The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Board of Directors has awarded full accreditation status to the Belmont University College of Pharmacy (BUCOP). ACPE, the official regulatory body that accredits all colleges of pharmacy in the United States, reviewed Belmont at its June meeting and made the announcement on June 28. The accreditation extends until June 30, 2014, which is the customary two-year term for a new program receiving full accreditation status.
Belmont’s College of Pharmacy Dean Dr. Phil Johnston said, “This wonderful announcement is the culmination of efforts from so many great people, from our Board of Trustees, our Belmont University leadership, wonderful faculty and our students. We also must thank so many health care professionals, especially pharmacists in the Nashville region, for working with us this past five years. We could not have provided such rich experiences without them. And I want to particularly thank the first graduating class who were the pioneers in the program, and who now are preparing to practice throughout the country.”
After opening its doors in 2007, BUCOP provided students with the skills to contribute to the growing health care needs of Nashville. BUCOP graduated its charter class on May 5, 2012 with 65 members of the Class of 2012 receiving their Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. The initial class has paved the way for future BUCOP students, setting a high standard for academic excellence and community service. The Class of 2016, which enrolls in August, is full with 75 students taking all available seats.
Belmont President Bob Fisher said, “This accreditation represents another milestone in Belmont’s efforts to develop a premier allied health services program. I am proud of the students, faculty and staff who have worked so hard to make this happen, and deeply appreciative of Clayton McWhorter and other donors who helped to create the perfect space for Pharmacy studies to take place.”
Since the college’s first class was admitted in August 2008, students’ academic accomplishments and service has grown exponentially each year. Students have filled more than 7,800 prescriptions in Belmont’s Health Services Pharmacy. They have earned numerous awards and honors, including ranking in the top eight out of 84 competing schools in the 2011 American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Clinical Pharmacy Challenge, receiving the Respect, Excellence and Service in Pharmacy (RESPy) Award for excellence in pharmaceutical care and placing in the top 10 in the 2011 American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists’ Clinical Skills Competition. BUCOP faculty and students have participated in medical mission service in Cambodia, Guatemala, Ghana and Oglala Sioux Nation in South Dakota to meet health care needs of underserved residents locally and globally and performed, and its student organizations averaged 800 hours of community service a semester through their work with nonprofits and events in Nashville.