Date of Release: July 7, 2014
BANGOR, MAINE – The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) has taken action to grant full accreditation status to Husson University’s School of Pharmacy. ACPE sets the standards for the education of pharmacists. Their action reflects the successful completion of the School’s candidacy accreditation stage. Combined with accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the Husson University School of Pharmacy holds the highest levels of accreditation available to educational institutions with professional pharmacy degree programs.
“The success of the first graduating class impressed the ACPE evaluation team”, says School of Pharmacy Founding Dean Rodney A. Larson, Ph.D., R.Ph. “With a 100% pass rate on the national boards, this class demonstrated that our program does an outstanding job of preparing students for rewarding and high-paying careers as professional pharmacists.”
On average, practicing pharmacists earn $116,670 per year or $56.09 per hour. It is not unusual for a Pharm.D. graduate to command a six-figure salary upon entering the field. More than 75 percent of Husson University Pharm.D. students in their final year of study received job offers before they graduated and 100% were employed within six months of graduation.
Larson continued: “Our pharmacy program is also improving the delivery of health care in rural Maine. In small towns across our state, rural pharmacists are administering vaccinations and monitoring the blood pressure of thousands of individuals who might not otherwise seek out medical attention because they live in remote locations. In helping to bring knowledgeable pharmacists to those in need, we’re not only improving healthcare, we’re providing the business community with workplace ready employees who can contribute to making retail pharmacies, rural hospitals and grocery stores more successful. Everyone benefits – the graduates who get great jobs, the businesses that hire them and the rural communities they serve.”
Earning ACPE accreditation is a singular achievement for the Husson University School of Pharmacy. Provost Lynne Coy-Ogan Ed.D. observed: “Earning ACPE accreditation represents the culmination of a rigorous peer review process. In order to earn this mark of excellence, a new school needs to meet 30 rigorous standards and progress from pre-candidate to candidate to full accreditation status over a 4-5 year period. Once a program graduates its first class, it is eligible to be considered for the awarding of full accreditation.”
Husson University President and CEO Robert A. Clark, Ph.D., values the accreditation process: “A candidate school is visited by an external peer review team on an annual basis. These site team visits engage in a systematic review of the School and its mission to prepare future pharmacists. The visits are quite helpful and provide useful advice on how to improve the program. We’ve always come away from an accreditation team visit with a number of great suggestions.”
Students must complete at least two years’ worth of prerequisites before they can matriculate into the professional phase. At any given time, the Husson University School of Pharmacy has roughly 240 students enrolled in the four-year professional program. Ninety-five individuals have graduated to date.
“Healthcare accounts of one-sixth of the U.S. economy and America’s aging population is increasing demand for individuals with healthcare knowledge and experience. With programs in pharmacy, counseling, health education, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, healthcare studies and health sciences, Husson University has become one of Maine’s leading providers of healthcare education,” says Clark.
The idea of opening a School of Pharmacy at Husson College (later to become Husson University) originated about 10 years ago. It was solidified in 2007 when Dr. Rodney Larson was hired as the founding dean and ACPE approved the University’s strategic plans to create the School. Since then, the School of Pharmacy has seen significant growth. Currently there are 34 faculty and staff members employed at the School. In addition, the School has formed valuable relationships with preceptors (e.g., practicing pharmacists, physicians, etc.,) throughout the state and country who assist in training Husson students as part of their required internship experiences.
Husson University’s School of Pharmacy is attracting students from all over the country, including many from Maine and the New England region. Graduates earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. The Pharm.D. is the professional degree that is a prerequisite for licensing in order to become a practicing pharmacist.
Pharmacy practice is currently the third largest health profession in the United States. The national and regional demand for pharmacists remains strong. According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of pharmacists nationally is projected to grow 14 percent between 2012 and 2022. Increased demand for prescription medications will lead to more demand for pharmaceutical services. With one of the poorest pharmacist per capita aggregate demand indices in the country, the Maine Department of Labor projects a significant increase in pharmacy related careers in the state.
For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.