What? PCAT Not Required For Pharmacy School Admittance?

May 15, 2009
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Uhhh, yeah, W-T-F is this all about?

Am I just out of the loop not knowing there are colleges that don't require a PCAT for admittance? Is this the new thing for the recent private colleges? You just pay 3-4x as much for tuition compared to a public university and the PCAT is waived.

Are there med schools who don't require an MCAT for admittance?

What do the rest of you think about this? How the hell can a COP get accredited with a policy like this?
 

MountainPharmD

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It might help the discussion if you posted a link or two to the colleges in question.
 

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None of the CA schools require it, but I don't think people would argue that USC or UCSF are some fly-by-night diploma mill. As for tuition, yes they charge a crapload for it, but it's CA, the cheapest school is just barely under 30K/year.

I only applied to non-PCAT required schools. Last thing I wanted is to let a bad day on a standardized test dictate my chances for admission.
 
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Priapism321

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All schools should require it, and it should be made just a bit more difficult, in my opinion.
 

DrWrong

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Uhhh, yeah, W-T-F is this all about?

Am I just out of the loop not knowing there are colleges that don't require a PCAT for admittance? Is this the new thing for the recent private colleges? You just pay 3-4x as much for tuition compared to a public university and the PCAT is waived.

Are there med schools who don't require an MCAT for admittance?

What do the rest of you think about this? How the hell can a COP get accredited with a policy like this?

FAMU doesn't require the PCAT, but there are rumors that they are going to start requiring it soon. I hate it, to be honest. My class is pretty much 50% deserving students (mostly transfer students) and 50% students that shouldn't be in the college, but they got admittance because they did undergrad at FAMU. Most of those students just want money. But of course, some of the deserving students are only in it for the money, too.

As far as the tuition, FAMU is among the cheapest pharmacy school in the nation...at least for in state tuition.
 

Vitamin K

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My school didn't require PCAT, and it's a state university. I don't feel like the caliber of students was poor...
 

confettiflyer

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PCAT is a joke anyway, and the only schools I know of that don't require it are California schools + USN (i think).

I'd like to know what expensive private schools outside of CA don't require it.

Either way, the test is a total joke, I understand why a school wouldn't take it.
 

DrWrong

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My school didn't require PCAT, and it's a state university. I don't feel like the caliber of students was poor...


I think part of the reason I feel the caliber of students was poor in my class is because I have unrealistic expectations.


Also, how many people in your class have a bachelors degree? The only people in my class that have a degree are the transfer students.
 

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I like the PCAT; I think it's an equalizer. It shows what grades don't. And I don't think that GPA is a great estimate of academic ability; depending on your school and professor, your B could mean more knowledge than my A.

I feel like my B in organic chemistry doesn't tell enough; it doesn't say that I got the third highest grade in the class. It doesn't say that I scored in the 90th percentile on the ACS organic exam. What DOES say that is my 85 on the PCAT chem section.
 

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PCAT is a joke anyway, and the only schools I know of that don't require it are California schools + USN (i think).

I'd like to know what expensive private schools outside of CA don't require it.

Either way, the test is a total joke, I understand why a school wouldn't take it.
USN is now off the list. This is the first year they require it.
 
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I think part of the reason I feel the caliber of students was poor in my class is because I have unrealistic expectations.


Also, how many people in your class have a bachelors degree? The only people in my class that have a degree are the transfer students.


Everyone in my class has a bachelors degree. Having a bachelors is required to apply to my school.

Most pharmacy schools already prefer applicants with a degree. They mind as well make it a requirement.
 

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The PCAT should be beefed up imo. I would like to see some Physics and more Calc!
 

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Everyone in my class has a bachelors degree. Having a bachelors is required to apply to my school.

Most pharmacy schools already prefer applicants with a degree. They mind as well make it a requirement.

I partly agree in the sense that college of pharmacies should require at least an associates degree.


The main problem with FAMU pharmacy school is that they accept almost everyone who did their 2 year undergrad at FAMU. This leads to, in my opinion, undeserving students getting into pharmacy school over students who have degrees and have "proven" themselves in gaining higher education.

I have a friend that was put on waitlist with a 3.85 gpa and an associates degree, whereas some 0-6 students were accepted with 2.75 gpa and no degree. Just doesn't seem fair to me.
 

confettiflyer

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The main problem with FAMU pharmacy school is that they accept almost everyone who did their 2 year undergrad at FAMU. This leads to, in my opinion, undeserving students getting into pharmacy school over students who have degrees and have "proven" themselves in gaining higher education.

I have a friend that was put on waitlist with a 3.85 gpa and an associates degree, whereas some 0-6 students were accepted with 2.75 gpa and no degree. Just doesn't seem fair to me.
Yeah, it's the unknown factor that's driving things like that. It's the same reason why that new car you just bought loses major value the moment you drive it off the lot.

