UMES Pharmacy School Earns Accreditation Credential - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UMES Pharmacy School Earns Accreditation Credential

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education on Wednesday announced that the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's doctor of pharmacy program has earned full accreditation.

For students enrolled at UMES, especially the charter class that graduated this spring, the official recognition by ACPE is an affirmation by peers that the university's curriculum and training meet rigorous professional standards, university officials said.

"Attaining full accreditation is truly a significant achievement in the growth of our pharmacy program," said Dr. Nicholas Blanchard, who is the founding dean of the UMES School of Pharmacy.

UMES enrolled its first class of pharmacy students in August 2010 and awarded 57 doctorates May 17. 

UMES offers a year-round or "accelerated program that enables students to earn a Pharm.D. degree in three years instead of the traditional four."

The announcement is a capstone to President Juliette B. Bell's first year in office.

"This certainly is exciting news for the entire university community," Bell said. "It is a reflection of the excellent work Dean Blanchard, the faculty and our dedicated students put into achieving this important milestone in our journey toward achieving academic eminence. I congratulate everyone in the School of Pharmacy on a job well done."

UMES now has 27 academic programs with peer-review accreditation credentials.

"This is a great day for the university," said Dr. Ron Nykiel, the university's chief academic officer. "Pharmacy accreditation is one of the most difficult to receive."

Nykiel noted that with UMES' business school earning international accreditation in 2011 and the PGA golf management program recently receiving a similar credential, " this will bring attention to our high-quality programs. It shows what a complete university UMES is."

The ACPE accredits doctor of pharmacy programs at colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and at selected non-U.S. sites. For a new doctor of pharmacy program, ACPE accreditation generally involves three steps: pre-candidate status, candidate status and full accreditation.

Pre-candidate status is awarded to a new program that has not yet enrolled students and authorizes an institution to admit its first class. To achieve candidate status, a doctor of pharmacy program must have students enrolled, but has not yet had a graduating class.

A pharmacy school becomes eligible to be considered for full accreditation when it has produced its first graduating class and demonstrates it meets standards set forth by the national council.

In mid-July, the next class of doctoral candidates - UMES' fourth - will enroll in the university's School of Pharmacy.  
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