational experience;
- Interfacing with academic affairs and clinical affairs to coordinate objectives and to identify and facilitate program needs relating to accreditation, marketing, recruitment, enrollment, new student orientation, retention, student success, and clinical placement;
- Interfacing with the business office and IT to coordinate objectives and to identify and facilitate program needs relating to the Student Information System, the Learning Management System and the student portal;
- Facilitating planning, administration, and monitoring of program’s budget and Profit and Loss statement (P&L);
- Ensuring effective collaboration internally and with external partners;
- Developing and ensuring effective project planning related to Distance Education Programs;
- Representing the program in various national settings;
- Establishing and administering policies and procedures relating to Distance Education Programs;
- Gathering qualitative and quantitative data to assess the quality of instruction and the student experience and making recommendations for improvement;
- Performing other related responsibilities as required.
- Must have at least 5 years of demonstrated experience launching successful distance education/online degree programs at accredited institutions of higher education.
- Must possess superb project management, organizational, interpersonal and communication (written and oral) skills.
- Demonstrated experience working with faculty and in distance education/online course design and development, and in evaluating the quality and success of distance education degree programs from an educational and student experience standpoint.
- Demonstrated experience managing distance education partners.
- Demonstrated experience providing support to students enrolled in distance education degree programs.
- OD or other health professional degrees will be considered but are not required.
All NECO employees are expected to consistently demonstrate our values of integrity, compassion, respect, diversity, teamwork, excellence and innovation in their work activities and interactions.
All NECO employees are required to present proof of vaccination status upon hire unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption.
NECO benefits include health, dental and vision plans. Retirement plan match, parking in Back Bay campus.
NECO is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, disability, age, or veteran status.