West Coast University (WCU) is celebrating an exciting milestone in the life of the 105-year-old, regionally accredited university; founded in 1909, WCU focuses on health sciences education, and the University has announced the launch of the new Doctorate of Pharmacy program (PharmD), which is being offered at the recently opened Los Angeles Learning Site on Vermont Ave. near the 101 freeway. The new program will start in August.
“There have been a number of dedicated, talented experts who have worked very hard to bring this program to life. I am proud of the fantastic team of faculty and support staff we have assembled to launch the PharmD program, and I look forward to seeing the halls of this beautiful building brimming with eager students,” said Dr. Nicholas Blanchard, Dean of the WCU School of Pharmacy.
Under Dr. Blanchard’s leadership, the PharmD program has been granted Pre-Candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Students enrolled in a program with candidate status are entitled to all the rights and privileges of those in a fully accredited program – most importantly, to be able to sit for the national licensing exam for pharmacy (NAPLEX). Full accreditation is awarded when a program has met all ACPE standards and has graduated its first class, which will be in June of 2018 for WCU.
“I could not be more excited to see the development of this outstanding program,” said Dr. Jeb Egbert, University Provost. “The Doctor of Pharmacy program will be a fabulous addition to the programmatic portfolio of the University. Especially as we develop a greater competency in interprofessional health care education, this program will be an exciting and substantive addition.”
The 4-year PharmD program combines rigorous science courses with extensive clinical experiences so that graduates will be prepared to pursue a variety of opportunities, from community pharmacy, to hospital and urgent care environments, long term health care facilities or the pharmaceutical research industry.
“There is good potential for advancement and competitive salaries within a pharmacy career,” Dr. Blanchard said.
The demand for pharmacy professionals who are doctorate-prepared has increased in past years due to the rapid growth of the health care and pharmaceutical industries, especially for the growing elderly population. The number of pharmacists in health care services is also growing, as they have become more actively involved in drug therapy decision-making for patients of all ages. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of pharmacists is projected to grow 14% from 2012 to 2022, with the median annual wage for pharmacists at over $116,000 (U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-2015).
West Coast University brings a student-centric approach to health care education that supports its mission of providing students with the tools and learning environment necessary to ensure graduates are prepared to enter the health care community as leaders in their field. From admission through graduation, faculty and staff remain actively involved in providing the resources students need to succeed, including: student services to assist any students who are struggling academically with tutoring, study and time management skills training, and career services that feature résumé-writing workshops and career guidance. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.