student satisfaction measure among areas of excellence
KINGSTON, R.I. – December 9, 2014 – Students earning a six-year doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Rhode Island achieved a 99 percent pass rate on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination, according to a 2014 report by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
URI’s 2013 pass rate was four points higher than the national average and placed URI’s College of Pharmacy in a tie for first in New England with the University of Connecticut’s pharmacy school.
E. Paul Larrat, interim dean of URI’s College of Pharmacy, said the pass rate and a number of other benchmarks show that URI is not only keeping pace with pharmacy colleges across the country, but it is a national leader.
“During the last four years, our pass rate has been either 100 percent or 99 percent,” he said.
URI’s pharmacy employment rate at graduation of 97 percent makes it tops in New England. For every open seat in the college, URI has 10 qualified applications compared to the national average of 5.6. And the College of Pharmacy’s on-time (six-year) graduation rate of 93 percent tops the national average by 4 points.
Recently, URI’s pharmacy college was among 10 schools featured in a series of videos, produced by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), highlighting exemplary aspects of their programs. URI was noted for the quality of students that graduate from the pharmacy program as well as their exemplary leadership qualities. The Ohio State University and the University of Florida pharmacy schools were among those featured in these videos.
“While our academic, clinical and experiential programs are all excellent, the AACP video highlights our exemplary record of educating our students to become leaders,” Larrat said. “We go out of our way to introduce students to the health care profession. We encourage them to join professional organizations and pursue leadership roles with them. We have 17 student organizations, and many students are officers or members in more than one.”
In National Institutes of Health research, the URI pharmacy college brings in $5.3 million, which puts URI second in New England behind Northeastern University.
“Ultimately, our research emphasis helps the students because they get to interact with and learn from experts in a variety of fields,” Larrat said. “Our students are in many ways our colleagues. This is a professional family.”
On the issue of student satisfaction, URI pharmacy students rate the College of Pharmacy well ahead of the national average. Seventy-five-percent of students surveyed said they strongly agreed with the statement, “Would choose URI College of Pharmacy if starting over,” compared to the national average of 51 percent. On the statement, “I would rate my pharmacy education at URI College of Pharmacy as very good,” 70 percent of URI students said they strongly agreed, while the national average was 53 percent.
“Everyone in the College has a genuine interest in our student colleagues,” Larrat said. “We are the right size, and that leads to numerous personal interactions among students, faculty and staff each day.”
He said the two-year-old, $75 million College of Pharmacy building, which houses such learning environments as a three-dimensional animation lab and a simulation lab, is a major reason why URI attracts such high achieving students.
“I know when I take a student and his or her family through the building, I can guarantee that I am going to receive an application,” Larrat said. “The Rhode Island taxpayers, through their support of the bond issue responsible for the facility, are the ones who have created these successes for us. And in turn, our development of quality pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists helps the state achieve better health outcomes.”
1. National Associations of Boards of Pharmacy (2014)
2. Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education-mandated website information (2013)
3. AACP National colleges of pharmacy research report (2013)
4. AACP Annual Graduate Survey (2013)