UAA offers new pharmacy doctorate via partnership with Idaho State University

Oct. 6, 2015

Starting next fall, University of Alaska Anchorage students can earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree without leaving the state. UAA’s new pharmacy program − a partnership with Idaho State University − is accepting applications now for fall 2016.

Previously UAA has offered training to pharmacy technicians, but students who wanted an advanced pharmacy degree had to leave Alaska. The new program is a collaboration between the UAA Alaska Center for Rural Health and Health Workforce, Alaska Pharmacists Association, UAA College of Health and ISU College of Pharmacy.

“Our state has had a long-standing need for pharmacy education for place-committed Alaskans,” said Jan Harris, vice provost of UAA Health Programs. “UAA students leaving the state for pharmacy education may not return, and pharmacists from the Lower 48 states often do not stay long term. This has been a particular burden to rural Alaska.”

This new joint pharmacy program will allow students to obtain all four years of their Doctor of Pharmacy training in state. UAA pharmacy students will have on-site instructors for all components of the program, and will participate with Idaho students via videoconference lectures. ISU pharmacy professor Tom Wadsworth has relocated from Boise to Anchorage to assume his new role as assistant dean of Alaska programs for ISU.

“Socialization to the profession of pharmacy is vitally important to a student’s education,” Wadsworth said. “We are committed to providing on-site professors for instruction and practical experiences to properly socialize and prepare our students for the profession of pharmacy.”

UAA identified ISU as a good match because of its long history of pharmacy education, emphasis on rural health and experience in multi-site delivery. ISU has been educating pharmacists for more than 30 years, and this new affiliation means the College of Pharmacy will have three sites for program delivery: Pocatello and Boise in Idaho, and Anchorage.

The program hopes to recruit an inaugural cohort of 10-15 students for the graduating class of 2020.

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