New classroom building is next goal
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore's School of Pharmacy has secured accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education through June 30, 2019.
The council formally approved the peer-review credential in late June and notified UMES President Juliette B. Bell of the decision this week.
Maintaining the national accrediting body's validation of quality education is the cornerstone of the doctoral program that has produced 278 graduates in the past five years. The designation enables graduates who complete degree requirements to qualify for state licensure required by employers.
“Our Doctor of Pharmacy program is just one of our school's health professional programs we are proud of,” pharmacy Dean Rondall Allen said. “Graduates of our programs from our Doctor of Physical Therapy, rehabilitation services and counseling, and kinesiology are highly successful and often have multiple job offers to choose from.”
Continuing to ensure quality internally and externally validated through accreditation, UMES leaders say, is critical to the institution's recent push for funding needed for construction of a new School of Pharmacy and Health Professions building.
Maryland lawmakers approved a construction projects budget during their 2017 session that included a second installment for a health sciences classroom building that potentially could also house physical therapy, rehabilitation and kinesiology students.
With backing from Gov. Larry Hogan, the state has committed more than $6.5 million over the past two years to fund planning and design of the new building, which tentatively is slotted to be built on the site of a de-commissioned orchid greenhouse destroyed by a 2011 fire.
Launched in 2010, UMES' pharmacy program currently utilizes classrooms, labs and faculty offices spread among five buildings. The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education has urged UMES to consolidate pharmacy instruction under one roof.
How quickly construction might start hinges on at least two factors; getting endorsements from the University System of Maryland regents and the state's higher education commission for the building's design and construction costs, and then convincing the Maryland legislature to fund it. Ideally, UMES leaders are hopeful construction could begin in the fall of 2019.
The UMES School of Pharmacy offers an accelerated, three-year curriculum, one of just a handful of accredited institutions across the country that does so.