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Archive for Wednesday, December 11, 2002

KU graduates make rare accomplishment

December 11, 2002

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For the third year in a row, all graduates from the Kansas University School of Pharmacy passed their licensing exam.

Jack Fincham, dean of the school, says that is a rare feat, considering the national passing rate is about 90 percent.

"We're on a streak here that's really something," he said.

Eighty students graduated from the School of Pharmacy in May and took the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination, or NAPLEX, which is administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Pharmacists must take the NAPLEX exam and state-specific tests before they are allowed to practice.

KU has had a handful of classes in the past that all passed the NAPLEX exam, Fincham said. But they never happened consecutively.

"We're excited about it," he said. "It's a great reflection on our faculty and the ability of our students to come out and do so well."

It also might be due to a restructured curriculum, he said. Graduates in 1999 were the first to receive a doctorate in pharmacy instead of a bachelor of science degree. Those students now must attend KU six years instead of five.

Phasing out the bachelor's degree was a top priority of Fincham when he became dean in 1994. The American Council on Pharmaceutical Education recommended the change.

Though Fincham said he's been pleased with the test scores, he said he wasn't surprised - especially considering the added training students receive.

"The expectations are elevated," he said.

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