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Upstate tech program bridges to MUSC doctorate degree

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Dr. Philip D. Hall of MUSC signs an articulation agreement with Tri-County Technical College's Galen DeHay and Ahmad Chaudhry. (Photo/Provided)The crème of the Tri-County Technical College pre-pharmacy program can now transfer to the Medical University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy to pursue a doctor of pharmacy degree.

Ahmad Chaudhry, dean of Tri-County Technical College Health Education Division, and Dr. Philip D. Hall, dean and professor of the MUSC College of Pharmacy, announced a new memorandum of understanding Dec. 14 at a signing event in Pendleton.

“Like other health care professions, highly-trained pharmacists are in short supply, and the need for this role has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” Chaudhry said in a news release. “As a community college, it is Tri-County’s role to meet the workforce needs of our region, and we are proud to partner with the MUSC College of Pharmacy to create a pipeline of pharmacists who can serve our region while ensuring a seamless transition for our students.”

Admission is competitive for the program, but those accepted will be able to access academic advisement and professional development programs in the field, such as MUSC’s Pharmacy Readiness Engagement Program. A supplemental application fee will be waived.

“We’re excited to partner with Tri-Country Technical College,” Hall said in the release. “It broadens opportunities for their students and gives us a chance to talk with new potential contributors to the MUSC pharmacy experience. It’s a win-win situation for everybody.”

Doctor of Pharmacy programs typically require two years of undergraduate coursework followed by four academic years of professional study. Tri-County’s pre-pharmacy program covers the two years of undergraduate course work in preparation for a pharmacy degree.

This spring, students will be able to pursue a pharmacy degree at Tri-County Tech with little or no cost because of support from to Gov. Henry McMaster’s Workforce Scholarships for the Future initiative.

Tuition and fees at South Carolina’s 16 technical colleges will be covered for South Carolina residents enrolled in high-demand fields for the upcoming semester. The program may continue through June 2024 if the state legislature chooses to allocate an additional $124 million in federal funding toward the initiative.

“At Tri-County, student success is our number one priority. Through effective skills-based training and program-specific preparation, we ensure our students are well prepared for the rigor and demand found at the graduate level,” Chaudhry said in the release. “Students from our program typically take on leadership and research opportunities at their pharmacy school, further emphasizing the preparedness of our students for graduate work at schools like the MUSC College of Pharmacy.”

If the General Assembly elects to allocate an additional $124 million in federal funds for the initiative, tuition and required fees could be covered for eligible students through June 2024, the release said.

Reach Molly Hulsey at 864-720-1223.

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