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Meeting of the Board of Regents | September 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 9:15am

TO:                                                 The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents


FROM:                                         Frank Muñoz


SUBJECT:                             Master Plan Amendment:  Bramson ORT College, Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Pharmacy Technician


DATE:                                      September 1, 2009


STRATEGIC GOAL:             Goal 2






Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)


                            Should the Board of Regents authorize Bramson ORT College to offer the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Pharmacy Technician?


Reason for Consideration


              Required by State regulation


Proposed Handling


This question will come before the full Board at its September 2009 meeting for final action.


Procedural History


              Master plan amendment is required because this would be the institution’s first A.A.S. degree program in the discipline of Health Professions.


Background Information


              Bramson ORT College proposes to offer a program in Pharmacy Technician leading to an Associate in Applied Science degree. The program is an extension of the current Pharmacy Technician 30-credit certificate program. The proposed program will enable program graduates to continue their studies and further their knowledge for baccalaureate and master degree programs in the pharmacy area and natural sciences.  In addition, students will be prepared to take the national certification examination to become Certified Pharmacy Technicians and be employed in a pharmacy setting.

              The Pharmacy Technician program is an extension of the College’s mission to prepare students for business and allied health careers for professional advancement and for continuing higher education. The program and course goals support the College’s framework of competencies related to the knowledge and skills that the graduates of the pharmacy technician program should accomplish during their training. These competencies are based on the requirements of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), National Health Career Association (NHA) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).


The proposed 60-credit Pharmacy Technician program is comprised of courses in pharmacy (e.g., pharmacy procedures, pharmacy calculations, pharmacology, and pharmacy management), liberal arts, allied health courses (e.g., medical terminology, medical law and ethics) and natural sciences (e.g., anatomy and physiology, chemistry, biochemistry and microbiology) already offered in the currently registered Medical Assistant and Pharmacy Technician certificate programs.   Six new courses will be added to enhance students’ knowledge of pharmacy management, anatomy and physiology for pharmacy sciences, medical terminology, chemistry, biochemistry, and microbiology. The program utilizes a hands-on approach providing the students with the required skills and confidence to excel within the range of responsibilities they will assume as pharmacy technicians in addition to providing graduates with the knowledge necessary to meet the highest standards of professionalism, confidentiality and ethics.


              Bramson ORT College’s library possesses extensive holdings in the areas of basic natural sciences, Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR), pharmacology, medical terminology, pharmacy procedures and pharmacy management, along with health insurance, HIPAA and patient privacy acts, health services, anatomy and physiology, psychology, microbiology and all the other allied health professions. The College also subscribes to supporting journals and periodicals for nurses, medical assistants, pharmacy technicians and additional periodicals for different natural sciences.  The program has broad based library support with more than 800 books, more than 50 magazines, and 10 multimedia videos related to medical sciences. The College subscribes to two pharmaceutical magazines and one pharmaceutical management newspaper.  The library also possesses more than 200 e-books regarding the pharmaceutical sciences. To support the A.A.S. degree program the College will budget approximately $5,000 annually over the next five years to enrich the collection.


              The College’s computer hardware and software, Bramson ORT Resource and Tutoring Center services, medical and science laboratories, and other facilities are designed to support the new program. The College will add pharmacy management software (Pharmacy Management Rx Insider) and pharmacy simulating software for drug interaction and dosage calculations.  The College’s current medical laboratories (two on the Queens’ campus and one in Brooklyn) are sufficient to begin the program. The College anticipates that in two years it will add a laboratory to further meet the program’s needs.


              The new program will capitalize on existing instructional resources. Two new faculty members, including one with a doctorate in pharmacy sciences, will support the program.  In addition, the College will hire two new part-time instructors with master’s degrees. Part-time instructors with expertise in teaching the pharmaceutical courses and the skills required from the industry will be sought to teach during the day and evening sessions.  The new program will be overseen by the Coordinator of the Medical and Natural Sciences Department who holds a medical degree. In the future, the College plans to have a Pharmacy Sciences Coordinator.  The program will be monitored internally through the College Academic Standing and Curriculum Committee and the College Business Advisory Council, which includes doctors, pharmacists, nurses, medical office managers, pharmacy managers, medical assistants and pharmacy technicians. 


              Based on the most recent data from New York State Department of Labor, the number of pharmacy technicians will increase by 19 percent until 2012. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics states: “The employment of Pharmacy Technicians is expected to increase by 32 percent from 2006 to 2016, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.  The increased number of middle-aged and elderly people, who use more prescription drugs, will spur demand for technicians throughout the projection period. The health care industry will continue to expand and diversify, and job opportunities look promising for applicants with work experience in health care and for those who want to pursue their education in the pharmaceutical services.”


A canvass was conducted of all degree-granting institutions in the Metropolitan Region of New York State.  There were no objections to the proposed program.


              The Department has determined that the proposed program meets the standards for registration set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.




              It is recommended that the Board of Regents authorize Bramson ORT College to offer the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Pharmacy Technician. This Master Plan Amendment will be effective until September 15, 2010, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case the Master Plan Amendment shall be without term.


Timetable for Implementation


              If the Board of Regents authorizes Bramson ORT College to offer the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Pharmacy Technician, the Department will register the program and the institution will proceed to recruit and enroll students in the program.