UAMS College of Pharmacy’s Doctoral Program Reaccredited Through 2030

By Benjamin Waldrum

ACPE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy. ACPE also serves as the national agency for the accreditation of providers of continuing education.

The Pharm.D. accreditation process includes a comprehensive evaluation every eight years. It is an intensive process involving a lengthy self-study report, which addresses 25 national standards and in turn and provides supporting evidence that the program meets or exceeds those standards.

Faculty members David Caldwell, Pharm.D., and Bradley Martin, Pharm.D., Ph.D., led the college’s self-study, leading five faculty groups in addressing accreditation standards by theme. They also integrated input from current students, preceptors and other stakeholders into the final 178-page document, which contained hundreds of appendices.

The ACPE conducted a virtual site peer-review visit in February and recommended the Pharm.D. program be reaccredited through 2030.

“The self-study process is an excellent learning experience with assessment of our program — it has given us reason to celebrate areas of excellence and to continue to improve on our rich tradition,” said Dean Cindy Stowe, Pharm.D. “This is an ongoing process based on years of hard work and dedication at all levels of the college, and I couldn’t be more proud. Drs. Caldwell and Martin provided tremendous leadership for our self-study process.”

Work on the self-study report began in late 2019 and formally kicked off in spring 2020. All faculty were assigned to working groups and had monthly check-ins on their progress. Following an informal vote to affirm their findings, Caldwell and Martin hosted a series of five town halls, providing a venue for faculty, staff and students to review the findings and share comments. The report’s findings were approved in August after an extensive review process.

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 is distinguished from licensure, which applies to individuals.

The essential purpose of the accreditation process is to provide a professional judgment of the quality of a college or school of pharmacy’s professional program and to encourage continued improvement. The accreditation process assures basic expectations for quality pharmacy education.