By Zach Bender
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Daniel Banks is the program director of the ophthalmology program at Camden County College and works hard daily to contribute to the college.
The ophthalmology program, which has a 100 percent job placement ranking, Banks says, is a two- to three-year program. Banks even says he can almost always find his students a job in the specific location they want to work in. Camden County College is one of three colleges in New Jersey to offer a program in ophthalmology, and the field pays well.
When asked if he could see himself working in another field, Banks responded he cannot imagine himself working outside of the ophthalmology field. He said he chose ophthalmology as a path at age 19 when he was told “how much money it makes.” That’s when he began his work to get where he is today. He did not expect to end up working in education.
Banks earned an associate of arts and science degree in ophthalmic science at Camden County College in 2000. From 2006 to 2010, he worked toward earning his bachelor of science degree in business administration in general management at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton.
Banks worked as an adjunct from 2007 to 2010, serving as an instructor for dispensing and finishing lab courses. While doing that, he also had a full-time job as an optician and took classes at Thomas Edison State College. He states his biggest obstacle was time management.
Upon becoming a full-time employee in October 2010, his duties expanded. Half of Banks’ typical day consists of teaching, as he teaches nine classes, all focusing on ophthalmic theory, fabrication and dispensing. When he isn’t in class, he is usually busy taking calls, registering students for classes and working on equipment. He’s also responsible for preparing a master schedule, recruiting and training faculty, managing the program’s budget, revising courses and the curriculum and much more.
Nancy Don, the director of the college’s clinical dispensary, says she likes working with Banks and he is always helpful. “He really works with the students and is concerned about giving them the best opportunities,” she said. She notes he spends lots of time with the students and works just for them. She described him as dedicated, determined and conscientious.
When he’s not at the college, Banks works as an optician at a Wal-Mart Vision Center. He assists optometrists with pretesting and billing.