BANGOR, Maine — Husson University received Monday notification of “pre-candidacy” status from the national Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education.
“This means we will matriculate our first class of [doctor of pharmacy] students this September and we will be on our way,” said Rod Larson, dean of Husson’s School of Pharmacy.
The university, formerly Husson College, began accepting pre-pharmacy undergraduates in 2007. The accrediting council requires that the dean, faculty, curriculum, facilities and many of the practice sites be in place before “pre-candidacy” status can be awarded, the university said in a press release. Husson has met these stan-dards and has assembled a full class of students.
“Husson has already enrolled 100 pre-pharmacy students and has tuition deposits for close to 60 doctoral students pending this approval,” Husson President William Beardsley said Monday. “We have the faculty, staff, facilities and students and, now, the official authorization to begin. Most of our entering class — 72 percent — is from Maine, although we have deposits from across the nation.
“Most of our clinical experiential sites are in Maine,” he said. “We believe Maine students studying and practicing right here will work here, and there is a significant unmet need for pharmacists, particularly in rural, small-town Maine. This is what Husson is all about.”
Husson has developed several tracks for moving from high school graduation into the doctor of pharmacy program, according to Julie Green, Husson spokeswoman. Students may enroll in the university’s pre-pharmacy-chemistry major or pre-pharmacy-biology major and then transfer into the doctoral program after two, three or four years of study if and when they meet all entry requirements. Students with extensive science backgrounds and-or science degrees at other colleges and universities across the country also may apply directly to the program.
In addition, the university has signed a compact with the University of New Brunswick that follows a similar pattern. Several of the Canadian student practice sites will be located in Canada.
“The pre-pharmacy program at Husson gives talented Maine students an accelerated, affordable special opportunity and reflects Husson’s mission of serving Maine youth,” Julie Ogden, pharmacy director of admissions, said.
The Husson School of Pharmacy is on track to graduate its first class in 2013, according to Green.
The pharmacy school at the University of New England in Biddeford also was notified Monday by the ACPE that it had received pre-candidacy status.