FVSU, UGA College of Pharmacy Partner to Support Future Pharmacists

Posted on Aug 23, 2023

Fort Valley State University (FVSU) and the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Pharmacy signed an agreement allowing FVSU undergraduate chemistry students to have a streamlined approach for admission into UGA’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program.

Kelly Smith, Pharm.D., dean of UGA’s College of Pharmacy; Olufunke Fontenot, Ed.D., FVSU’s provost; and Fares Howari, Ph.D., dean of FVSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, signed the articulation that provides students with a guided pathway into UGA’s four-year curriculum. The initiative, coined the “3 + 4” program, allows students to gain an earlier start in this critical healthcare field, resulting in overall cost savings.

Specifically, FVSU students in their junior year who maintain certain academic criteria and successfully fulfill all admissions requirements into UGA will receive a guaranteed interview at the College of Pharmacy. Those admitted will then complete the articulated PharmD courses.  In turn, the course credits will be transferred back to FVSU to fulfill the requirements for a BS degree.

The signing ceremony included faculty, staff, and students from the two University System of Georgia colleges, along with remarks from Dean Smith, Dean Howari, Provost Fontenot, and Halle Tukes, an FVSU alumnus and current UGA pharmacy student.

“As an alumnus from Fort Valley State and a third-year PharmD student, I recognize the value of this important initiative between FVSU and the College of Pharmacy,” said Tukes, a pharmacy student at the UGA Pharmacy’s extended campus in Savannah. “The support, guidance, and opportunity to jump-start pharmacy school will allow future students to excel in the program.”  Tukes is a member of the Student National Pharmacy Association, the Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the American Pharmacy Association, and the Black Student Pharmacist Organization.

“There is no better time to forge this unique relationship,” said Dean Smith in her remarks. “Georgia communities are projected to need more pharmacists now and in the future. The value of pharmacists in helping people address their healthcare concerns is becoming extraordinarily apparent, especially since the pandemic. Pharmacists are being recognized for their leadership and the value they bring to an integrated healthcare team.”

“Today, we stand at the precipice of an extraordinary journey, as Fort Valley State University and the esteemed University of Georgia College of Pharmacy join hands in an unwavering commitment to support the Pre-Health and Pre-Pharmacy tracks at FVSU,” said Dean Howari during the ceremony.

Careers in pharmacy are among the best in the nation, with pharmacists ranked third among the highest-paid jobs in the U. S. according to Glassdoor. In addition, the UGA College of Pharmacy is ranked 24th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Further, the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) pass rate for the UGA PharmD Class of 2022 was 5% above the national average, the fourth highest among its Southeastern Conference peers, and the highest among the four State of Georgia PharmD programs.

This articulation agreement is the seventh the UGA College of Pharmacy has signed with other University System of Georgia colleges and universities, including Augusta University, Dalton State College, Georgia College and State University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia Southern University, and Valdosta State University.

“This momentous signing of the Memorandum of Understanding represents the convergence of visionary minds and the promise of transforming lives,” continued Dean Howari.  “Together, we will script a new chapter in healthcare and empower the next generation of healthcare leaders. Let this agreement be a beacon of hope, illuminating the path to a healthier and brighter future for the people of Georgia and beyond.”

Fort Valley State University students interested in attending UGA’s PharmD program may contact Duc Do, Ph.D., assistant dean for Student Affairs at UGA’s College of Pharmacy.

University of Georgia College of Pharmacy: Founded in 1903, the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy delivers high-quality education, research opportunities, experiential programs, and service-learning in order to advance the pharmacy profession, as well as pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences. As the largest and only public pharmacy school in Georgia, the College of Pharmacy offers a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), one undergraduate degree, several graduate degrees, and various certificate programs.

Fort Valley State University: Located in the heart of Georgia, FVSU combines the personal attention and family feel of a small, private college with the resources and research found at large public universities. Situated on the second largest acreage of any Georgia university, it is the only university in the world which is a University System of Georgia institution, a historically black university, and an 1890 land-grant institution. Leveraging the reputation for excellence FVSU has built since 1895, the university is preparing students to embrace their genius as future global leaders and enabling discovery that will make real that is only now imagined.

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