UH-Hilo graduating first class of College of Pharmacy in 2011
What ever happened to the College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo?
Answer: Approved by the university Board of Regents in 2004, the college admitted its first class of 90 students in 2007. The college has continued to mark milestones as it moves toward graduating that class in 2011.
Recently the college hired nine new faculty members, bringing the total staff to 32. The intent is to have about 70 staff members as the college grows to its full four-year size, the college announced this week.
Another milestone this week was the admission of the second class of 90 students, said college Dean John Pezzuto.
The four-year program allows students to graduate with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Starting salaries are typically over $100,000 a year.
The only course work needed enter the program is two years of pre-pharmacy at any qualified school offering such courses, Pezzuto said.
To ensure that colleges in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific have high-quality pre-pharmacy classes, the College of Pharmacy was awarded a grant of $766,363 by the U.S. Department of Education at the request of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.
The money will be used in several ways, including building on existing classes for pharmaceutical technicians, Pezzuto said. The money will also be used to set up postgraduate continuing-education courses, since pharmacists are expected to be lifetime learners, he said.
The next step the college is hoping for is the approval of $6 million in the next Legislature for planning and design of a building for the school. The building itself is expected to cost $60 million.
This update was written by Star-Bulletin reporter Rod Thompson.
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