Apply Early Decision at UCSOP

2016-17 PharmCAS Application Now Available: Apply Early Decision Today

Applying through the PharmCAS Early Decision program is a great way to get a jump-start on your pharmacy career. You will save time, money and stress by competing with a smaller applicant pool and having the opportunity to secure a seat before traditional applicants are considered. Be sure to request your UCSOP Early Decision Admissions Guide today.  The Early Decision deadline is September 6, 2016.

HAILEY

Applying early decision was one of the greatest choices I could have ever made. Coming into college I knew that I wanted to attend the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, and early decision allowed me to get a head start on my application process. By applying early decision, I was able to find out my admissions decision faster, compete with a smaller pool of applicants, and even start building relationships with potential faculty and staff of the school. I strongly suggest applying early decision if you’re like me. The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy made my early decision process an amazing one! -Hailey Price, Class of 2019

Q: What are the benefits of applying Early Decision?

  • You are competing with a much smaller pool of applicants.
  • You will save the time, money, and stress of the long traditional application process.
  • By applying through the Early Decision Program, you can sit back and relax during your last year of undergraduate work while your fellow classmates are stressing over the application process!

Q:  Should I apply to other schools at the same time?

An Early Decision applicant may only apply to one pharmacy school during this time. If an applicant is not offered admission through the Early Decision program before the October deadline, they may begin applying to other schools at that time.

Q:  What is the Early Decision application deadline?

The Early Decision Application deadline is September 6, 2016.

Q:  What do I need to submit by the deadline?

By the September 6th deadline, PharmCAS must receive the following:

  • A complete PharmCAS application
  • All PharmCAS Fees
  • All transcripts from every college or university attended – including transcripts for dual credit taken in high school

If all requirements are not received by the September 6th deadline, PharmCAS will automatically change your status from an Early Decision Applicant to Regular Status. Your application will not be reviewed by the UCSOP until all requirements have been received.

Q: How long does it take to find out if I am accepted for Early Decision admission?

All Early Decision Applicants will be notified of their admissions decision by October 21, 2016.

Q: What happens if I am accepted?

If you are accepted through the Early Decision Program, you will be required to submit a non-refundable $1,000 Early Decision Tuition Deposit. This amount can be split into two $500 payments. The first payment will be due within one week of your notification of acceptance. The second $500 payment will be due by May 1, 2017.

Q: Can I change my mind after I am accepted for Early Decision?

A student who is accepted through the Early Decision Process is not eligible to apply to any other PharmCAS pharmacy school during that admissions cycle.

Q: Who do I contact if I have a question about my application or the Early Decision process?

 

Contact: Ms. Stacie Geise, Director of Pharmacy Recruitment & Admissions at staciegeise@ucwv.edu or 304-357-4889.

UCSOP ExRx Bootcamp a Success!

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High school students make ointment in the compounding lab

From June 21st through the 24th the halls of UCSOP looked very different with almost 30 high school and undergraduate students here for the 3rd annual ExRx- Experience Pharmacy Summer Bootcamp. These students were formally here to learn about UC and the profession of pharmacy as a whole but also to do what anyone at a camp wants to do- have fun! Favorite activities included compounding camphor-menthol ointment in the compounding lab with Mr. Ramirez, preparing sterile IVs with Dr. Embrey and Ms. Condee, and a photo scavenger hunt around campus which turned into a fierce competition to find as many UC Golden Eagles as possible. (The winning team, The Green Circle Group ultimately found 28!)

Campers came from all over the country. While a majority came from West Virginia we had people come all the way from New York, Florida, and numerous other states to participate. In addition to the hands on experiences, campers also got a feel for the more didactic classroom based portions of the Pharm D. program through sessions on the history of pharmacy, ethics, and the APhA Career Pathways program.

One particularly exciting session was Dr. Radhakrishnan’s lecture “The Travelogue of a Tablet” which covered the journey of tablet from mouth to active site to excretion. Campers enjoyed being in the “facilities and us[ing] resources that current pharmacy students get to use” while getting a lecture from a professor they very well may have if they come to UCSOP.

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Students work with a mannequin in the simulation lab

Ultimately, the success of a program like this is the impact it has on the students. One student even went so far as to say they had “been to few camps and things about pharmacy and [in] the few short days here…learned more then any other place as well had more fun. So [they] would highly recommend this to anyone for the fact of all th [sic] info …[and] how fun it was.” A focus of UCSOP and in turn a focus of the camp was on promoting rural health. Students were exposed to the unique challenges of rural health pharmacists by interacting with some and hearing about their experiences. As a result, 75% indicated after the camp that they are interested in serving rural populations.

