New pharmacy school offers unique 3-year PharmD program

February 15, 2011

This fall Saint Joseph College School of Pharmacy will open its new 35,000-square-foot facility in the heart of downtown Hartford, Conn., to its first class of students. Its curriculum will be organized in blocks, allowing students to concentrate on one course at a time through a variety of learning activities.

This fall, Saint Joseph College School of Pharmacy will open the doors of its new 35,000-square-foot facility in the heart of downtown Hartford, Conn., to its first class of students. With an expected enrollment of 68, the new school will offer a unique 3-calendar-year doctoral degree program in pharmacy (PharmD), which represents the first doctoral program in the college's 78-year history.

Modeled after curriculum employed at the University of Southern Nevada College of Pharmacy (Henderson), the program emphasizes a student-centered, active learning environment. The curriculum is organized in blocks, allowing students to concentrate on 1 course at a time through a variety of learning activities, rather than in the traditional lecture format.

"Community sites range from small independent pharmacies to the largest chain pharmacies. Various institutional rotations include large medical centers, small community hospitals, long-term-care pharmacies, and home IV pharmacies. This will allow the students plenty of time to experience all that pharmacy has to offer. In the third year, the students will have an even larger choice of locations for more advanced rotations," said John Parsi, RPh, CDE, the pharmacy school's director of experiential education.

The new pharmacy school provides students hands-on learning in patient care, dispensing, and all the other areas that a pharmacist can pursue.

"Pharmacists have many career pathways open to them beyond dispensing, including health insurance, home-care services, government sectors, research, and teaching," said Dr. Ofosu, who most recently served as associate dean for Academic Affairs at Howard University College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Sciences.

"This is a profession that will continue to do well. The need for drug or medication specialists is going to grow, due to the aging population and the new approach to healthcare. Nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals are going to play key roles. The new healthcare law and society are expecting more from the pharmacy profession," Dr. Ofosu said.