Student Linh Thang uses support systems to stay on course for in-demand degree
Photos and Story by James Hill
The Ophthalmic Medical Technology (OMT) Program features a diverse cohort of students this year. Many of them lean on Portland Community College’s vast support system to ensure they stay on their academic pathway toward a rewarding career.
One of them is Linh Thang, who first enrolled at PCC in 2019 and is currently working toward her OMT associate degree. The Hillsboro resident wants to work in the healthcare field when she graduates and feels the OMT Program is the ideal choice for her.
She credits the holistic wrap-around support services and resources that Portland Community College provides through its Student Life & Leadership. She has accessed the Panther Pantry for food, utilized the PCC Library for research and study time, and academic advising and her instructors to keep her on her pathway.
Academic Pathway: Healthcare and Emergency Professions
- The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan prepares the college for the future of higher education. Part of the plan is creating a sense of belonging and well-being for every student and staff, ensuring access to key resources, develop intercultural competencies, and support a culture where everyone feel acknowledged, inspired and supported.
“The advisors and faculty have been good in guiding students as they pursue their passions,” Thang said. “PCC is a great environment to study and practice your training.”
As Thang can attest, there are growing opportunities in the ophthalmic medical field. The Oregon Employment Department forecasts a promising future for ophthalmic medical technicians in the Portland area, with job openings expected to surge by 20% through 2027.
PCC’s Ophthalmic Medical Technology Program offers an opportunity to enter this thriving field. Graduates of the program report an average starting range of $24 to $26 per hour, with experienced technicians earning up to $36 per hour. With a small cohort of 24-28 students, hands-on training in a specialized lab, and clinical practicums at 40-plus community partners, students gain valuable experience under the supervision of licensed physicians.
This program is the only one of its kind on the West Coast at the intermediate training technician level, and is accredited by the International Council of Accreditation. For more information, visit the Ophthalmic Medical Technology webpage.