While this extended four day ExRx program is only offered once per summer, UCSOP has shorter ExRx open house events on campus throughout the school year. Check out this link for more information.

Each group of campers led by a P2 Fellow created a short video to capture their camp experience. Check them out below to see what each group was up to!

The Silver Star Group led by Kathryn Howerton

The Pink Circle Group led by Rachel Peaytt

Squad Red Stars led by Kyle Theiss

The Gold Star Group led by Blanche Ndifon

The Blue Star Group led by Leila Fleming

The Green Circle Group led by Amber Gross

(Cirlce groups are high school students and star groups are current undergraduate students)

Be sure to look out for information about ExRx 2017 next Spring on the UCSOP website this fall!

Almuna Spotlight! Life After Pharmacy School: Dr. Allison Richmond Williams

Contributed by: Jenny Long, Class of 2017

As a current fourth year pharmacy student at UCSOP, I often look forward to the day I graduate in 2017. I am excited for the day when I can put my pharmacy education into practice and utilize the information I have learned over these past few years while completing the pharmacy curriculum. I know I am not the only pharmacy student looking forward to the day we will finally be pharmacists, so I reached out to UCSOP alumnus Allison Williams (formerly Richmond) from the Class of 2015 for an Alumna Spotlight feature. Dr. Williams was generous enough to grant us an interview detailing her life after graduation to show us there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Joseph and Allison Williams at graduation in May 2015.

Joseph and Allison Williams at graduation in May 2015.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself! Where are you from? Any hobbies or interests?

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Drs. Allison and Joseph Williams

Dr. Williams: My name is Allison Williams and I live in Charleston, WV with my husband and UCSOP alumnus Joseph Williams. I’m originally from Talcott, WV and moved to this area after graduation. I am employed by Wal-Mart Pharmacy and currently serve as a floating pharmacist working at multiple stores in the area. I am also serving as an alumni member of the UCSOP Fellows Advisory Board. I enjoy spending my days off with my husband when we get them together! I also enjoy reading, baking, singing, and hanging out with friends.

Q: Could you tell us a little bit about your duties as a pharmacist? What’s your daily life? Do you enjoy your job? How do you feel about taking on students as a preceptor?

Dr. Williams: As a floating pharmacist, I go to multiple stores during the week to help out during vacations and busy times. My day consists of verifying prescriptions, counseling and talking to patients, giving immunizations, talking to other healthcare professionals, and working with the technicians. I also have the opportunity to do MTM at some stores. I do enjoy my job, and it is very rewarding to help patients understand their medications. In the future when I am at one store all the time I would be willing to take students, but as of now it is too hard as a floating pharmacist.

Q: We recently heard you were married! How do you handle or maintain a balance between work and your personal life?

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Allison and Joseph Williams on their wedding day. Photo by Meredith Dickens.

Dr. Williams: Joseph and I got married in July 2015 in Charleston. At first it was hard to balance the time, but now it has become a lot easier. We don’t always have the same days off each week. Whenever we do share a day off together we try to enjoy each other’s company and do something fun. Since we are both pharmacists it is easy to get caught up in talking about work, but we have learned to takeq time to talk about the other things going on in our lives. Balancing work and personal life is challenging, but in the end its worthwhile to set aside time to enjoy our life together.

Q: Could you take us back to when you were a student at UCSOP? What was your favorite class? What was the most challenging class for you? Any suggestions for current students?

Dr. Williams: I had a strong interest in infectious disease so I really enjoyed the portion of Pharmacotherapy III taught by Dr. Robinson. I also really enjoyed Bad Bugs taught by Dr. Flaherty my P1 year. I would say that one of my most challenging classes was Immunology as a P1. For current students, it’s important to find the study method that works for you. Once you find that, stick with it and you will do just fine with the material!

Allison and Joseph Williams. Photo by Meredith Dickens.

Allison and Joseph Williams. Photo by Meredith Dickens.

Q: Do you have any other long-term goals or dreams?

Dr. Williams: I hope to be able to settle down into one store instead of floating between pharmacies. Joseph and I are also hoping to buy a house soon so that we may begin thinking about starting a family.

We would like to thank Dr. Allison Williams for her help with this post! We wish her the best of luck in her career as a pharmacist!

