SALISBURY, Md. - A big announcement was mad by the big educational institutions on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Salisbury University and UMES have had a long standing relationship, benefiting the school, students and community, but they have a new partnership that could will benefit pharmacy students.
It's part of a new cooperative undergraduate/professional program called a "3+3" program. Chemistry majors spend three years at SU and three years at UMES.
"The folks at UMES are getting our best chemistry students because you have to be highly qualified to get into the program," says Michael Scott, assistant dean with the Henson School of Science.
It seems to be a win-win for the school and students. Chemistry majors have a chance to transfer to UMES in the new three and three program to earn two degrees, one from each institution.
Moving to UMES after three years can save prospective pharmacy students on tuition.
"For the money aspect, it's really important. Saving on money and paying off student loans faster is always the biggest goal," says Esther Yook, a UMES pharmacy student.
UMES's year-round curriculum can help students cut their class time by two years, all-the-while filling a gap in the job listings.
"We're helping to fill a workforce need here in the region with pharmaceutical professionals, it's a critical component," said Scott.
"Working and getting into the work force, it's a lot easier if you already have a foothold into it," explains Yook. "And especially in a community like this in which you can essentially live in Salisbury, and then go to school here, you'll have a lot more connections in this environment, so you can get into work faster."
It's an amazing opportunity for qualified students who can handle the workload that comes with such a schedule.
"You need a lot of focus, a lot of determination. You need to focus more on your ten year goals rather than just thinking you're going to graduate and get a job. You need to think further ahead in order to have that motivation to finish. It takes a lot of determination," says Yook.
When Salisbury says UMES will get the best of the best, they mean just that. Students will have to maintain a 3.6 GPA at Salisbury, then go through an interview process, as well as some standardized tests.
UMES is among the top ten in the nation for producing African-American pharmacists. We're told this program will begin this coming fall semester.
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