Jun 24, 2024  
Academic Program Manuals 2023-2024 
Academic Program Manuals 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Laser & Optics Technology Program Policies & Procedures

Non-Discrimination Statement

To view the full Non-Discrimination Statement, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook or the college website.

Disability Services/Accommodations

Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations for special services should contact the IHCC Disability Services office for assistance. Services are available to students who need classroom accommodations, interpreters and/or specialized equipment.

Students who are requesting accommodations must document their disability by providing a written statement signed by a school counselor, physician, psychologist or other health care professional. Statements must include: (a) a description of the disability, (b) a statement of how the disability prohibits one or more major life activities and is a barrier to the student’s full participation in the program, and (c) a description of the specific accommodations to be provided. (Requested accommodations must be related to the individual’s specific disability.)

All requests for accommodations should be made prior to enrollment.

Students should make their requests for accommodations to the Disability Services office at the time they are applying for admission and, preferably, no later than six weeks prior to the beginning of each academic term. All student requests are dealt with in a confidential manner. Students should contact Disability Services by calling (641) 683-5749 (Ottumwa) or (641) 856-2143, ext. 2214 (Centerville) or by email at [email protected].


Indian Hills Community College is a public post-secondary institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the Higher Learning Commission, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, and (800)621-7440.

Indian Hills Community College is also accredited by the State of Iowa, Iowa Department of Education, Grimes State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319-0146, (515)281-8260.

Program Learning Outcomes

The following list of program learning outcomes describes the knowledge and skills the student should be able to demonstrate upon completion of the program.

  • Comprehend and execute the concepts of lasers & optics technology.
  • Recognize and implement the components, equipment and hardware used in lasers & optics.
  • Understand and utilize knowledge of geometric ray and particle theory of light.
  • Recognize and use equipment used for laser beam measurement, manipulation, and analysis.
  • Recognize, characterize, & evaluate all categories of laser systems.
  • Comprehend and employ the basics of laser material processing
  • Understand and utilize the wave theory of light
  • Troubleshoot and solve problems related to laser & optic installation, maintenance, and repair utilizing various hand tools and measuring devices.
  • Recognize, evaluate, and execute various laser & optical applications.
  • Identify, design, and employ advanced areas of optical system analysis
  • Research, comprehend, evaluate, & execute specified photonics systems and related equipment
  • Recognize, evaluate, and execute Laser Safety protocol.

Required Tools

  • Core Electronics Parts Kit
  • Digital Multimeter: Amprobe AM-270 or equivalent.
  • Safety glasses or goggles.
  • Soldering Iron: Weller WP25 or equivalent.
  • Wire strippers.
  • Spark Inventor’s Kit V4.0 or later.
  • Breadboard
  • Tools required for second year of the program are available for use in the laboratory.

Lab Procedures

  • Lab coat required whenever inside the laser & optics technology lab.
  • Students are to follow proper start-up & shutdown procedures for all lasers.
  • Students are to follow laser & optics safety policies at all times.
  • Students are to follow the ANSI z136.1 document when working with any laser.
  • Before handling any optics, a new pair of gloves must be donned.
  • All proper PPE must be worn while working with hazardous solvents in lab.
  • Instructor must be present while students operate class 3b & class 4 lasers.
  • All class 4 lasers required at least two people in the room to operate laser.


  • Exclude unnecessary personnel from the laser area during alignment.
  • Where possible, use low-power visible lasers for path simulation of high power visible or invisible lasers.
  • Wear protective eyewear during alignment.  Use special alignment eyewear when circumstances require.
  • Aligning invisible beams, to locate beams use image converter viewers or phosphor cards.
  • Perform alignment tasks using high-power lasers at the lowest possible power level.
  • Use a shutter or beam-block to block high-power beams at their source except during the alignment process.
  • Use a laser rated beam block to terminate high-power beams downstream of the optics being aligned.
  • Beam blocks and/or laser protective barriers are required where alignment beams could stray into areas with uninvolved personnel.
  • Place beam blocks behind optics to terminate beams that might miss mirrors during alignment.
  • Locate and block all stray reflections before proceeding to the next optical component or section.
  • Be sure all beams and reflections are properly terminated before high-power operation.
  • Post appropriate area warning signs during alignment procedures where lasers are normally class 1.
  • Alignments should be done only by those who have received laser safety training.
  • Never intentionally look directly into a laser.  Do not stare at the light from any laser.  Allow yourself to blink if the light is too bright.
  • Do not view a Class 3a (or any higher power) laser with optical instruments.
  • Never direct the beam toward other people.
  • Operate lasers only in the area designed for their use and be certain the beam is terminated at the end of its path. 
  • Never allow a laser beam to escape its designated area of use.
  • Position the laser so that it is well above or below eye level.
  • Always block the beam with a diffuse reflecting beam block.
  • Remove all unnecessary reflective objects from the area near the beam’s path.  This may include items of jewelry and tools.
  • Do not enter a designated Class 3b or Class 4 laser area (posted with a DANGER sign) without approval from a qualified laser operator.  Eye protection is required in these areas.
  • Always wear laser safety eyewear if a class 4 invisible beam is exposed.