With FAMU knowing the exact quality/caliber/content of the classes being taught at its own campus, there's more certainty than someone applying from another campus. With a 2.75 FAMU undergrad applying, a school knows EXACTLY what it's getting whereas the 3.85 community college applicant *might* have just gone to an easy school/been subject to grade inflation.

This is the argument that the PCAT should be required across the board...I can't support that until it's made more moderately difficult.

Plus, an associate's degree is negligible. 2yrs associates degree is basically your first 2yrs of undergrad, so that 3.85 vs. 2.75 student are even in that respect.
 

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I partly agree in the sense that college of pharmacies should require at least an associates degree.


The main problem with FAMU pharmacy school is that they accept almost everyone who did their 2 year undergrad at FAMU. This leads to, in my opinion, undeserving students getting into pharmacy school over students who have degrees and have "proven" themselves in gaining higher education.

I have a friend that was put on waitlist with a 3.85 gpa and an associates degree, whereas some 0-6 students were accepted with 2.75 gpa and no degree. Just doesn't seem fair to me.
Having observed FAMU threads in the past, it seems applicants with extremely high GPAs were getting rejected from FAMU. Now, that you've brought up the fact that FAMU is a 0-6 school, it makes sense now.

I've never been a fan of 0-6 schools. It seems 2/3 of the students go on to get their pharmDs and 1/3 drops out and gets replaced by highly qualified transfer students. This is the same way with Albany. There is a high attrition rate in their 0-6 students.
 
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DrWrong

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Yeah, it's the unknown factor that's driving things like that. It's the same reason why that new car you just bought loses major value the moment you drive it off the lot.

With FAMU knowing the exact quality/caliber/content of the classes being taught at its own campus, there's more certainty than someone applying from another campus. With a 2.75 FAMU undergrad applying, a school knows EXACTLY what it's getting whereas the 3.85 community college applicant *might* have just gone to an easy school/been subject to grade inflation.

This is the argument that the PCAT should be required across the board...I can't support that until it's made more moderately difficult.

Plus, an associate's degree is negligible. 2yrs associates degree is basically your first 2yrs of undergrad, so that 3.85 vs. 2.75 student are even in that respect.


Excellent Point and I've never thought of it that way. And I mean no disrespect to anyone when I say this, but from what I've seen first hand, transfer students seem a lot more prepared for pharmacy school and the rigorous curriculum than many of the non-transfer students.
 
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Transformer

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Excellent Point and I've never thought of it that way. And I mean no disrespect to anyone when I say this, but from what I've seen first hand, transfer students seem a lot more prepared for pharmacy school and the rigorous curriculum than many of the non-transfer students.
May I add, almost all of the transfer students have proven they can handle rigorous curriculum and succeed at it and know that pharmacy is exactly what they want in a career. Whereas, I cannot say that for all or most of the 0-6 students. Somehow the idea of picking up students straight from high school isn't the best option for professional schools and for the students.

I believe it takes a certain level of maturity for students to understand pharmacy school is exactly what they want. Most of the time, maturity comes with experience and age. This is not to say some of the 0-6 students are not mature. IMO, I believe pharmacy schools will more likely get the full package in a student who has proven him or herself through the earning of pharmacy experience and a bachelors degree and up.
 
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May I add, almost all of the transfer students have proven they can handle rigorous curriculum and succeed at it and know that pharmacy is exactly what they want in a career. Whereas, I cannot say that for all or most of the 0-6 students. Somehow the idea of picking up students straight from high school isn't the best option for professional schools and for the students.

I believe it takes a certain level of maturity for students to understand pharmacy school is exactly what they want. Most of the time, maturity comes with experience and age. This is not to say some of the 0-6 students are not mature. IMO, I believe pharmacy schools will more likely get the full package in a student who has proven him or herself through the earning of pharmacy experience and a bachelors degree and up.

And Maturity is the winning word! Only problem is, we can't really measure maturity based on a formal interview that students have a chance to prepare for. Of course, this is all coming from one of the 0-6 students at FAMU.
 
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The PCAT is relatively new - I don't any of the CA schools require it, including the established ones.
I guess it depends on your opinion of relativity. It's been around since at least 1990, from what I could find.

I like the PCAT; I think it's an equalizer. It shows what grades don't. And I don't think that GPA is a great estimate of academic ability; depending on your school and professor, your B could mean more knowledge than my A.

I feel like my B in organic chemistry doesn't tell enough; it doesn't say that I got the third highest grade in the class. It doesn't say that I scored in the 90th percentile on the ACS organic exam. What DOES say that is my 85 on the PCAT chem section.
Exactly. That's why I would think every college would require the PCAT! Or at least some measurement that is standardized.

Everyone in my class has a bachelors degree. Having a bachelors is required to apply to my school.

