Program Expansion Notification
The Texas A&M Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy submitted its program expansion notification to ACPE in December 2013.
The college intends to expand its program with a second campus in College Station, the headquarters of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and Texas A&M University. This second campus would increase the student body by 30 to 35 additional students for a combined total of 120 students per cohort on two campuses with matriculation beginning in August 2014 upon receiving the necessary approvals. An increase in class size by 30 to 35 students each year can be supported by the existing resources of the college and the Texas A&M Health Science Center. This is considered a modest increase with no anticipated effect on the student-centered mission of the college. With this expansion, the college still remains one of the smaller pharmacy colleges among the accredited programs in Texas.
All stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, preceptors and community leaders, have been involved with expansion plans and have had the opportunity to voice their concerns and share their recommendations for a second campus. This is evident through their participation in the task forces, the consultant visit (Appendix F), through faculty forums, and through focus group meetings with the dean.
When consisting of two campuses, the college will continue to offer one curriculum that would run concurrently in real time. Distance learning technology will be expanded to accommodate nearly all courses with the exception of practice and skills laboratories that will be physically offered on each campus. Synchronous videoconferencing capabilities are available on both campuses, although upgrades will be undertaken in College Station to accommodate as many as five to six videoconference classrooms and meeting rooms to support the programmatic needs when all four-year expanded cohorts have matriculated. The first, second, and third professional years will be offered in Kingsville and College Station simultaneously while the fourth professional year will continue to consist of advanced clinical rotations throughout Texas.
Currently, technology is incorporated into all aspects of the curriculum, and distance learning techniques are used when appropriate for students to have access to off-site faculty throughout existing Texas A&M Health Science Center campuses in Houston, Temple, College Station, Round Rock, and McAllen. The college’s faculty utilize Blackboard for the provision of course materials and have incorporated Turning Point Technology’s audience response system, ExamSoft®, and Blackboard CollaborateTM into the classroom for educational delivery and assessment purposes. The use of these technologies will be expanded to nearly all courses.
In summary, the college is committed to providing students enrolled at both campuses equivalent educational and experiential experiences.
Cheri D. Shipman