UCSOP Offers Summer Camp for High School & Undergraduate Students

Contributed by: Taylor Pickens, ExRx Boot camp Alum and Class of 2020

Are you interested in learning about the pharmacy profession? Registration for the 2016 Experience Pharmacy Bootcamp is now open. Tuesday, June 21 will mark the first day of the second ExRx BExRx-postcardootcamp event held at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, in Charleston, WV. This unique four-day event is designed to give high school juniors, seniors, and undergraduate college students the opportunity to experience pharmacy in an interactive, hands-on fashion. Students will take part in organized activities beginning Tuesday morning, June 21 and ending Friday afternoon, June 24. Some of the week’s events will include hands-on simulation, compounding, and IV lab experiences, as well as sessions on the history of pharmacy, medicinal plants, pharmaceutical career options, mock interviewing, and many other activities.

Students learn to compound IV products at ExRx Bootcamp

Students learn to compound IV products at ExRx Bootcamp

This unique experience is a prime opportunity to gain insight and preparation for that next step toward a future in pharmacy. Whether you are interested in learning more about a pharmacy career as a whole, or need help preparing for the application process, ExRx Bootcamp will prove to be a worthwhile experience. Emily Chattin, a freshman pre-pharmacy scholar at the University of Charleston says, “I would highly recommend attending this event. You are educated on what it takes to succeed before, during, and after pharmacy school, make lifelong friendships and connections with your preceptors. You also get to do fascinating experiments in the lab.”

Participating students will be housed in UC residence halls, with meals provided by the UC dining hall. Cost for the four-day camp is ONLY $99.00 per student, and includes meals, lodging, linens, towels, as well all activities. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. If you would like to register, or are interested in receiving more information, please contact Ms. Jamie Bero at jamiebero@ucwv.edu, or call (304)720–6685.

Registration forms and information can also be accessed online at: http://www.ucwv.edu/pharmacy/ 

PCAT Prep and Resources

CaptureAs you are preparing for your entry into pharmacy school, you will need to take the Pharmacy College Aptitude Test (PCAT). Most schools of pharmacy require this test, and many schools require a particular score for admission.

The PCAT contains six sections: writing, reading comprehension, verbal ability, biology, chemistry, and quantitative ability.

  1. The Writing section is timed for 30 minutes and includes one writing topic where you are asked to address conventions of language and problem solving
  2. The Verbal Ability section is timed for 25 minutes and includes analogies and sentence completions
  3. The Biology section is timed for 35 minutes and covers general biology, microbiology, and human anatomy and physiology
  4. The Chemistry section is timed for 35 minutes and covers general chemistry, organic chemistry, and basic biochemistry
  5. The Reading Comprehension section is timed for 50 minutes and includes 6 passages and covers comprehension, analysis and evaluation
  6. The Quantitative Ability section is timed for 45 minutes and covers basic math, algebra, probability and statistics, pre-calculus and calculusCapture

Electronic resources to assist you with preparing for the PCAT exam:

Highly Rated PCAT prep books:

Mobile Apps:

  • My PCAT. This Apple application is designed to help prepare for the computer-based PCAT covering topics in PCAT specific subjects. Cost: $18.99
  • PCAT prep for Android. This android application has over 1100 detailed flashcards.
  • McGraw Hill PCAT prep. This application has over 1000 copyrighted questions, 10 diagnostic tests, over 100 pages of review material including 50 top strategies for test day, and a PCAT study plan. Cost $34.99

It’s Your Time to Apply to Pharmacy School @UCSOP!

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy (UCSOP) is excited to share that there is still time to apply to join the Class of 2020!

You may have heard that our application deadline was March 1st. However, the UCSOP will be granting individual PharmCAS deadline extensions through June 1, 2016.  

To take advantage of this deadline extension, please follow the process outlined below: 

  1. Create your PharmCAS account by May 18, 2016
  2. Once you are ready to submit your application, email Stacie Geise at staciegeise@ucwv.edu to request your PharmCAS extension.  
  3. Once the extension is granted, PharmCAS will email you directly confirming the 48-hour window to submit the application has begun.
  4. Complete your UCSOP Supplemental Application at http://www.ucwv.edu/pharmacy 

Please note: the UCSOP Supplemental Application deadline has also been extended to June 1, 2016. The UCSOP will accept January & February PCAT scores.  

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Stacie Geise at 304-357-4889 or staciegeise@ucwv.edu.  

We look forward to receiving your PharmCAS application soon!

Interview Advice from Our Director of Pharmacy Admissions

CaptureYou have studied and you have tested and finally the BIG day has arrived. It’s your interview day!

Interview candidates are pre-screened for GPA and PCAT scores. Many admissions committees review personal statements and letters of recommendation prior to inviting students to campus for interviews. You’ve made the initial “cut” but what should you expect from the interview process?

