National accreditation extended for NDSU School of Pharmacy

NDSU's School of Pharmacy in the College of Health Professions has received an extended full accreditation for eight years, the maximum term allowed from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education through June 2028.

Accreditation for the NDSU School of Pharmacy is a multi-year, rigorous review process conducted by national reviewers, along with extensive internal review of the pharmacy program. National accreditation helps ensure that students receive an exceptional education. Students must graduate from an ACPE accredited program to become licensed and practice as pharmacists.

During the review, areas such as resources, curriculum, physical facilities, faculty and staff qualifications, community engagement and other factors are weighed by reviewers and compared with national best practices and standards.

Michael Kelsch, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Associate Professor of Practice, along with Professor Emeritus Cynthia Naughton, led the accreditation review team in the NDSU School of Pharmacy.

“Faculty and staff were dedicated throughout the process to ensure that extensive information was made available to the national accreditation team to conduct a thorough review of NDSU’s pharmacy program,” said Kelsch.

“Our goal is to provide top-notch education for our students, so they are thoroughly prepared for the pharmacy profession. The review team included student representatives interviewed by the national accreditation team. We appreciate all our faculty, staff, students, preceptors and alumni who helped us achieve our continued accreditation goal,” said Kelsch.

According to the ACPE website: “ACPE accreditation is public recognition that a professional degree program leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree is judged to meet established qualifications and education standards through initial and subsequent periodic evaluations. Accreditation standards include both quantitative and qualitative parameters.”

The NDSU School of Pharmacy first received accreditation in 1940.

“Everything from the amount of study space to faculty resources is meticulously reviewed,” said fourth year pharmacy student and pharmaceutical sciences graduate Matthew Confeld, who participated in the review. “This is no small task; nearly every faculty member and multiple students are involved in preparing for this process,” he said. “ACPE accreditation helps to make sure every pharmacist that graduates is skilled and well-prepared to make an impactful difference in the care of their patients.”

Since it was established in 1901, the NDSU School of Pharmacy has educated pharmacists who serve the region and their communities. Graduates of the program have gone onto career success including CEOs of major corporations, innovators in medication development and treatment, as well as leaders in their fields and in their communities. It is estimated that a majority of pharmacists serving North Dakota are graduates of NDSU, according to the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy.

“The review team offers an outside assessment that helps ensure quality education for our students, providing both recognition for current exemplary areas, as well as ways to enhance education for pharmacists,” said Charles D. Peterson, dean of the School of Pharmacy and College of Health Professions.

“Reviewers did comment about the School of Pharmacy’s exceptional outreach to the profession and engagement within our state, showing the strength of working together with the North Dakota Pharmacists Association, our School of Pharmacy, and the state Board of Pharmacy,” said Peterson. “Such connections help provide optimum ongoing professional education and set our students on the path to career success.”

As a student-focused, land grant, research university, we serve our citizens.


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