SCCP Granted Full Accreditation
In July, the South Carolina College of Pharmacy walked across its own graduation stage.
Ever since the Medical University of South Carolina (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, Executive Dean of the SCCP, on 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 acknowledgement that we have done so successfully.”
"The accreditation of the South Carolina College of Pharmacy was a lengthy and complicated process,” said Dr. Raymond Greenberg, 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."
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 Dr. 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 Dr. Harris Pastides, President of USC. “We can now 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.”
According to the Evaluation Team Report (ETR), “The evaluation team was impressed with the levels of collaboration and trust that it observed among administrators and faculty on and between the two campuses. The Dean, other administrators, and faculty are encouraged to continue their good efforts in building a shared vision, developing effective communication and collaboration, and supporting initiatives that enhance the College’s mission and success.”
“The Dean is commended for what the evaluation team perceives to have been an excellent job in leading the College through the merger and its critical formative stages. Although strong campus identities still exist, faculty and students now recognize and speak to the benefits that have resulted from the merger of the previous two colleges.”
Faculty on each campus worked together to cull the best parts of their curricula to design a new one for the integrated program that leveraged best practices of both.
The ETR stated, “Faculty has spent a great deal of time over the past 4-5 years developing, implementing, and refining the College’s curriculum. In the evaluation team’s view, they have largely succeeded in their goal to take the best from the previous USC and MUSC curricula and then build on that.”
Students agreed. “Even with all the compromises and changes that have been made, I honestly think the merger was a great benefit to us as students,” said Laura Brown ’10, a member of SCCP’s first graduating class from its USC campus. “We were given so many more opportunities and able to learn from truly some of the best specialty pharmacists.”
William Shealy was a prepharmacy undergraduate at USC when he heard about the integration. He took advantage of it by attending the professional program on the MUSC campus.
“The SCCP offers many of the things which I find important: a great location in a great state, world-renowned faculty and reputation and most importantly: tons of opportunity,” said the Class of 2010 graduate. “Opportunities for leadership, personal growth, business, service, education and mentorship abound at the SCCP no matter which campus you are at…take it from someone who spent four years at both campuses.”
For more Information:
Robert M. Hill
Director of Communications, South Carolina College of Pharmacy
MUSC Tel: 843-792-1100
USC Tel: 803-777-4151
For information about applying for entry Fall 2011, please visit http://www.sccp.sc.edu/
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