Who we Are

The National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) is an international service organization comprised of over 1,000 optometry students who are dedicated to increasing access to eyecare for minority and under-served communities.

Our Mission

NOSA’s mission is to advance the visual health of minority and under-served communities by investing in the success of compassionate students who are eager to serve these communities.

picture of the founding members of the National Optometric Association

Our History

The National Optometric Association (NOA) was founded in the spring of 1969 through a gathering of 25 African American optometrists at the Executive Motor Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. The meeting was called by Dr. C. Clayton Powell of Atlanta, Georgia and Dr. John L. Howlette of Richmond, Virginia. The purpose of their gathering was to establish a nationally recognized optometric organization comprised of doctors who are dedicated to reducing the visual health disparity in the African American community. The National Optometric Association was officially launched with charter officers being Dr. Powell as president and Dr. Howlette as vice-president.


In 1979, after ten years of service to under-served communities, the NOA sought to establish a student organization to promote service among optometry students and carry forward the NOA’s mission of advancing the visual health of minority populations. In addition to fulfilling this core mission, the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) incorporated the goals of furthering the professional development of its student members and increase the diversity in the profession of optometry by enhancing the recruitment and retention of minority students.


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