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Taking root in Northwest suburbs: Roosevelt’s award-winning College of Pharmacy to welcome second class

Posted: 06/26/2012

After its first full year of operation, Roosevelt University’s College of Pharmacy in Schaumburg is about to double its enrollment and to be recognized nationally for its new custom-built, interactive-learning facilities.

The College, which opened its doors in July 2011, will welcome its second class of 72 students on Monday, July 2, retaining all of the students in last year’s class and essentially doubling the size of the College, which will have a student population of approximately 138 students for the coming academic year.

In addition, the College’s facilities, including two interactive learning centers, featuring pod-style-seating for small-group learning, and a critical skills assessment and simulation laboratory, all designed by the Chicago-based architectural firm SmithGroupJJR, have been selected for a national Outstanding Design award that will be featured in the August edition of the American School & University 2012 Educational Interiors Showcase.

“We are pleased to report that the College of Pharmacy is establishing itself as a dynamic and successful educational enterprise in the Northwest suburbs,” said George MacKinnon, founding dean of the College that offers the only accelerated (three-year, year-round) PharmD program in the Midwest.

Since it started on the drawing board in 2009, Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy has received strong backing from the state of Illinois. In all, $500,000 in state funds have been dedicated for the College of Pharmacy, whose strong public advocates include: Illinois State Senator Dan Kotowski of Park Ridge, Illinois State Reps. Fred Crespo of Hoffman Estates and David Harris of Arlington Heights, former State Reps. Paul Froelich of Schaumburg and Mark Walker of Arlington Heights, as well as other state leaders including Illinois State Board of Pharmacy Chairman Philip Burgess.

“An education at Roosevelt University’s College of Pharmacy will prepare many in our area for high-paying jobs and professional careers in the growing healthcare sector,” said Kotowski, who helped the University obtain $200,000 for the College’s new state-of-the-arts facility and $50,000 in start-up funds. “The program is a win-win for the area’s residents, its workforce and our region’s economy,” he said.
            Since its opening, the College has established a 25-member Professional Council, which includes area pharmacists and healthcare professionals, who assist with decision-making in many areas including issues regarding community partnerships, outreach into the healthcare arena and other external public policy issues.

“We are pleased that our public leaders and the many healthcare professionals in our community have stood with us during this formative period,” said MacKinnon. “We are well on our way toward placing our second group of students in internships (fall 2013) and in graduating our first class of competent, committed and compassionate professionals (May 2014), whom we expect will make a difference in the field and in their communities going forward,”  he said.

Sixty percent of students in the College of Pharmacy’s second class hail from the state of Illinois, including 17 students who are from the Northwest suburbs. Much like the first class, the College of Pharmacy’s second group also is highly diverse in makeup. Here is a look at the makeup of the second class:

  • More than half of the new students are minorities and/or foreign-born, and include Asians, Indians, Latinos, Pakistanis, African-Americans, an American Indian and a Palestinian.
  • Women comprise nearly two-thirds of the new class.
  • Out-of-state students represent 40 percent of the incoming class, and are coming from a dozen states including California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • Similarly to last year, there were approximately 600 applicants for 72 seats in the College’s second class.