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MU program earns candidate status

Pharmacy School
Jul. 02, 2013 @ 11:40 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University's School of Pharmacy has earned candidate status following an April visit from a team with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

Candidate accreditation status is the second step of a three-step process that culminates with graduation of the first class in 2016, along with adherence to all the accreditation standards.

Marshall President Stephen Kopp and Dr. Kevin Yingling, dean of the pharmacy school, said Tuesday that receiving candidate status reflects very strongly on the curriculum that was put together to train pharmacists.

Yingling described the curriculum as interactive, with a "consistent focus on adult and active learning in a studio concept that identifies us in a unique way," allowing students to move into one of four career pathways -- hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy, industry or academics.

"The ACPE was very complimentary of our faculty and staff for their outstanding efforts to build a dynamic, forward-thinking school of pharmacy, which will educate the next generation of pharmacists and help meet the growing health care needs of our state and region," Yingling said. "We set some high expectations and that was recognized when we received pre-candidacy status (last year). These have both been met and exceeded."

The candidate accreditation term granted for the program extends until June 30, 2015, which represents the customary two-year cycle for programs granted that status. An on-site evaluation will be scheduled during the 2014-2015 school year to determine if the school is continuing to meet the ACPE's 30 standards, which then leads to a transition toward full accreditation.

"Every standard and criteria is evaluated to see if we are doing what we said we were going to do," Kopp said.

He added that is it vitally important to remain focused, as the first class of 80 students can graduate in 2016 but will not be able to sit for a licensing exam unless the pharmacy school receives that full accreditation.

Receiving candidate status also is an important step, both said, because it can help in the recruitment and admission of students. Yingling said interviews with applicants for the second class that will start in August have been completed. Now, the school is determining which students to extend admissions to and how many will choose Marshall over the other pharmacy schools they have applied to.

Yingling described the applicants as strong, with a good number coming from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Current students are working in supervised institutional settings as part of the first-year curriculum.

Marshall's pharmacy program is a 2+4 doctoral program, meaning students complete their standard classes during their first two years, then move completely into the pharmacy program. Unless students choose to take an elective on the main campus, the entirety of their education will be delivered at the Robert W. Coon Education Building next to the VA Medical Center.

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