KIRSTEN ADAIR | ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
“For this year, the only students that are in that program are the ones who want to go into the [physician assistant] program at the graduate level,” Mary Graham, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, said. “We’re actually changing that for next year so we’ll have two different pathways under that degree. One will be the pre-P.A. and the other will be healthcare and business, so we have a new curriculum that’s been approved and is being marketed for the first time to students coming in in 2016.”
COPHS and College of Business are working together to make the new program a reality.
Graham said the program will be beneficial for students who may not know exactly what area they want to enter. Rather than committing to one path in either COPHS or the COB, students can explore both options and gain a sense of what they are truly interested in.
“We don’t know how many students will be interested in that, but we hope there will be some,” Graham said.
Ryan Junkins, a fifth year student and dual pharmacy and business major, said the new program is a positive improvement. He said a firm grasp of business is essential in pharmacy.
“I think it’s a great idea because no matter what you do in pharmacy, there’s going to be some aspect of business tied in,” he said. “There’s always going to be some kind of cost or funding needed if it’s in research or profit driven in other parts of pharmacy.”
Junkins said he definitely would have taken interest in the healthcare and business program if it had been offered at Butler when he was an undergraduate student.
Graham said she hopes the new program will cause prospective students to take a closer look at the college. She said her hope is that students will see programs like the healthcare and business program and be more inclined to choose Butler.
Bruce Arick, vice president for finance, said adding more diverse programs like the healthcare and business program might cause student enrollment to increase. He said if the college is focused on making it work and there is demand, there is a good chance prospective students will take interest.
Graham said the COPHS plans to create more integrated majors with the other colleges.
“I’m really hoping that our undergraduate program will grow significantly and those students can either go into the professional colleges or professional programs in our college, or into other clinical programs that we might not yet offer,” Graham said.
Creating more programs like the healthcare and business program could allow students more choice and flexibility within their college.
Junkins said it will help Butler students stand out after graduating.
“I think it’s great to keep adding programs and building on to what we offer our pharmacy students,” Junkins said. “There are so many pharmacy schools now, so anything we can do to differentiate from other students and other colleges elsewhere can help us in the job market and help us further our career. I think it’s great.”