California Health Sciences University halts launch of pharmacy program

Clovis-based California Health Sciences University has suspended the launch of its three-year Doctor of Pharmacy program slated for this fall, the organization said March 7.

The suspension comes shortly after the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education found the university only met 22 of the 25 required educational standards for the program.

CHSU President Flo Dunn cited the growing scarcity of pharmacy jobs and a nationwide decline in pharmacy school applications as contributing factors to the suspension, alongside the failed standards. 

"We take our responsibility to build sustainable programs where future graduates have ample job opportunities very seriously," Ms. Dunn said in a news release. "We still believe local students need more accessible pharmacy education, and at the right time we might restart the pharmacy accreditation process. But for now, our priority is supporting the success of current pharmacy and medical students."

The program was intended to replace the university's four-year Doctor of Pharmacy program, which has graduated nearly 250 students. Now, the university says it will discontinue the four-year program after its class of 2024 graduates. 

"We also plan to shift more focus into our medical program and begin exploring five other programs where the student demand and regional need are very high," Ms. Dunn said.

The university will keep most pharmacy staff members through the remainder of the program and invite them to apply for other open positions at the university. 

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