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SCCP’s accreditation course remains smooth

by Roby Hill
South Carolina College of Pharmacy
The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) board of directors voted to continue candidate status for the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP) during the ACPE board meeting June 24-28.
ACPE announced this favorable decision to administrators at SCCP and SCCP’s founding institutions, the University of South Carolina (USC) and MUSC, July 10. The college is eligible for full accreditation in June 2010.
“We’re pleased to receive a positive report and word that our candidate status continues,” said Joseph T. DiPiro, PharmD, executive dean of SCCP. “The college has been progressing toward full accreditation at maximum pace, closely following the guidelines and guidance of ACPE. After our first SCCP class graduates next year, we should be in a great position at the next review.”
Of the 30 standards evaluated in an accreditation review, the South Carolina College of Pharmacy fully met 29 and partially met the other. The only standard not “fully met” was related to the promotion and tenure process, which the evaluation report acknowledged was in the process of being finalized. The college had no standards evaluated as “Much Improvement Needed.”
“Members of the Advancement, Promotion and Tenure (APT) Committee have worked diligently to create a policy,” DiPiro said. “It is a complicated matter and has to be reviewed and approved by the trustees of each of our founding institutions. That process should be finalized and in place soon.”
SCCP was first granted candidate status in 2007 and that status has been renewed each year.  A pharmacy school cannot become accredited until its first class graduates. While SCCP’s founding institutions—USC and MUSC—have each been educating pharmacists for more than 100 years, the first class composed solely of students in the integrated program will graduate in 2010.
The accreditation status will be reviewed again in the June 2010 meeting of the ACPE board, at which time SCCP will be eligible for full accreditation.
Graduates from a pharmacy college with candidate status have the same rights and privileges as graduates from a fully accredited college, according to ACPE. Graduates from a college with precandidate status do not. While SCCP has been going through the accreditation process, enrolled students remain in the fully accredited pharmacy programs of MUSC and USC.
“We continue to honor and rely on the thousands of pharmacy alumni from USC and MUSC,” DiPiro said. “They give us counsel, act as preceptors, provide financial support for our students, represent us in their communities, and are in many ways as vital to us as our faculty and students. Our SCCP students continue to be students of the parent university of the campus they choose, and will continue its proud traditions as MUSC or USC alumni. They’ll have the additional distinction of being alumni of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy.”
The evaluation team report was written by the site visit team after meeting with numerous faculty and administrators Feb. 10-12. William A. Gouveia, vice president of the ACPE board of directors, and Jeffrey Wadelin, associate executive director and director of professional degree program accreditation for ACPE, were the team members.
They cited the importance of the planned new pharmacy building on the Charleston campus, indicating that finding funding sources and securing support from MUSC were critical. In addition to finalizing the APT policy, the report also emphasized filling some important personnel vacancies, several of which were filled or confirmed after the site visit but before the board action.
The report also singled out improved IT infrastructure, college faculty and staff, and administrators at the college and university levels as particularly positive points.
“University administrations at both MUSC and USC have provided strong and unwavering support for the merger to create the SCCP” was one comment listed in the report. Another was “The evaluation team notes the high marks for administrators, faculty, and staff provided by students.”

For information on SCCP, visit

Friday, July 24, 2009

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