Accreditation is the hallmark of a collegeís reputation, and the University of Cincinnatiís James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy has cause to raise the banner high.
Thatís because on Friday, Jan. 31, Dean Neil MacKinnon, PhD, received word from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) that the collegeís accreditation status had been affirmed for eight more years, extending through June 2022, which is the longest possible term granted by the ACPE.
The ACPE is the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education.
The announcement comes after a rigorous process by which the college had to meet the ACPEís 30 standards of a quality pharmacy education. In preparation to meet these standards, faculty and staff began tackling an ACPE-required self-study two years ago.
The result was a 1,000-plus-page document submitted to the ACPE prior to a site visit in September 2013.
There were many areas identified as strengths by the on-site team as part of its assessment, says MacKinnon. In particular, he says, the ACPE team commented in a positive way about the quality and professionalism of our students and faculty, the ease in transition from the quarter to the semester system and the quality of the self-study document itself.
"The theme for our self-study was ĎGood to Great!í and Iím proud that we conducted an honest self-evaluation, acted on areas targeted for improvement, and pushed our program to the next level. Itís satisfying that the accreditation site team recognized this,Ē remarked the collegeís self-study chair, Associate Dean for Professional Education and Assessment Shauna Buring, PharmD.
Special recognition by the ACPE team was directed to the college preceptors and the quality of the experiential training program, she says. The college partners with 155 pharmacies in hospitals, nursing homes and communities to provide students with clinical experience.
"Over these past five months, Iíve come to appreciate the quality and rigor of our PharmD program and the professionalism exhibited by our students, faculty, staff and preceptors,Ē says MacKinnon, who came on board as dean in the midst of the accreditation process.