|Pharmacy college receives full accreditation
by Roby Hill
College of Pharmacy
In July, the South Carolina College of Pharmacy walked across its own
Ever since MUSC and the University of South Carolina (USC) announced
they were integrating their colleges of pharmacy to form the South
Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP), everyone interested in pharmacy
education has watched to see if the new college would succeed.
Accreditation has been a critical measuring stick.
When the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) issued its
most recent report on Accreditation Action and Recommendations, it
announced the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP) had been
granted full accreditation. The report reached the desk of Joseph T.
DiPiro, PharmD, executive dean of SCCP, July 15.
“The integration process has been evolutionary,” said DiPiro, who was
hired in 2005 with the challenge of bringing the two colleges together
and creating a dynamic new entity leveraging the best practices of
both. “We started with two historic, quality programs, not from
scratch. Bringing together those distinct cultures and forming a new
one, without losing what makes them special, has been a challenging but
ultimately very rewarding process. Getting accreditation is an
acknowledgment that we have done so successfully.”
Before a college enrolls students, it must meet strict criteria to be
granted pre-candidate status, which includes a comprehensive report
about the college’s planning and resources. Once students are enrolled,
it is eligible for Candidate status and once the first class graduates,
it is eligible for full accreditation.
The SCCP was granted pre-candidate in 2005 and enrolled its first
190-student class in the fall of 2006, 110 on the USC campus and 80 on
the MUSC campus. At the next ACPE board meeting, in June 2007, it was
granted candidate status. The first class was the Class of 2010, which
graduated this past May, and the college was granted full accreditation
at the next board meeting, in June.
“The accreditation of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy was a
lengthy and complicated process,” said Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D.,
president of MUSC. “The fact that it was successfully concluded is a
tribute to the many faculty and staff who worked so hard to bring these
two great schools together. Both USC and MUSC can be proud of this
accomplishment and the many more achievements that lie ahead.”
While the SCCP went through the accreditation process, the legacy
colleges of pharmacy at USC and MUSC retained their existing accredited
status so all students who enrolled prior to the integration could
finish in the program (all USC students have completed the four-year
program and ACPE has discontinued that accreditation by request; one
MUSC student is still finishing, after which the university will
request its status to be discontinued as well).
The decision to create the SCCP was controversial, but the boards of
trustees and the administration of each university, led at MUSC by
Greenberg and at USC by then-president Andrew Sorensen, believed it
could be a visionary way to generate increased opportunities for
academic quality through increased efficiencies.
“In July, the South Carolina College of Pharmacy reached an important
milestone,” said Harris Pastides, USC president. “We can appreciate the
boldness in the shared vision of presidents Sorensen and Greenberg.
This first graduating class is a ringing endorsement of their
leadership in this venture. What’s more, our administrations have
provided a model of collaboration and streamlining that has proved
invaluable in times of economic uncertainty.”
Friday, Aug. 13,