Located at WCU’s Tradition campus, the School of Pharmacy is one of only a handful of accelerated programs in the country. Students complete the program in two years and 10 months – instead of the usual four years. The curriculum includes classroom instruction and experiential learning, as well as clinical rotations at pharmacies and healthcare organizations in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.
As with other doctoral-level programs in healthcare-related fields, accrediting agencies do not consider granting full accreditation until a program’s inaugural class has graduated. The WCU School of Pharmacy opened in July 2018; its first class graduated in April 2021.
The ACPE Board of Directors advanced the WCU School of Pharmacy to accredited status during its June board meeting.
“The full accreditation of the WCU School of Pharmacy, without any requirements, is another major step in William Carey’s goal to become the premier institution in the Gulf South for providing programs in the healthcare field. Dr. Malloy and the entire faculty of the pharmacy school are to be commended for this outstanding accomplishment,” said WCU President Dr. Tommy King.
Dr. Michael Malloy is dean of the WCU School of Pharmacy. He and his staff hosted a two-day orientation for new students July 1-2. Classes started July 6.
“I am extremely proud of my faculty, staff and all the students who made this moment possible. It took them investing all their time and effort into making this program a priority in their lives, and the end result shows how much they valued their careers and each other,” Malloy said.
“I want to especially thank Dr. Tommy King, Dr. Janet Williams, and Grant Guthrie for their support since the program’s inception and everyone at the university for helping us navigate the details.”
Williams is associate vice president for health programs and dean of the WCU College of Health Sciences. Guthrie is WCU’s chief financial officer and vice president for business affairs.
“Finally, I want to thank the people in south Mississippi – especially those on the coast – for embracing and supporting our dream. We also could not have done this without our pharmacy partners, hospitals and community pharmacies throughout the entire region who play an integral part in our students’ education and success. We have been blessed to be able to achieve this on time.”
WCU pharmacy students are active in community service projects.
Beginning in December, they volunteered at Singing River Health System’s COVID-19 vaccine site. Pharmacy students administered shots, prepared doses from bulk vials, and helped with record-keeping and immunization cards. Students also assisted at vaccination sites like Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Slidell Memorial Hospital and Coastal Family Health Center.
WCU student members of Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International recently returned from a week-long mission trip in the Dominican Republic. During the trip, students served 300 patients, filled 500 prescriptions, and fed 40 families. In April, pharmacy students on a mission trip to Appalachia assisted at a COVID-19 vaccine site and volunteered during a food distribution project.
Dr. Cassandra Conner is dean of WCU-Tradition campus: “Receiving full accreditation from ACPE strengthens our goal to ensure that our pharmacy graduates are prepared to make a positive difference in the lives of the people and communities in which they serve.”