FAMU school of pharmacy progressing

Despite a snag with the Accreditation Council last year, students of Florida A&M’s School of Pharmacy said the school is making strides inte right direction.

The pharmacy school sparked a bit of controversy when the Accreditation Council sited the Pharmacy Education’s for 21 concerns over curriculum, teaching facilities and faculty staffing levels.

Despite the citation some students said they are proud of the school’s progression.

Iman Smith, 19, a pharmacy student, said the school is a great place to learn.

“I chose pharmacy because medicine interested me and my god sister was in the program while I was in high school,” said Smith, a native of Memphis, Tenn. “I believe everyone who graduates from this program gets a job because alumni give back as well as other companies to help better prepare students for employment opportunities.”

According to the school’s Web site, FAMU’s pharmacy program produces the most black pharmacists in the country and 20 percent of the nation’s pharmacists are represented by FAMU students.

The site also said the program is the only college of pharmacy nationally that offers the MPH and DrPH degrees in public health through its respective institute.

Each graduating class has an average of 2,500 volunteer hours and graduated over 60 percent of blacks since 1990, according to the site.

Trishwanda Howell, 19, a pharmacy student from Orlando, said she loves the pharmacy program and understands why so many look forward to coming to one of the best schools for pharmaceutical sciences.

“I volunteered at a hospital for two years,” she said. “I wanted to help with public health and not just with medicine.”

Many alumni also give back to the college of pharmacy to help with funding of programs and new technology to better assist the students.

Gabrielle Riggins, 19, a pharmacy student from Jacksonville, is the daughter of two alumni from FAMU’s pharmaceutical program. She said the program is very strong.

“I think the program is doing excellent,” she said. “We graduate the most African-American pharmacists and we have loyal alumni that continue to give back to the school; and I think that’s one of the reasons our program is so great. I just love working with medicine and seeing how different drugs effect different people.”

Students said they are working harder than ever to achieve the goals that the program has set and feel those who successfully complete the pharmacy program, are technically trained, educated and well prepared.

“The pharmacy program is doing very well in preparing future pharmacist,” said Howell.

The School of Pharmacy was started in 1951 when FAMU was known as Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College. Currently, the university’s pharmacy program is preparing up and coming pharmacists from around the country.

Students from the institute said they are learning a lot in the College of Pharmacy.

The goal of the program is to develop progressive leaders in pharmaceutical care, research, and public health, to enhance the quality of life for Floridians.