A new partnership between Broome Community College (BCC) and Binghamton University will offer eight BCC students each year the opportunity of guaranteed acceptance to BU’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SOPPS) doctoral program.
During a news conference held in the BCC Decker Health Science Center on Nov. 28, BU President Harvey Stenger and BCC President Kevin Drumm announced a joint program that will allow BCC students to transfer to SOPPS after earning their associate degree, potentially receiving a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
BU and BCC already have a joint admissions program, the Binghamton Advantage Program (BAP), in which students take a year of classes at BCC while living on BU’s campus. If BAP students maintain a GPA of 3.0, they’re automatically accepted to BU for their sophomore year.
Francis Battisti, the executive vice president and chief academic officer at BCC, said he thinks the new program will benefit many students.
“This will be excellent for the students,” Battisti said. “Especially financially, because students can now stay home and still receive a doctorate.”
Typically, students getting their pharmacy degree would spend a combined eight years of schooling split evenly between undergraduate and graduate programs. Through the new initiative, however, students will spend two years at BCC and four years at BU. Students interested in this six-year program will apply upon entrance to BCC.
In order to be eligible for the program, students must take all prerequisite courses while maintaining a 3.0 GPA and scoring at least a 500 on the Pharmacy College Admission Test.
Coulter Ward, the assistant dean for student affairs of SOPPS, wrote in an email that this new program is important in maintaining the relationship between both schools.
“These types of programs are necessary in creating reliable pipelines of students into our program,” Ward wrote.
Gloria Meredith, founding dean of SOPPS, said facilitating this fast-track program will allow the school to recruit promising students.
“[BCC] students are high-quality and this will allow the pharmacy school to recruit the best health-science students into the pharmacy program — a win-win for everyone,” Meredith said.
Battisti said the ultimate goal of the partnership is to increase the number of pharmacy students graduating from both BCC and BU, but the effects of it will move beyond the schools.
“This is offering so much to Johnson City,” Battisti said. “The citizens will always need quality care and the increase of local pharmacy graduates will only add to it.”
BCC and BU students who are accepted into the program will work in the new Health Sciences Campus in Johnson City, expected to be completed in 2018.