Chicago State University College of Pharmacy

January 14, 2015

With 17 professional and fraternal student organizations and many community outreach opportunities, students at Chicago State University College of Pharmacy have plenty of room to learn and grow.

Chicago, IL

Founded: 2007 (Inaugural class matriculated in August 2008)

Class Size: 90

With 17 professional and fraternal student organizations and many community outreach opportunities, students at Chicago State University College of Pharmacy have plenty of room to learn and grow.

Dean Miriam A. Mobley Smith, PharmD, FASHP, described her students as mission-driven, in an interview with Pharmacy Times. For example, student associations have implemented community service events such as the Black Barbershop Initiative and Auburn-Gresham Health Fairs, and they have participated in events like Jazzin-Healthy, which offers wellness and preventive community health screenings during neighborhood jazz festivals. Faculty, too, get involved. They have served on committees and task forces such as the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, AgeOptions, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Students and faculty also lend a helping hand with medication education programs for seniors and the flu vaccine for the whole campus.

In terms of curriculum, students can expect a variety of traditional lecture, workshop, laboratory, small group learning community, service learning, integrated pharmaceutical science/therapeutics sequence, integrated experiential, and related applied learning modalities.

All students take part in a capstone research project and leave school having a manuscript suitable for publication. Chicago State University College of Pharmacy also uses a 3-semester sequence of pharmaceutical compounding courses on solid, nonsolid, and sterile drugs.

In addition, the college’s Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences allows student pharmacists to work at a public health practice site and to get involved in educating the community, enrolling clients in health care or support programs, and engaging with patients in a hospice facility.

“These experiences are designed to help students develop a high degree of empathy and compassion for patients, provide curricular-guided community service/engagement, as well as strongly reinforce the service-oriented mission of the university,” Dr. Smith said.

Smith also noted that since the college’s inaugural class, 4 student pharmacists have been named Albert Schweitzer Fellows, which allowed them to develop community-based health care service and research initiatives under faculty mentorship.

Q: What is unique about your school/program?

A: The vision and mission for the Chicago State University College of Pharmacy focuses on being recognized for its impact on the health care needs of diverse populations through its contributions in education, training, scholarship, service, and research. The college serves an integral role within the university by providing a culturally diverse and intellectually stimulated community of scholars engaged in the collective creation and dissemination of knowledge. The curriculum is designed to transform students into practitioners who are committed to humanistic service, capable of providing patient-centered care, and innovative in their leadership in the pharmacy profession. The college also embraces the mission of the university to educate individuals from diverse backgrounds to enhance culturally competent care and reduce health care disparities.

Q: What opportunities do students have for internships or co-ops?

A: Student pharmacists have numerous opportunities to participate in pharmacy internships (eg, community pharmacy, industry, pharmacy management, government/regulatory), pharmaceutical science research (volunteer and stipend), and within other venues. The college hosts career fairs and interview days for students that include representation from these various sectors. In addition, the college has a robust offering of advanced pharmacy practice experience opportunities for students in a wide variety of local, state, federal, interprofessional international practice, and related settings. In addition, the college provides APPE students the opportunity to selectively participate in a longitudinal APPE program that maximizes team-based, direct patient care experiences and provides focused preparation for postgraduate training opportunities.

Q: What advice do you have for students who will graduate this year?

A: The profession of pharmacy has substantially evolved to provide very exciting practice and career opportunities for those graduates who are appropriately prepared and motivated to seek them. Examples include new models of team-based health care delivery (eg, Patient Centered Medical Homes, Accountable Care Organizations, CMS Innovations Grants research, medication therapy management). I encourage graduates to embrace these opportunities to become agents of change for the profession and assume responsibility/accountability for positive patient health outcomes as a health care provider. Remain active in professional organizations and legislative advocacy. Take charge of your profession, and be an active part of health care transformation. Be innovative and entrepreneurial. You are well prepared to do so!