Pharmacy earns first accreditation step, classes start next month

Two significant milestones took place this month for the USF College of Pharmacy: it received initial accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) that clears USF to start its pharmacy classes, and it earned membership to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

Both steps signify the College’s steady progression in building its pharmacy program at USF and are right on schedule for the inaugural class to start coursework next month, said Kevin B. Sneed, PharmD, the founding dean for the USF College of Pharmacy.

“The accreditation team visited in May and was very impressed by the resources and interprofessional environment we have here at USF Health ” Dr. Sneed said.

“It is very gratifying to have this initial accreditation, but I’m proud to say that this step is exactly where we intended to be when we initially set up our timeline.”

Dr. Kevin Sneed (right) welcomes some of the first pharmacy students.

While here, the ACPE team met with USF Health leadership and faculty, as well as with faculty from colleges across the USF campus. The accreditation team will visit annually over the next few years to track the program’s progress, culminating in a final evaluation after the charter class graduates four years from now.

This initial pre-candidate accreditation status is a key step in the pharmacy program and required the College’s compliance to 30 standards, including missions and goals, the college’s academic plan, student services, the faculty hiring plan, and funding support.

“We passed all 30 standards with flying colors and earned special commendation for our progressive program,” Dr. Sneed said.

In the report to the USF President Judy Genshaft, the ACPE team noted that both the university and the USF pharmacy program were “very visionary,” he said.

“We aspire to be among the most transformative pharmacy programs in the country and this commendation is a strong confirmation that we are on the right track.”

In addition to the ACPE accreditation, the USF College of Pharmacy gained membership to the AACP, the national organization representing pharmacy education in the United States and comprised of all pharmacy degree programs accredited by the ACPE.

“Membership to the AACP is also a major achievement for us and signifies our sincere intentions to be among the nation’s top programs in educating tomorrow’s pharmacists,” Dr. Sneed said.

“Both of these accomplishments are very positive and affirms that we are truly open for business.”

Story by Sarah A. Worth, photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Office of Communications