By Steven Krolak
Imagine being a licensed pharmacist just five years after graduating from high school.
That vision is now a reality thanks to a new partnership between IU Southeast and Sullivan University College of Pharmacy in Louisville, Ky.
The collaboration creates a pre-pharmacy track at IU Southeast that prepares students to enter the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Sullivan, and allows them to apply credits earned at Sullivan toward a Bachelor of Science degree at IU Southeast via reverse transfer.
The students save time and tuition.
“This accelerated year-round program offers the fastest path to a career,” said Stacy Rowe, associate professor and director of student affairs at Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, who spearheaded the Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions together with Michele Zimmerman, professor of biology at IU Southeast.
The pre-pharmacy track at IU Southeast satisfies Sullivan University’s prerequisites for the Doctor of Pharmacy program, including 72 semester hours in biology, chemistry, physiology and anatomy, but also English, economics and general education.
The new collaboration relies on expert advising to ensure that students wishing to attend the Sullivan University College of Pharmacy have a clear understanding of the requirements and are set on a path to successfully complete the required coursework prior to application, while also working toward a bachelor’s degree at IU Southeast, according to the memorandum.
Students must meet IU Southeast requirements and be accepted for the B.A. in chemistry-biochemistry track or the B.S. in biology to be considered for phase I of the program.
Alongside Rowe, Sarah Raake, assistant professor at the Center for Health & Wellness at Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, and herself an alumna of IU Southeast, teaches the introduction to pharmacy class that will provide insight into what it really means to be a pharmacist today.
The days of merely counting pills all day are over, according to Raake.
“Pharmacists are now able to provide a great deal of clinical services,” she said. “They can offer vaccinations, recommend medications, perform point-of-care testing, and more.”
The course will marshal the best aspects of both schools to deliver a rounded program and to give students an immersion into the many options available to them within the pharmacy profession – and all without leaving the region.
“This combined program is proof that students don’t need to leave the area or attend a larger university in order to be accepted into a professional school,” said Zimmerman.
For IU Southeast Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace, the partnership demonstrates that public and private institutions of higher learning can work collaboratively to create new opportunities for students from Indiana and Kentucky.
“We are responding to the region’s call for more graduates in this field,” Wallace said. “It is especially important for students to realize that they will finish with two very marketable degrees after five short years of study both here at IU Southeast and at Sullivan University.”
Homepage photo courtesy of Sullivan University College of Pharmacy.