The Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee



Johanna Duncan-Poitier




Master Plan Amendment, St. John Fisher College


February 24, 2006


Goal 2






Issue for Decision


Should the Regents approve the proposed master plan amendment for St. John Fisher College to offer a licensure-qualifying Pharmacy program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree?


Reason for Consideration


Required by State statute.

Proposed Handling


This question will come before the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee at its March meeting where it will be voted on and action taken.  It will then come before the full Board at its March meeting for final action.


Procedural History


Approval of master plan amendments by the Board of Regents is required by section 237 of the Education Law.  A master plan is necessary to authorize an institutionís first program at a new level of study.



Background Information


The St. John Fisher College (SJFC) Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to amend its master plan to authorize the College to offer a licensure-qualifying program in Pharmacy leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.  The Pharm.D. proposal supports one of the high-priority objectives in the SJFC 2003 Strategic Plan that focuses upon development of new professionally-oriented graduate programs.  The College has designed the program to meet the standards of professional accreditation by the American Council on Pharmacy Education (ACPE).  The program meets the standards for registration as set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.




The Regents should approve the proposed master plan amendment, effective March 21, 2006, to authorize St. John Fisher College to offer a Pharmacy program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree because it will address the projected shortage of pharmacists to meet the needs of the citizens of New York State.


Timetable for Implementation


This approval will be effective until March 31, 2007, unless the Department registers the program prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be without term.





St. John Fisher College (SJFC) has requested registration of a proposed Pharmacy program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree.  St. John Fisher College is authorized to award the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.), and the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees.  In the HEGIS category of the Health Professions, the College offers B.S. and M.S. programs in Nursing. 


          The proposed program requires four years of full-time graduate study consisting of three years of coursework and one year of experiential learning that provides supervised experience in a variety of community pharmaceutical sites.  The SJFC curriculum exceeds the minimum requirements in all content areas in the standards for registration in Section 52.29 of the Regulations of the Commissioner. 


The program is designed to provide students with the necessary didactic and clinical training to provide both distributive and patient-oriented pharmaceutical services in hospitals, clinics, community pharmacies, and extended care facilities.  In the first three years of the program, there is integration of practice components to provide the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to real life settings and patients, under supervision of qualified pharmacists.  In addition, self-directed learning evidenced through self-reflection journal entries in the culminating program portfolio (PHARM 720 Ė Portfolio and Integration of Research) encourages students to pursue lifelong learning and constant re-evaluation of present practice to integrate advanced information.  The portfolio is equivalent to a comprehensive examination and must be completed to the faculty teamís satisfaction prior to graduation. 


          In the fourth year of the program, there are five required clinical rotations: Adult Medicine I, Adult Medicine II (or medicine sub-specialty), Ambulatory Care, Advanced Community Practice, and Advanced Institutional Practice.  Students choose four elective rotations from the following: Medicine sub-specialties of psychiatric, oncology, renal, cardiology, infectious diseases, gastroenterology, respiratory disease, and neurology/psychiatry; Long Term Care; Pediatrics; Geriatrics; Home Infusion; Nuclear; and Managed Care.  There are over 10 potential pharmacy sites that have provided letters of support and willingness to provide placements for SJFC pharmacy students.


The Pharm.D. program requires a completion of 147 credits, including 102 credits of course work in the first three years and 45 credits of clinical in 9, 6-week rotations (2160 clock hours).  Course descriptions reflect work with numerous consultants, review of 25 other programs across the nation, visits to 2 out-of-state pharmacy schools, and a search of textbooks and course syllabi from other schools.


          SJFC will participate in the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS), a national application service that will enable SJFC admissions counselors to advise students of pre-requisite courses, minimum grade point average requirements, and minimum Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) scores for admission to the program.  In addition to the PCAT, students selected as finalists will be interviewed by the pharmacy faculty committee to assess their communication skills, maturity, commitment to the field of pharmacy, motivation, and moral character.  The highest scoring students on the PCAT, with a strong GPA and a successful interview will be admitted to the Pharm.D. program.  There is about a 10:1 ratio of students interested in pharmacy schools compared to openings.  The College projects that its first class of 60 in September 2006 will be filled.  Applicants may complete the two years of undergraduate pre-professional pre-requisites at SJFC or transfer from another college.  Tuition will be $24,000 per year, with 5 percent annual increases.


The Dean of the Wegmanís School of Pharmacy has been employed since September 2005.  The Dean has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, 15 years of pharmacy academic leadership experience, and nearly 25 years of pharmacy education experience.  Since January 2006, an Assistant Dean of Student Affairs has been employed who holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and has 20 years of practice and academic experience in pharmacy.  An Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the School of Pharmacy has been hired and will begin employment in May 2006.  He holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and has nine years of pharmacy education experience.  The College is in the process of interviewing for a Chair of Pharmaceutical Services, a Chair of Pharmacy Practice, four faculty positions, and an Experiential Director to begin work in late spring or early summer.  Each will have Pharm.D. or Ph.D. degrees as well.  By Years Three and Four, the total full-time faculty complement will be 20 and 25, respectively. 


          The College is in sound financial condition and has been able to invest in renewal and replacement of its physical plant and implemented other improvements.  For the year ending May 31, 2005, SJFC had over a $3.4 million surplus from operations with a projected $3.9 million in surplus from operations for FY 2006.  The School of Pharmacy will be housed in a new 37,000 square foot building with an anticipated completion date of spring 2006.  The facilities will provide state-of-the-art technology and classrooms, laboratories, and communal centers.  Initial financial support for the Pharm.D. program is provided by a $5 million gift from the Wegman Corporation and another $3 million in gifts from private donors, state, and federal sources. Ongoing support will be provided by tuition revenue.


          The library contains over 190,000 books, 983 periodical subscriptions, and 4,800 video items.  Through the libraryís homepage, students can access a virtual collection of 8,500 e-books, over 70 databases, scholarly websites selected by the librarians, and the Internet at large.  Some library materials for the Pharm.D. program have already been acquired and a plan is in place to acquire the remaining items within five years.


          In establishing the School of Pharmacy, the College has considered the standards for accreditation of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and has provided information in the proposal in response to those standards.  Once the program is registered, the accreditation application process will begin.  


          The NYS Department of Labor projects the need for 130 pharmacist positions in Western and Central New York for each of the next five years.  The net shortage of pharmacists to fill the need is 85 per year in the region.  Nationwide, the need is 157,000 pharmacists per year.  According to a consultant for SJFC, all pharmacy schools are at full capacity and most new schools open with 50-60 students and about 25 faculty members.


          A canvass was conducted of institutions of higher education in the Genesee region and the four pharmacy schools in New York State.  Four institutions that do not have pharmacy programs responded; two supported the program and two had no objections.