A memorandum of understanding between the Appalachian College of Pharmacy (ACP) and the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center (SWVHEC) marking the official start of a partnership that will see ACP classes offered at the Higher Ed Center was formally signed on Thursday.
In addition to being available at the Higher Ed Center, the ACP classes will also be offered at the college’s Oakwood Campus.
ACP officials, including President Mickey McGlothlin and Dean Susan Mayhew, were in attendance for the official signing at the center along with SWVHEC Agency Head David Matlock. ACP offers the Commonwealth’s only accelerated three-year program leading to a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
At Thursday’s event, McGlothlin said the partnership will make pharmacy education more accessible to the people of Southwest Virginia.
“Pharmacy is a terrific profession,” McGlothlin said. “There is a demand for pharmacists at this time, and going to school here will make it much less expensive for the people of this region.”
A cohort of approximately 20 students will be chosen to participate in the distance learning initiative provided through the partnership. Current students completing their first year of pharmacy school will be given the opportunity in February to apply for the distance learning option, and if selected, will begin classes at the Abington, Va.-based facility in the fall of 2023.
“We’re delighted to extend our campus to the Abingdon area,” Mayhew said. “We have a lot of students, past and present, with the Appalachian College of Pharmacy who live in Washington County. We’re pleased to partner with the Higher Ed center and we look forward to a bright future ahead.”
Mayhew also noted that SWVHEC’s location along the I-81 corridor was a huge factor in the decision to enter the partnership as the center is easily accessible to communities along Virginia’s border with Tennessee and North Carolina. Additionally, Mayhew said SWVHEC offers a robust and experienced IT team along with cutting-edge equipment to support the delivery of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
The SEVHEC was established as a state agency in 1991 and partners with public and private colleges and universities to provide degree programs, certificates and professional development courses.
“The addition of the Doctor of Pharmacy program through the Appalachian College of Pharmacy builds on the foundation of current health-related programs already offered at the Higher Education Center, including Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science Family Nurse practitioner, Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia and Bachelor of Science Medical Laboratory Sciences,” Matlock said.