College of pharmacy makes changes to facilitate complete accreditation

Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is on the road to recovery. The college was scheduled for a site visit in April of 2008. But after turning in an interim report in August, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education has moved the site visit up to Wednesday.

Henry Lewis, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said the college is still strong.

“We want to continue to be the cornerstone of academic excellence here at Florida A&M,” Lewis said. “The faculty and the students here have rose to the challenge on this probationary status.”

When the ACPE visits the college, they will be looking to see if the pharmacy program is in compliance with the accreditation standards. There are a total of 30 standards. The college had to correct 19 of those standards.

Since August, Lewis, the faculty and staff of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have completed a 700 page self study to present to the ACPE.

Usually a study of this kind takes 12-18 months to complete. But has been completed in four months.

The self-study is a response to the 19 standards the pharmacy program did not meet.

In November 2006, the ACPE found the college partially compliant in 11standards, compliant with monitoring in four standards, and non-compliant in four standards.

Assessment programs, faculty, curriculum and the relationship between the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’s administration and the university administration are the four standards the college is non-compliant in.

Ellen Campbell, co-chair for the assessment committee, said once the assessment team identified their issues, they went to work.

“We had examined where we were last year and realized where our deficiencies were and started working on them,” Campbell said. “So the re-doing of our self study was mostly documenting what we’ve done up to this point.”

The assessment committee is responsible for monitoring the progress the college is making.

The college has also filled all of the vacant faculty and staff positions in the program.

In July 2007, university president James Ammons restored 12 faculty and six staff positions that had been taken away by previous administrations.

Alsean Bryant, a student representative for the curriculum committee, said the college researched other pharmacy programs and held surveys to assess the curriculum.

“We looked at our curricular goals and our objectives as a college,” said Bryant, a 21-year-old second-year pharmacy candidate from Waycross, Ga. “[We also looked at] things that we should put in our curriculum that would set us apart from other colleges of pharmacy.”

Lewis said that the curriculum has been completely revised.

“Our curriculum is fully overhauled and we will implement a brand new curriculum in fall 2008.”

In addition, Lewis said Ammons and the administration showing their support for the college has been key to the success of the process.

“That was the critical element that caused them to say hey, we’re not going to wait until April to come back, we’re going to come early,” Lewis said. “Now we can get off of probation in January of ’08 as oppose to July of ’08.” If the college is not accredited, the graduates from the program will not be eligible to take the state board examination after they graduate.

But Lewis is confidant CCPS will receive full accreditation.

“I think that when the team leaves us on next week and when we get the final report back from them that [it] will be a positive report that says the college will get it’s full six-year accreditation.”