MU | Features
ALL PATHS LEAD TO MANCHESTER
M anchester Pharmacy opened its doors in late August to welcome the newest Class of ’ 26 as it has with every incoming class over the past decade . This cohort , however , unlike any class before them , had more pathways to becoming a pharmacist .
Approximately half of the students will earn their Pharm . D . degree through the new Doctor of Pharmacy distance pathway , learning primarily from their home cities across the country . The other half will learn traditionally on campus .
“ Every student accepted into our Pharm . D . program is held to the same level and rigorous academic standards for admission ,” said Trovinger , director for the pharmacy distance pathway “ After receiving formal acceptance to Manchester Pharmacy , students may then choose either pathway of study .”
In Fall 2021 , Manchester submitted a proposal to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education ( ACPE ) to expand the capacity and reach of its Pharm . D . Program through the distance pathway . ACPE evaluated the proposed pathway in tandem with its scheduled reaccreditation review of the Doctor of Pharmacy Program in April 2022 . Trovinger and her colleagues participated in the extensive ACPE review process , which was led by Rob Beckett , Pharm . D ., assistant dean of assessment for health sciences and pharmacy .
Dean W . Thomas “ Tommy ” Smith , Pharm . D ., J . D ., credits their work as an important step toward meeting future student needs for greater access to pharmacy education . He sees the new distance pathway as a continuation of the robust online teaching methods developed at Manchester in response to COVID-19 .
“ This fall , we welcomed Manchester Pharmacy ’ s first-ever hybrid class of highly qualified , competitive students from many paths as distance and on-campus learners ,” said Smith . “ We also received ACPE ’ s eightyear accreditation extension of the Pharm . D . Program in its entirety , which includes the distance pathway . We owe these achievements to Drs . Beckett , Trovinger and many other faculty and staff who worked tirelessly , taking on extra duties for months on end .”
Expanded Capacity for Training
From Fall 2022 orientation through Spring 2026 commencement , distance pathway students will spend a total of 14 weeks on campus over the course of their four-year program , Trovinger explained . Students also will complete two weeks of lab training activities in their second and third year . Finally , students will return to Manchester for eight weeks of Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences ( APPE ) in their fourth year before graduation . The experiences can be scheduled in one visit or in two 4-week visits .
Distance pathway students will interact regularly online as a cohort just as on-campus students will have in-person interactions within their cohort . Each cohort will elect a class president , creating a new model for co-leadership of the entire class , explained Trovinger . Though they will go through weekly studies asynchronously as two distinct cohorts , during the second and third years , distance students again will return to campus for hands-on skills development in the pharmacy practice laboratory .
All students , regardless of their learning pathway , will have the same in-person lab training for things like formulary calculations and compounding . They ’ ll also participate in interprofessional training and activities together .
“ We were very mindful in developing this new model to make sure that every student is held to the same curricular standards and has the same experiences and opportunities ,” Trovinger said .
Also an associate professor of pharmacy practice and interim director of experiential education , Trovinger connects all students to institution and community supervised practice sites where they will fulfill internship
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