Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Marketplace Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics Vision Spectra Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook
CASTECH INC - New Building the Bridge of Light

Monroe Community College

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email
Rochester, New York

LASER-TEC is the Center for Laser and Fiber Optics Education, founded in 2013 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and headquartered at Indian River State College in Florida. It was created to help meet the goals of educating and sourcing domestic talent in the areas of optics and photonics. As a service to students, recent graduates, and prospective employers, Photonics Spectra will run a profile of one of the LASER-TEC colleges each month.

Rochester-area employers have relied on Monroe Community College (MCC) since 1963 to educate generations of students to become optical technicians. Offering stackable certificate and associate degree programs, it is the only community college to offer an Associate of Applied Science degree in optical systems technology.

MCC students learn how to inspect optical surfaces down to the micron scale.

MCC students learn how to inspect optical surfaces down to the micron scale.

More than 700 optics technicians have earned their associate degrees from MCC and are working in the optics and photonics industry throughout the U.S. Companies that have hired graduates from MCC’s program include Bausch + Lomb, Coherent, Corning, Eastman Kodak, Excelis, IBM, IDEX, ITT Goulds Pumps, JML Optical, L3 Technologies, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Lockheed Martin, Optimax, OptiPro, QED Optics, Rochester Precision Optics, Spectra-Physics, Sydor Optics, Texas Instruments, and Xerox.


Optical Systems Technology
Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

This two-year degree program prepares graduates for work in high-technology fields that apply light and optical principles.

The curriculum combines the study of optics with electronics to prepare students for careers in electro-optics and traditional precision optics fabrication. The course of study gives students the opportunity to operate much of the same precision equipment and state-of-the art optical systems used in industry. Skilled optics technicians work with engineers and scientists to inspect and test optical components and assembly systems using advanced technology tools. Graduates of this program work with scientists and engineers in research and development, design, production, quality control, and test and evaluation of optical components and systems, as well as with sales and service professionals.

Stackable Certificate in Optical Systems Technology

MCC’s Optical Systems Technology Certificate program provides a solid optics background with options to focus on manufacturing, testing, or electro-optics/photonics applications. The certificate program is designed to be completed in one year. All certificate courses may be applied to the requirements of the AAS degree program for students who decide to continue their studies.

Graduates of MCC’s Optical Systems Technology program have the skills to:

• Evaluate optical systems using a number of geometrical and wave optics test procedures.

• Take standard measurements and evaluate typical electro-optic configurations.

• Understand and perform basic and advanced optical manufacturing techniques for today’s precision optical components.

• Understand and perform basic and advanced metrology techniques for testing optical systems and individual optical components.

• Handle and clean an optical surface according to industry standards.

• Form an achromatic doublet by assembling, aligning, and cementing two optical elements.

• Use interferometers to measure optical components.

• Identify the centration and spacing of optical surfaces in an assembly using an optical centering system.

• Assess the optical performance of an optical system using an optical transfer function measurement system.

• Describe particulate control in a laminar flow clean environment.

• Interpret optical drawings.

• Prepare quality assurance and detailed laboratory reports.

• Inspect an optical surface to identify particles, scratches, and digs down to the micron scale.

• Master basic workplace skills, including technical writing, oral communication, teamwork, and problem solving.

How to recruit from this college

Campus recruiting visits are welcome. Companies interested in recruiting MCC optics students should contact the optics program director listed below. MCC will make available, free of charge, a private room for interviewing interested students. Graduates are available every December and May.

MCC is leading the effort to expand the precision optics manufacturing apprenticeship nationwide. Please contact us if your company is interested in participating in our apprenticeship program. Additionally, please contact us if you would like to hire one of our students as a summer intern.

Contact information

Alexis Vogt, Ph.D.,
Professor and Endowed Chair, Optical Systems Technology
+1 585-292-2002
[email protected]
1000 East Henrietta Road
Rochester, NY 14623

Program website

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2022
LASER-TEC College Profile

back to top
Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2023 Photonics Media, 100 West St., Pittsfield, MA, 01201 USA, [email protected]

Photonics Media, Laurin Publishing
x Subscribe to Photonics Spectra magazine - FREE!
We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze our website traffic as stated in our Privacy Policy. By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.