»Accreditation Process for the School of Pharmacy

Accreditation is a process where education institutions voluntarily submit to have the quality of their programs reviewed by education experts. Accreditation happens at an institutional level across all programs and degrees and for specific special degrees and programs that lead to various professional careers.

Students need to care about accreditation as it ensures that the quality of the preparation they receive in school is sufficient for entry into the career they have chosen. Some professions that require licenses, such as the practice of pharmacy as a Doctor of Pharmacy, require that students graduate from an accredited program in order to take the state or national licensing exams required to work.

Chapman University works hard to obtain and retain the accreditation status of its programs to ensure the value of our education delivers what students require. This statement, which you must indicate you understand in order to be accepted into the Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP), explains the status and timing of the accreditation of the School of Pharmacy we are planning.

+-Current Chapman Accreditations

Chapman University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510/748–9001). Chapman University is also proud to have many of its programs nationally accredited. The business programs are accredited by AACSB: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The music programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The graduate program in physical therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. The athletic training education program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The School of Law has been granted accreditation by the American Bar Association. The school psychology program is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists and the International School Psychology Association (ISPA). The marriage and family therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. The University’s teacher training and credential programs are approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The dance program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. The theatre Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP) program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. The Chapman University communication sciences and disorder program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The educational studies program is accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

+-Specific Accreditation for the School of Pharmacy

To practice pharmacy anywhere in the United Sates, students must pass the licensing examination administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and the state board within which they intend to practice, such as California. The state boards have licensing tests because state pharmacy laws differ from state to state. All pharmacy licensing boards in the US require that students have graduated from an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited College or School of Pharmacy or, for foreign license applicants, that they pass and meet special foreign education equivalency tests. ACPE sets the standards and operates the process by which new Doctor of Pharmacy programs are accredited or receive the Candidate Accreditation Status, which permits its graduates to sit for licensing exams. Chapman University has been fully approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) to offer the professional doctorate PharmD program, the first step in the accreditation pathway. CUSP applied to ACPE according to the new program standards and process timeline available from ACPE. We describe the process and timeline below and want you and all CUSP applicants to understand our plan and some associated risks of meeting ACPE requirements.

+-Accreditation Process and Timeline

WASC provides a regional accreditation of Chapman University programs. Our application to offer the PharmD doctoral program was approved by WASC in November 2013.

All Doctor of Pharmacy programs are required to follow the same process and procedures to gain ACPE accreditation approval. In addition to the initial preparation of an application, the process of accreditation with ACPE involves three distinct status steps: Pre-Candidate Status, Candidate Status and Full Accreditation Status. Students may be admitted to a school of pharmacy during all of these status steps as long as they are informed about the process of accreditation and understand the risks the school faces with potential delay or denial of necessary ACPE approvals.

An application to request a site visit so that CUSP could be considered for Pre-Candidate Status was submitted to ACPE in January 2014. If the application is approved at the ACPE June 2014 Board of Directors meeting, Chapman anticipates a fall 2014 semester site visit by experts who evaluate whether the school should be granted Pre-Candidate Status. The site visit involves review of physical facilities, meetings with University and school leadership and faculty, and discussion of the school’s plans for developing the program and delivering the curriculum. At the following January 2015 ACPE Board of Directors meeting, the results of the fall 2014 onsite review are discussed and Pre-Candidate Status is approved, denied or deferred at the school’s request. Schools with approved Pre-Candidate Status are prepared for the entry of students into their programs the following September. In the spring of next year (2016), with the first students already in classes, the ACPE team visits again and determines if the school is prepared for Candidate status. The review involves observation of student progress, student interviews, closer review of the faculty and the curriculum and facilities. The school continues in Candidate Status with regular reporting in progress each year until its first class of students graduate (2018). The site team visit will occur in the spring of 2018 and before the graduation of the first class. At its June meeting of that year, ACPE then grants Accreditation Status or recommends further school preparations continuing the Candidate Status, which could be repeated only up to a total of 5 years from the granting of Pre-Candidate Status. The US Department of Education requires ACPE either grant or deny full accreditation within this time frame. Note that students graduating from a Candidate Status school ARE permitted to take the national and state licensing examinations.

+-Statement of Associated Risk

ACPE considers first-time submission of new program applications only once per year in the spring approximately 18 months prior to the first student’s matriculation into the professional portion of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Preliminary applications and fees are due to ACPE on January 15 and final applications are due April 1. Chapman University has delivered its draft and final applications for authorization of a site visit for considering Pre-Candidate Status. The standards within that application require the development of certain curricula, policy, procedures and the employment of appropriately qualified school leaders and faculty. As we have applied for a site visit, the next risk area students should be aware of is the potential that CUSP may not have its site visit for consideration approved on time in June 2014, thereby leading to a delay in the earliest possible approval of Pre-Candidate Status, Candidate and Full Accreditation Status. Other risk points involve each of the visits and reviews that occur annually Chapman University School of Pharmacy (CUSP) where ACPE examines the school’s progress as a Pre-Candidate or Candidate for accreditation. Chapman University could be delayed in receiving approval of its Candidate Status at any point or have that Candidate Status denied by ACPE. Similarly, CUSP may be delayed in receiving Full Accreditation. Those risks could affect the student’s right to take licensing examinations on the timeline they initially expected. The granting of a site visit by ACPE or approval of Pre-Candidate Status does not carry with it or grant any accreditation rights. Candidate Status must be achieved and retained by programs to ensure student’s right to take licensure exams.

Chapman University is committed to providing its students with the highest quality education. Every effort is being made to avoid any potential for delay, denial or withdrawal from consideration of the various ACPE site visit, Pre-Candidate, Candidate or Full Accreditation Status approvals required. That said, we cannot guarantee timely ACPE accreditation approval and any students applying must sign a statement indicating they understand these risks. Chapman University will commit to an exit strategy which assists students in locating alternative pharmacy schools and pathways to graduation and will provide the resources and faculty to implement that strategy for all students in the unlikely event that should become necessary.

Our requirements for application and the prerequisite courses and grades that need to be earned prior to entering the School of Pharmacy are specified elsewhere on the School of Pharmacy website.

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