Last month it was announced that Johnson County Community College (JCCC)’s pharmacy technician program earned six-year accreditation from the ASHP (American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists).
“Accreditation is for one, two, three or six years… A first-time, six-year accreditation is a rarity,” Philip Schneider, the Treasurer with the ASHP Foundation’s Board of Directors, is quoted as saying in a JCCC press release (June 18, 2014).
Receiving a six-year accreditation speaks to the quality of JCCC’s pharmacy technician program, which was offered for the first time the Fall 2012.
Let’s take a look at some examples of pharmacy tech training programs that are accredited for a six-year cycle by the ASHP.
Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, Kansas
- Pharmacy Technician Certificate program (32 weeks)
- Includes didactic and real-world training in the mock pharmacy where students gain experience filling prescriptions, compounding, interacting with patients and more.
- During the final semester, students complete a 300-hour externship (half in a hospital pharmacy, half in a community pharmacy).
- Its pharmacy tech program has six-year accreditation with the ASHP (as of 2014).
Cosumnes River College
- A.S. Pharmacy Technology degree (two years)
- Includes general degree courses, pharmacy tech courses and electives
- Pharmacy Technology training includes classroom study, mock pharmacy lab courses (that allow students to gain real-world skills to prepare them for community and hospital pharmacies) and practicum experience.
- CRC’s pharmacy technology degree has six-year ASHP-accreditation (which began in 2012).
Northwest Village College
San Antonio, Texas
- Pharmacy Technology Certificate program (three semesters)
- Students can opt to complete the program at a slower pace (according to the Student Handbook, they may take three years to complete the program).
- Program includes didactic/classroom as well as hands-on training and a practicum.
- Students are allowed to enroll in “Introduction to Pharmacy and “Medical Terminology” courses before applying for the Pharmacy Technology program.
- NVC’s pharmacy technology degree has six-year ASHP-accreditation (which lasts through 2018).
Santa Ana College
Sanata Ana, California
- SAC has been offering pharmacy technician programs since 1972.
- It was the first American community college program to receive ASHP accreditation (1984).
- Students can choose between three different pharmacy tech training options which all prepare students for California State Board of Pharmacy licensure.
- The three options, with can be completed part time or with flexible scheduling, are a Basic Certificate (this does not provide all of the ASHP-required training), an Advanced (ASHP-accredited) Certificate and an Associate of Arts or Science Degree.
- SAC has six-year ASHP accreditation and it is the only school to earn “accreditation with commendation.”
It should be noted that we are not disqualifying programs that do not possess six-year ASHP accreditation. Quality programs exist at numerous pharmacy technician schools, whether they are going through the accreditation process, have received one or six-year accreditation or continue to be re-accredited after every cycle.