California Health Sciences University announced Monday that the Doctor of Pharmacy program will end with the Class of 2024.
Flo Dunn, president of the Clovis-based university, cited several factors as leading to the decision.
CHSU was already in the process of replacing its four-year program, which has graduated 250 students, with a more rigorous three-year program this fall.
The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education had determined that three of the 25 required standards still needed to be met.
Dunn said that the program could have readily achieved the three remaining ACPE standards. But other factors — a growing scarcity of pharmacy jobs and a continuing decline locally and nationwide in pharmacy school applications — led to the decision to suspend the program.
Might Restart in Future
“We take our responsibility to build sustainable programs where future graduates have ample job opportunities very seriously,” Dunn said in a news release. “We still believe local students need more accessible pharmacy education, and at the right time, we might restart the pharmacy accreditation process. But for now, our priority is supporting the success of current pharmacy and medical students.”
The decision to suspend the replacement three-year program was made over the past month in a series of meetings of CHSU trustees, founders, and top administrators.
Most pharmacy employees are being retained for the remainder of the program.
Dunn said CHSU could begin the process of adding healthcare specialty colleges, including a master of science degree program, as early as 2023.
“We are thoroughly committed to seeing our current pharmacy students become licensed and serve our region as professionals,” she said. “We also plan to shift more focus into our medical program and begin exploring five other programs where the student demand and regional need are very high.”
Medicine Program Continues
CHSU offers a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program, with nearly 200 students in the first two classes. A third class of nearly 150 students is expected to enter this fall.
CHSU, which was founded in 2012 by the Assemi family to provide a local option for medical school, is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Darius Assemi is the publisher of GV Wire.