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Ms. Stacie Geise, Director of Pharmacy Recruitment and Admissions

Many schools have a structured interview process. For example, at UCSOP we have a structured interview process that pairs each candidate with a team of two to three interviewers. At least one member of the team is a full-time faculty or staff member in the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. The other interviewer might be a preceptor or other health care professional. The interview itself is 20-25 minutes with five minutes reserved for your questions. The interview process is designed to allow the interviewers to get to know you better.

At UCSOP, and at most schools, interviewers are looking for your ability to think critically and solve problems. They are also evaluating your commitment to pharmacy, knowledge of pharmacy (especially current events and issues), communication skills, citizenship, and motivation.

Interview Preparation Tips:

  • Be prepared to talk about why you want to become a pharmacist. Avoid the patent answer: “Because I don’t like blood but I still want to help people.” Is someone in your family a pharmacist? Was there an experience that led you to your career choice? Is there a current event that sparked your interest?
  • Identify two current events related to pharmacy— whether its oxycodone use/abuse, medical marijuana, or medication adherence—and inform yourself about these issues so that you can speak about them intelligently during the interview. Consider what you know about pharmaceuticals or legislation pertaining to the field of pharmacy or break-throughs in drug innovation. Show the interviewers that you are aware that the world is happening.
  • Identify examples— from your experiences that you believe highlight your involvement on your current campus or within your community. Share how those experiences have helped you solve problems or work through adversity. Be sure to discuss a variety of experiences including: work or job experiences, leadership roles, community service, and campus involvement.
  • Research the school. Try to find one of two things that you can talk about that set this school apart in your mind and be prepared to discuss why you are interested in attending. Is it the location? NAPLEX passing or residency placement rates? Opportunities for research or a dual degree? Opportunities for research, advocacy or professional involvement? Do you know someone who attends or attended the school?
  • Focus on doing your best. Dress as if you are going to a job interview. Remain calm. Check the mirror. Shake hands. Make eye contact. Introduce yourself. Talk with other candidates but do not feel you need to dominate the conversation. Smile!
  • Prepare questions. If students are a part of the interview process, ask them for their opinion about the curriculum, location etc… Ask why they selected this institution. Ask about extracurricular and leadership opportunities. Current students are the best mirror into the program.
  • Say Thank You! When possible, send a written thank you after the interview if you have the contact information for your interviewers.

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As you are preparing for your on-campus interview, please remember the saying: “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” Many times, your interview will be the first impression that you are making at your potential home for the next four years. How you dress is part of what communicates who you are and how serious you are about becoming a pharmacist. Before leaving for the BIG interview, there are many things to consider when choosing the perfect outfit!

What is appropriate?

  • As you are preparing for your on-campus interview, please remember the saying: “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” Your interview many times will be the first impression that you are making at your potential home for the next four years. How you dress is part of what communicates who you are and how serious you are about becoming a pharmacist. Before leaving for the BIG interview, there are many things to consider when choosing the perfect outfit!
  • Remember to polish your shoes. Women should choose heels of moderate height.
  • If you are wearing a belt it should match your suit or match your shoes.
  • Have a well-groomed hairstyle. It should be in a natural color (i.e. not blue or green, etc…).
  • Facial hair should be neatly trimmed.
  • Finger nails should be clean and trimmed. If painted, must be in a natural or neutral color.
  • Wear minimal cologne or perfume.
  • Wear minimal jewelry and eliminate jewelry that makes a lot of noise. One ring per hand, for example. You should have no visible piercings- except earrings for women.
  • Please make sure your teeth are brushed teeth and you have fresh breath. This is especially important if you have eaten breakfast and/or sipped coffee on your trip to campus.
  • Do not chew gum or have candy in your mouth during your interview.
  • Use conservative make-up techniques and cover any visible tattoos.
  • Make sure that nothing is low cut on top or too short on the bottom. You should be able to lean over and/or cross your legs without showing off your entire body.

Learn more about UCSOP’s Fellows Program

The UCSOP Fellowship Program is a scholarship and leadership skills development program awarded to a maximum of 10 incoming UCSOP students each year.These students have demonstrated potential to achieve outstanding leadership and success in the pharmacy program.

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“Being a UCSOP Fellow has provided me with an exciting array of opportunities in pharmacy school, such as developing leadership skills and participating in various on-campus activities. It is also rewarding to be able to help incoming students as part of the Fellows’ activities. These experiences, along with the scholarship, have enhanced my learning and growth and UCSOP.” -Anojinie Karunathilake (Class of 2017)

Students participating in the Fellows Program benefit in several ways, including receiving a scholarship with a maximum of $15,000 annually, which is renewable for up to three years if the student continues to meet all requirements while in the program.

