(May 16, 2012) – Today, the inaugural class of the Chicago State University College of Pharmacy (CSU-COP) took their oaths as Doctors of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) and received hoods that affirm each graduates' commitment to professional, confidential and compassionate patient care. Next up is the official graduation ceremony with the entire CSU student body at 11 a.m., Thursday, May 17 at the Emil & Patricia Jones Convocation Center at CSU.
"This is an exciting time for the pharmacy profession," says Dr. Miriam A. Mobley Smith, dean of the College of Pharmacy. "Pharmacists have evolved from dispensers of medication to providers of health care services, yet their roles continue to expand. At CSU we are preparing our pharmacy students, not just for today, but for future patient care needs, clinical management and policy thought leadership."
This inaugural CSU-COP graduating class boasts some impressive firsts in it short history. Among them:
- Two Albert Schweitzer Fellows
- First-prize awards in environmental sciences and chemistry from the 2012 Spring Symposium & Student Research Conference in STEM
- Of students who entered the process, the 2012 class achieved a 71 percent residency match rate, the highest-match percentage suc¬cess rate for any college or Illinois pharmacy school during the highly competitive 2012-2013 residency match cycle.
- This is the first doctoral program for the health sciences in CSU's 145-year history.
The program has also been recognized as the most diverse pharmacy program in Illinois and one of the most diverse in the nation, ranking No. 11 in underrepresented minority student-pharmacist enrollment, according to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). The composition of the 2012 graduating class is one-third Caucasian, one-third Asian and one-third African-American.
What this means is this class will heal the world: The COP has, as its goal, producing pharmacy professionals who will positively affect the health care needs of a global community.
In the midst of a challenging economy, statistics show that the employment outlook for those holding a Doctor of Pharmacy degree to be high, with starting salaries above $95K, according to AACP. Further, employment for pharmacists is expected to increase by 25 percent by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Pharmacists can also expect an array of options as to the setting in which they work, ranging from community pharmacies to hospitals and intuitions, pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, and state and federal agencies.