NECO, MCPHS enter Letter of Intent to explore combining institutions

March 7, 2013

New England College of Optometry (NECO) and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS University) announced they have entered into a Letter of Intent to explore a potential combination between the two educational institutions.

Founded in 1894, NECO provides a four-year, post-baccalaureate professional curriculum to approximately 475 students. MCPHS University was founded in 1823 and has more than 6,000 students pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees in approximately 50 academic programs on three campuses, including optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, nursing, physical therapy, dental hygiene, radiological science, public health and pre-med.

A combination with MCPHS University would create an opportunity to expand NECO’s highly respected brand and expertise in optometry. Further, because MCPHS University founded its school of optometry on its Worcester campus in 2011, there is a natural synergy between the two institutions to support the proposed combination.

“In the weeks ahead, we will work with MCPHS leadership to articulate the numerous benefits of becoming part of a larger organization,” said Steven Manfredi, NECO board chair. “We anticipate that MCPHS University will be able to provide significant, ongoing support and investment in NECO’s programs, facilities and equipment. In addition, we are confident that our focus on a high-quality optometry educational experience will be affirmed and that there will be continuity for current students, faculty and staff.”

“There is a significant global demand for the education of health professionals,” said Charles Monahan, president of MCPHS University. “The combination of NECO with MCPHS University will further strengthen the commitment of the two institutions to educating the next generations of health care professionals. MCPHS University’s School of Optometry in Worcester was the 21st optometry school in the United States. The combination with NECO will give MCPHS University two separately accredited optometry schools and a presence in the field of optometry in the city of Boston. We see a bright and growing future for NECO and the continuation of its position as a leader in optometric education and an opportunity for MCPHS University to continue to expand its depth and breadth in global health care education.”

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