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Need some help, re: distance learning/writing petitions

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by spacecowgirl, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. spacecowgirl

    10+ Year Member

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    Hey y'all

    I see that some of you attend COPs that use distance learning and I am wonder about your opinion of the education you receive this way, the pros and cons, complaints, etc. My school (U of South Carolina) is considering a merger with MUSC in which some of the classes will be taught with distance learning (among other changes I don't like).

    I am very opposed to this change although it will not affect me, it will affect the classes below me and my school in that some day there won't be a USC-COP. I'm also concerned about the quality of education and whether or not this is a direction we want pharmacy as a profession to go.


    Secondly, I plan to write some letters and petitions on behalf of current students and alumni as most of us are opposed to this change. Does anyone have experience with this? Who do I write to? The state legislators? The Board of Trustees? It is out of the hands of our school's deans already.

    any input or help would be much appreciated!
     
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  3. spacecowgirl

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    hummmm lots of lookers but no help?
     
  4. LVPharm

    LVPharm SDN Moderator
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    Sorry I can't be of much help here. As far as I know, the only forum regular who is enrolled in a PharmD distance learning program is Dana "dgroulx" at UF. You might want to PM her if this thread escapes her attention ;)
     
  5. spacecowgirl

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  6. jdpharmd?

    jdpharmd? Turning lead into gold
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    I would give it more than 2.5 hours since your original post.:thumbup:
     
  7. jemc2000

    jemc2000 SDN Angel
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    I would have to agree. There are quite a few of us either getting ready to go or getting ready to apply to Univ. Fla. either in Orlando or St. Pete which are mostly distant learning, but Dana is the only one I have seen here who is actively taking distant learning courses. I personally don't see any problem with it, as it saves me much driving time, but you have to be a self-starter type of person to make it work.
     
  8. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist
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    Sorry, I wasn't online last night. I have to do a presentation on H. pylori infections at 10:45am. I also have pharmacotherapy class and had to study for that. (I know I'm getting called on this week). Then, I have a pathophysiology quiz on last weeks material and a pathophysiology test on about a pound of notes.

    All those things - presentations, pharmacotherapy, quizzes & tests, take place on campus. We also meet for pharmacology. The only thing done online is watching lectures. The lectures are videotaped and are available on Blackboard 2 hours later. The videographers do a good job of keeping the camera on the screen for powerpoints, on the board, or on the lecturer, if needed.

    I wear glasses and can see the stuff on the board easier than if I was in a lecture hall. This is important for med chem. The video zooms right in on the structure then I pause the lecture and copy it down.

    Most professors post their power points , word documents & pdf files on Blackboard. All students, including those in Gainesville, have to download the notes before the lecture. Many of the professors travel to the distance sites to meet with the students, give a lecture, answer questions, etc. They check their email constantly, post to class discussion boards, schedule virtual classroom chat sessions, etc. I've had no problem with availability.

    Tests are identical and taken at the same time on each campus, so no one can feed the answers to another student.

    Overall, I think it is a good thing. It hasn't diluted the education received. There are more seats to fill, but they receive more applications because of the distance program. Over 1/3 of the St. Pete campus made the dean's list (3.5 or higher) last semester. I just missed with a 3.34.:mad:
    Many students accepted to St. Pete had PCATS in the 98-99 range and close to a 4.0 math/science GPA. Some of these students only applied to UF at a distance campus. Moving isn't an option when you have a family and your spouse has to work to pay the bills. This program gave these highly qualified students a chance to go to pharmacy school.

    The St. Pete campus is a University Partnership Center. There are distance students there from FSU, USF, Eckerd College, Saint Leo Univ, Barry College, etc. We have really nice facilities. A brand new pharmacy building is under construction and will be ready on November 15th. The labs will be only for pharmacy students and not shared with students from other schools in nursing programs.

    The only con I can think of is that a video may not load properly. This has happened so rarely, that I hate to mention it. The IT people phone you immediately when you have a problem and get it straightened out, even if it's a problem on your PC.

    I'm really happy I'm doing distance learning. I live 45 miles from the St. Pete campus and can get there in about an hour. If I was in Gainesville, I'd have to commute 120 miles each way to school.

    By the way, this topic was discussed at the Southeast ASP midyear meeting. Florida A&M proposed that distance learning would bring down the quality of pharmacy education. Many people spoke their opinion, including myself. The proposal was soundly defeated. At that same meeting, my friend Stormy was elected ASP member-at-large for our region. No one seemed to think that she wasn't qualified because she was a distance learner.
     
  9. spacecowgirl

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    Dana - thanks for your input. As more comes to light it appears as though we're getting told about distance learning to placate us, when in fact the real plan is to close our pharmacy school altogether after merging with MUSC. So it appears I have bigger fish to fry than just distance learning, although I personally would not prefer this type of education, I can see how some people would find it appealing.


    Off to contact the state board of pharmacy, senators, alumni, etc......we got completely duped and have 2 weeks to try to stop this inane idea of closing USC-COP. I see a bigger agenda looming with nursing and the MD program merger as well, so we need to stop this.

    It's insane to close a school with 99+% NAPLEX passage rate, incoming average GPA of 3.68, and all the facilities and faculty for a great school. Clearly the president of USC needs to get his head out of his bum and look at the bigger picture. One of our profs was so upset today, he couldn't even teach - there are people who have invested 30+ years working here who may be out of a job within a few years.....

    So if you have any ideas about what we can do to save our COP, i would appreciate that :)
     

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