Thursday, October 22, 2009

Manchester College to launch school for pharmacists in Fort Wayne.

Manchester College will begin the accreditation process for a School of Pharmacy in Fort Wayne, Ind., with unanimous approval given by its Board of Trustees. Manchester College is a Church of the Brethren-related school in North Manchester, Ind.

The college plans to enroll its first students in the four-year Doctor of Pharmacy program in the fall of 2012. This is the 121-year-old baccalaureate college’s first venture into a doctoral program and into a satellite campus. It will be the only Doctor of Pharmacy program in northern Indiana.

"Graduate education for pharmacists is a natural fit with Manchester College," said president Jo Young Switzer. Manchester has a strong reputation in the sciences, particularly for preparing students for medical and graduate school. The college also emphasizes service learning.

Fort Wayne is a natural fit for the new venture. In addition to numerous medical facilities and opportunities for pharmacy practicum experiences, Fort Wayne offers many amenities attractive to the school’s 250 students, 40 faculty and staff members, and their families.

"The decision by Manchester College to start a PharmD program in Fort Wayne is a wonderful investment of financial and intellectual capital in our city," said mayor Tom Henry. "As the health care sector continues to grow in Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana, Manchester College’s expansion of professional programs is going to be key in creating the highly skilled, highly educated workforce employers demand."

The average starting salary for pharmacists exceeds $100,000 and demand in the highly competitive profession is expected to grow more than 20 percent in the coming decade, said Switzer. The college’s research indicates many pharmacy graduates--who come from throughout the nation--remain in the communities where they study. Said Switzer, "During our exploration, many told us that this project aligns well with other initiatives undertaken in northeast Indiana to strengthen the economy here."

Admission to Manchester’s new school will require two years of pre-pharmacy coursework. The college will add that program to its undergraduate curriculum in North Manchester and its students will compete with pre-pharmacy students from other colleges and universities for seats in the School of Pharmacy.

The college has not finalized its plans for a Fort Wayne site for the new school, which will require at least 35,000 square feet for classrooms, offices, and laboratories. The pharmacy school will be a part of Manchester College and governed by the college’s Board of Trustees.

The search for a founding dean and building of a leadership team will begin immediately. That team will begin preparing the school’s application for accreditation.

-- Jeri S. Kornegay is director of Media and Public Relations for Manchester College.

Source: 10/22/2009 Newsline

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