Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy partners with Alverno College to enhance student program opportunities

Milwaukee, March 19, 2018 – Alverno College is partnering with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) School of Pharmacy on a dual degree program that will allow full-time Alverno students who successfully complete the pharmacy program prerequisites to gain early-assurance direct admission to the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program at MCW.

The dual degree program offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Alverno and a PharmD degree from the MCW School of Pharmacy in just six years. Students complete three years in Alverno's Pharmaceutical Sciences program and three years at MCW's School of Pharmacy. The course work completed in the first year of study in the PharmD program transfers back to Alverno, fulfilling Alverno's Bachelor of Science degree requirements. This option alleviates some of the financial burden of tuition for students seeking to obtain a bachelor's degree and PharmD degree.

"This partnership represents another opportunity to educate women to be the leaders this region needs, particularly in high-demand STEM fields," said Scott Zeman, PhD, vice president for Academic Affairs at Alverno College. "Building on our longstanding tradition of health care excellence, we're thrilled to offer our students the opportunity to partner with the Medical College of Wisconsin, an institution that's focused on creating a healthier community."

Students in the program will be assigned faculty advisors from both Alverno and MCW while enrolled at Alverno, and they will be invited to participate in a minimum of two MCW School of Pharmacy-sponsored programs and events each year. Students who complete MCW's Doctor of Pharmacy program will have extensive training not only in pharmaceutical science, but in advanced practice skills such as physical assessment, administering vaccines, basic medical tests and other patient care services.

"The 3+3 pipeline program allows the MCW School of Pharmacy to connect with undergraduate students early in their education and offers mentorship and early access to opportunities in pharmacy to those students," said George E. MacKinnon III, PhD, MS, RPh, founding dean of the MCW School of Pharmacy. "We are excited to partner with Alverno College, an institution that empowers women, to recruit a diverse group of students to the pharmacy profession."

According to research by Harvard economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, the pharmacy profession is among the most egalitarian between women and men, with a small gender earnings gap. And the United States Department of Labor projects that employment of pharmacists will grow through 2026, with the increased demand for prescription medications leading to more demand for pharmaceutical services. The 2016 median pay for pharmacists was $122,230 annually. Most work in pharmacies, including those in drug, general merchandise and grocery stores, hospitals, outpatient clinics and other health care facilities.

Alverno is internationally known for its unique abilities-based curriculum, and students practice hands-on skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership and communication. Both Alverno and MCW offer small class sizes and one-on-one attention from faculty, providing a supportive learning environment.

Enrollment in the new 3+3 dual degree program is open for the fall 2018 term. For more information, visit the Alverno College website.

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