Entire pharmacy class of 2011 passes licensing exam

College achieves 100 percent passage rate for first time

KINGSTON — December 5, 2011 — The University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy set an ambitious goal for itself a few years ago – to make sure every graduating student passes his or her licensing exam following commencement.

Last year’s graduating class achieved that goal for the first time in the school’s history.

All 89 students in the class of 2011 earned passing grades on the National Association Pharmacy Licensing Exam and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam during the testing period from May 1 to Aug. 31.

Norma Owens, chairwoman of the College of Pharmacy assessment committee, said typically 94 to 96 percent of URI graduates pass the licensing exams.

“One of the goals we had set as a college was to achieve a 100 percent passage rate, which was a bit of a controversial goal,” Owens said. “Some thought it should be 99 percent because you can’t expect perfection, but some felt that if you pass the classes in the program, you should be able to pass the exam. This was the first year we achieved it.”

As the health care and pharmaceutical industries grow, so does the competition to attract the best and brightest students. There are now eight schools of pharmacy in New England, an ever-increasing number, Owens said.

“It makes us all feel very proud,” Owens said. “There’s so much competition now in schools of pharmacy … that it makes this achievement even more special.”

Owens attributed much of the university’s success to the personal relationships built between faculty and students. While other schools have as many as 3,500 students in their program, the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy has 572, allowing professors and preceptors to establish a better bond with students and devote more attention to their needs.

“I think in the college we really do try to have a student-centered education,” Owens said. “A lot of schools have to have students bring in IDs when they take the licensing exams to make sure they are actually the students taking the test. I was kind of startled when I was asked why we didn’t do that and it’s because we know all of our students.”

For more information, call Owens at (401) 874-2964