Chapman University’s new School of Pharmacy, set to open its doors and enroll its first doctoral students in fall 2015, has cleared the first hurdle on its way to full accreditation, right on schedule. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the accrediting commission for senior colleges and universities in the western region of the U.S., has granted final approval to Chapman University to offer a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. The approval came after a Substantive Change Review, which the commission carries out when a college or university proposes to add any major new degree program.

The commission concluded that Chapman’s proposal to offer a pharmacy doctorate was “thorough and well-written,” that the university “provided evidence that it is addressing the development of an appropriate graduate culture and infrastructure,” that the university “has assembled a strong initial faculty team to guide program development and delivery,” and that the program has given “strong attention to assessment of student learning outcomes” for the PharmD degree.

Chapman University School of Pharmacy’s administrators, including Dean Ron Jordan (center, back row), and its Founding Dean’s Professional Advisory Council met on campus in September as part of its march to accreditation.

Chapman University School of Pharmacy’s administrators, including Dean Ron Jordan (center, back row), and its Founding Dean’s Professional Advisory Council met on campus in September as part of its march to accreditation.

“It’s great to have this first significant step on our path to the accreditation of Orange County’s first school of pharmacy behind us,” said Ron Jordan, R.Ph., FAPhA, dean of the Chapman School of Pharmacy. “The hard work done and the commendation received from WASC for the excellence of our plan and areas of program assessment was well-deserved.  I’m proud of what our exceptional team of leaders has accomplished, and look forward to many great strides yet to come.”

“It’s official – Chapman’s PharmD is for real,” said Joe Slowensky, Chapman’s Vice Chancellor of Institutional Effectiveness, Faculty Affairs, and Accreditation Liaison Officer. “Congratulations to everyone on Dean Jordan’s team for their hard work and for this terrific accomplishment.”

The WASC accrediting commission made several routine recommendations to Dean Jordan and his team, including that the PharmD program should closely monitor internship site availability to ensure students have the necessary access to this required element of the program; and that attention be given to career services to support an appropriate high placement rate for PharmD graduates.

The next steps the school must achieve are accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), for which the school will apply in January 2014, with an ACPE staff site visit to occur in early 2014 and pre-candidate status consideration from June to fall 2014.

Chapman University’s School of Pharmacy will be headquartered on the university’s new Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, along with Chapman’s well-respected doctoral program in physical therapy and new physician assistant program.