Saint Joseph's College, UNE partner for pharmacy program

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STANDISH — A new partnership between Saint Joseph’s College and the University of New England will provide a smoother transition for students interested in becoming pharmacists. 

The agreement, which became official at a signing ceremony Feb. 8, will allow students who complete certain requirements and receive a degree in medical biology from Saint Joseph’s to enroll at the UNE College of Pharmacy. 

“This simplifies the whole process for those students who know they want to do their pharmacy school experience in Maine,” said Saint Joseph’s President James Dlugos. “The students know that if they take these courses at Saint Joseph’s, then their entry into the UNE pharmacy school will be guaranteed.”

Interested students must complete 16 specific pre-pharmacy courses as part of their medical biology degree, meet other program requirements and declare their intention of enrolling in the program by Feb. 1 of their third year of college. 

“It can take a lot of the anxiety out of the process. This is a great thing for our students,” Dlugos said. 

The two institutions began discussing the partnership in the fall of 2017 when UNE Provost Justin Hamilton said the school was “looking at area schools as potential partners.”

Hamilton said UNE noticed Saint Joseph’s pre-pharmacy program, and this partnership will allow pre-pharmacy students to “be automatically eligible as long as they do their work.”

The program has already begun; two interested Saint Joseph’s students will be enrolling in UNE’s College of Pharmacy this fall. 

Hamilton said UNE is looking for other ways for the two institutions to work together, saying that the partnership is “really part of a broader conversation about how we can collaborate where it makes sense.”

Dlugos agreed: “This partnership allows us to enter into further conversations regarding ways the two institutions can work together to improve not only the student experience but also the communities where we find ourselves.” 

Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at jvaughan@keepmecurrent.com.