School of Pharmacy students, meeting the selection criteria, will be offered an invitation to apply for the fellowship program. The application process includes a phone interview and an essay.

The selection criteria includes:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.25 or greater
  • PCAT composite score of 50 or greater
  • Interview at the UCSOP by January of the application year
  • Satisfactory interview scores

In addition to the fellowship funding, Fellows are engaged in activities that:

  • Develop leadership skills and abilities
  • Positively advocate for both the profession of pharmacy and patients
  • Make significant contributions to the community
  • Provide a platform to effectively represent the School of Pharmacy and the profession of pharmacy.

 

As a first year student, some of the Fellows activities include:

Recruitment:

  • Participate in Interview Days and USCOP Open House Events
  • Represent the UCSOP during the AACP Virtual Fair
  • Communicate with incoming students
  • Assist in managing social media sites for recruitment

P1070579Professional Development:

  • Participate in state, regional, and national pharmacy conferences
  • Attend an annual leadership conference for student pharmacists
  • Attend leadership luncheons
  • Peer mentorship experiences

Annual Project:

  • Provide support to the Fellow’s annual service project
  • Plan and execute an event for UC Pre-Pharmacy students
  • Serve as Camp Counselor for the week-long ExRx Summer Camp for high school and undergraduate students

Organizational/Other:

  • Assist at alumni events and with special guests on campus
  • Attend membership meetings
  • Uphold assigned organizational responsibilities

Throughout the program, Fellows will also:

  • Assist with Pharmacy 501L
  • Visit national associations in Washington, DC
  • Coordinate a convocation session
  • Participate in scholarship/research project

For more information about UCSOP or the Fellows Program, contact: Ms. Stacie Geise, Director of Pharmacy Admissions and Recruitment, 304-357-4889.

Join us at the AACP Virtual Fair . . .

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The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) is hosting a Virtual Pharmacy School Fair on October 21st & 22nd

This is a free event intended for students who are interested in the professional field of Pharmacy, but are still deciding which schools to apply to. The Virtual Pharmacy School Fair is your private time to chat online with representatives from nearly 100 AACP member Pharmacy Schools around the nation, and have all of your important questions answered before even setting foot into a personal interview.

Join over 500 students who are getting a head start on their Pharmacy career! To register for this event, and to view a list of the live chat room schedule for all schools, click here. The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy will be there! Be sure to chat with us!

Students are encouraged to upload their resume before the event, but a resume is not required. All registered attendees will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 iTunes gift card.

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Experience Pharmacy at the UCSOP!

ExRx-postcardThe University of Charleston School of Pharmacy is continuing to host our ExRx: Experience Pharmacy days throughout the 2015-2016 school year. The ExRx days are an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors, along with college undergraduates, to learn more about the pharmacy profession. Whether you know pharmacy is right for you or have just started considering a career in pharmacy, this event is for you!

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Participants in the IV lab, “gowned up”. A sterile environment is important!

ExRx is your opportunity to learn more about the pharmacy profession and see what makes the UCSOP a great place to continue your pharmacy education. ExRx participants will spend time in our Simulation and IV Labs, learning how CPR works with a simulation mannequin with an actual pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and other physiological features. Participants can practice procedures and medications on the our mannequins, examining how methods would work on real patients. In the IV Lab, participants learn to make sterile intravenous products, utilizing aseptic techniques to maintain sterility.

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A participant in the compounding lab.

Participants will also work in the compounding lab, learning the basics of compounding medication. In the past, ExRx participants have compounded menthol/camphor topical ointment, lip balm, and medicated gummies. After experiencing the various labs the school has to offer, ExRx participants will meet faculty, staff, and current students of the pharmacy school. This is a great time to introduce yourself to faculty, and ask any questions that you may have. The day will end with a tour of the School of Pharmacy, and participants have the option to have lunch with current pharmacy students.

Join us to experience what it is like to be a pharmacy student at the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy!

ExRx dates for the 2015-2016 school year are:

  • September 26, 2015
  • October 24, 2015
  • February 20, 2016
  • April 16, 2016
  • June 4, 2016

ExRx days are free, but space is limited. To register for an ExRx day, please click here.

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Allyssa Bradford, Class of 2019

 

ExRx days are a great way to learn more about the profession of pharmacy, and to see how pharmacy school will be at UCSOP. I highly recommend it to any student who has an interest in the profession of pharmacy. I already knew I wanted to become a pharmacist before attending ExRx, however it reassured me I was making the right decision with my future.

Contributed by: Isabella White, blogger and UCSOP Graduate Intern.