Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tri-County Technical College's Pre-Pharmacy Advisory Committee was named advisory committee of the year at the College's annual fall convocation.

Advisory Committee members Dr. Danny West, left, and Jim Hammett, far right, accepted the trophy and plaque on behalf of the committee. Pictured with them are, from left, chemistry instructor Karen Linscott, Science Department Head Dr. Suzanne Ellenberger, and Dr. Lynn Lewis, dean of the Health Education Division.



Pre-Pharmacy Named Advisory Committee of the Year


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        8/22/2012

                                                                                                            (By Lisa Garrett)

               PENDLETON -- Tri-County Technical College's Pre-Pharmacy Advisory Committee was named advisory committee of the year at the College's annual fall convocation.

             Advisory Committee members Dr. Danny West and Jim Hammett accepted the trophy and plaque on behalf of the committee. Science Department Head Dr. Suzanne Ellenberger, Dr. Lynn Lewis, dean of the Health Education Division, and chemistry instructor Karen Linscott also were present to receive the award.

            The Advisory Board, consisting Dr. Laura Fox of Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy, Kelly Clark of South University, Alissa Smith of Upstate South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Bill Stevenson of Oconee Memorial, Jim Hammett of AnMed, Donald Calvert, Dr. Danny West, Dr. Lynn Lewis, Dr. Ellenberger and Karen Linscott, meets regularly to evaluate and to develop the curriculum and to serve as consultants to the department head.

            This two-year program, titled General Technology with a concentration in Pre-Pharmacy, is a mix of online and traditional courses.  The curriculum gives students the courses they need to have before they can apply to the S.C. College of Pharmacy. 

            "Our program provides students the same opportunities to enter a school of pharmacy that a four-year college or university would," said Ellenberger.  Tri-County was the first technical college in the State to offer this package of classes.

            "The word is out to students in the Upstate that an academically qualified student can come to Tri-County and gain entry into pharmacy school at a fraction of the cost of a university. Tri-County Pre-Pharmacy students realize and appreciate the economic and educational advantage of smaller class sizes for rigorous courses with comparable chances for acceptance to pharmacy school," said Ellenberger.

            "The Pre-Pharmacy Advisory Committee has quickly demonstrated a maximum impact for the College in terms of program growth and selection of applicants to S.C. Schools of Pharmacy.  Each pharmacy school in South Carolina is represented and each selected Tri-County students as an endorsement of the program's rigor and applicant quality," Dr. Lewis wrote in her nomination.

            It's not unusual for our students to get multiple acceptances to pharmacy schools all over the United States, said Ellenberger.

            Since 2009, the program has averaged 44 students each academic year.  To date, 14 Tri-County students have been accepted into pharmacy schools with sustained academic success. Tri-County now has graduates from all three colleges of pharmacy in South Carolina.

            "When the advisory committee met for the first time in October 2009, the program goal was to keep student advising specific/current to S.C. Schools of Pharmacy to eventually enrich the shortage of Upstate pharmacists with a pipeline of local students.  A secondary goal of the advisory committee remains reaffirmation for the coursework of the curriculum," said Dr. Lewis.

            "The enthusiasm and active interest of the advisory committee in Tri-County students and this program contributes to the confidence and feeling of success that students feel when competing for limited and extremely competitive pharmacy school slots. Hospital-based advisory board members assist in recognizing and providing opportunities for TCTC student shadowing, a requirement for pharmacy school entry," said Dr. Lewis.

            "An interesting finding of our Pre-Pharmacy Advisory Board has been not only the sustained percentage of Tri-County students accepted to highly competitive colleges, but their leadership within the programs," added Ellenberger.

            Four of Tri-County's 2010 Pre Pharmacy graduates, Alan Rusnak, Morgan Fleming, Marshall Price and Claire Reid, who transferred to Presbyterian College's School of Pharmacy, are standout students in academics and leadership roles on the Clinton campus.

            Rusnak, who scored in the 99th percentile on his Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) in 2010, says his Pre-Pharmacy degree prepared him for the specialized test that helps to identify qualified applicants to pharmacy colleges.

              "Tri-County quickly became an option because it offers a skills- based approach.  The Science program at Tri-County is really doing things right and the instructors are on top of things.  And Tri-County is a better value than four-year colleges and universities," said Rusnak.


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Rebecca Eidson
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Lisa Garrett
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