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LECOM Welcomes New Classes of Student Pharmacists

New students include LECOM’s first online PharmD students

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) School of Pharmacy recently welcomed 310 new student pharmacists, including the College’s first class of Distance Education (DE) students, to its campuses in Erie, Pa., and Bradenton, Fla.

The Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2017 at LECOM’s Erie campus includes 143 members. The students are in the accelerated, three-year program.

LECOM’s Erie campus, which offers an accelerated, three-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program, welcomed a class of 143 student pharmacists. LECOM-Bradenton offers a traditional, four-year program. In keeping with its commitment to innovation and student-centered programs, LECOM now becomes just the second school nationally to offer a four-year, online Doctor of Pharmacy degree program.

Princess Adim, who was born in Nigeria and moved to the United States with her family at age 15, is among the members of the Class of 2017 in Erie. Adim started her undergraduate studies when she was only 16, and in May graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Adim applied to LECOM in part because of the affordability of the tuition. She also likes the School of Pharmacy’s commitment to community service and volunteerism. “LECOM’s student pharmacists become part of the community by serving others,” she said.

“I’m very excited to start the program,” Adim added. “I know I have a lot to learn over the next three years.”

Jared Aiken of Faulkner, N.Y., is another member of the Class of 2017 at LECOM-Erie. As a student at Jamestown Community College, he was a member of LECOM’s Early Acceptance Program (EAP). Through the program, qualified students are granted provisional early acceptance to the LECOM School of Pharmacy, College of Medicine, and School of Dental Medicine.

“I looked at other schools of pharmacy in this area, but I chose LECOM because of the three-year program and the small class sizes,” Aiken said. “I wanted to be able to know the faculty and other students.

“I’m very excited,” he added. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for two years, since I was accepted to the EAP.”

Tania Cantin and Kim Nguyen, members of the Doctor of Pharmacy Class of 2018 at LECOM-Bradenton, try their lab coats on for size.

The Class of 2018 at LECOM’s campus in Bradenton includes 143 students in the traditional pathway and another 24 in the Distance Education option, including students from Florida as well as California, Texas, Michigan, Maryland, and Georgia. LECOM designed the online program for working professionals and students who need a greater degree of flexibility in their studies.

“The online option is as rigorous as our traditional offerings,” said Katherine Tromp, PharmD, Director of Distance Education. “It’s a very appealing option for people who otherwise would be unable to obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.”

One benefit of the Distance Ed program is that students will be able to complete the majority of the coursework from their homes. Each summer, students will be required to fulfill the laboratory, casework, and presentation portion of the curriculum at LECOM’s Bradenton campus.

Allison Hinkle is one member of the Class of 2018 from LECOM-Bradenton. She decided to make a career change, by leaving a position in law enforcement to pursue the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. “I’ve always loved chemistry and science and had an interest in medicine,” said Hinkle, who worked at both the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office and Avon Park Police Department in Florida.