Most pharmacy schools already prefer applicants with a degree. They mind as well make it a requirement.
I haven't seen anything to say those with a bachelor's perform better. I did however come across a study which showed a correlation between PCAT scores and NAPLEX scores. (Not too surprising I guess since they are both standardized tests)

Plus, an associate's degree is negligible. 2yrs associates degree is basically your first 2yrs of undergrad, so that 3.85 vs. 2.75 student are even in that respect.
How can you possibly make that determination? It's impossible to say, "Well, a transfer student from university X has to have a 3.25 to equal our 3.00gpa...if they're from university Y they have to have a 3.75 to equal our 3.00" etc

That's the whole point of the standardized test. Without some benchmark to measure applicants I would think some of these schools' admissions processes wreak of nepotism and cronyism.

Unless of course every single applicant was from the same university.





Also, I guess I never realized just how many schools don't require the PCAT. Of those not requiring it (excluding CA schools), an overwhelming majority are private...whether they're new or not I'm not sure.

Seems a little suspect though...
 
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I go to a 0-6 school that has a 10% acceptance rate and doesn't accept transfers. We take the PCAT or an equivalent exam as a competency test to see how well the school is doing at teaching us, but not for admittance. I think that there are a lot of people here putting down 0-6 schools with really no basis behind it.

A lot of the leading programs are 0-6, and if there are students graduating from HS and know that they want to go into pharmacy, why slow them down with some BS undergrad degree first? In 0-6 we had to take core classes but they were geared towards pharmacy, to help us in the future. If nothing else, it helps the profession. Sure students change their mind in the 6 years and drop out, but hey- who's complaining, less surplus!

All I know is that at 18 I knew I wanted to do pharmacy and law and that is enough school for me so I'll be damned if someone is going to sit here and say I should have wasted time doing something I didn't care about in undergrad just to get their approval.
 
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How can you possibly make that determination? It's impossible to say, "Well, a transfer student from university X has to have a 3.25 to equal our 3.00gpa...if they're from university Y they have to have a 3.75 to equal our 3.00" etc


Also, I guess I never realized just how many schools don't require the PCAT. Of those not requiring it (excluding CA schools), an overwhelming majority are private...whether they're new or not I'm not sure.

Seems a little suspect though...
Of course no one can say it, it's implied. It's obvious to me that a 3.0 from Stanford is worth more than a 3.5 at my local podunk community college. Clearly it can't/won't be codified, but the idea is sitting in the mind of the members of the adcom, and that's good enough for me.

Can you cite your studies & schools not requiring PCAT outside of CA? I'm curious and want to read up on it, I'm not well versed with the correlations you're bringing up. Our school's internal statistical analysis shows a direct correlation between P-1 GPA success and the PCAT math subscore.
 
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Can you cite your studies & schools not requiring PCAT outside of CA? I'm curious and want to read up on it, I'm not well versed with the correlations you're bringing up. Our school's internal statistical analysis shows a direct correlation between P-1 GPA success and the PCAT math subscore.
I'm not well-versed either but I did a few Googles earlier:

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1847544
Results
Grade point average, composite Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) score, and California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) score were each positively correlated with NAPLEX score (p < 0.001 for each). Type of school where organic chemistry was completed; age; advanced courses taken in chemistry, biology, and math; and attainment of a BS, BA, or MS degree were not significantly correlated with NAPLEX score (p > 0.05). When comparing students who successfully graduated and passed the NAPLEX with students who were academically suspended or who failed the NAPLEX, there were significant differences in mean PCAT scores, CCTST score, and age (p < 0.05 for all). Stepwise regression analysis applying all admission variables except PCAT subscores revealed a correlation between predictors (composite PCAT, prepharmacy GPA, and age) and NAPLEX score (p < 0.001).
Conclusion
Composite PCAT score was the strongest predictor of success and failure on the NAPLEX. However, the combined predictive ability of PCAT and CCTST scores, prepharmacy GPA, and age was relatively low. Thus, a full review of each candidate's application is justified.
As far as PCAT being required and public vs. private I just cross-referenced the PharmCAS school directory:

http://www.pharmcas.org/collegesschools/thedirectory.htm

Public vs. Private: http://www.pharmcas.org/collegesschools/AAGPubPvtT.htm

PCAT Requirements: http://www.pharmcas.org/collegesschools/AAGRequiredTestsT.htm


I didn't compare any of the CA schools...I would think they all use the CCTST? So at least there would be some degree of standardization.


Of course no one can say it, it's implied. It's obvious to me that a 3.0 from Stanford is worth more than a 3.5 at my local podunk community college. Clearly it can't/won't be codified, but the idea is sitting in the mind of the members of the adcom, and that's good enough for me.
That's what I'm referring to when I say nepotism. What kind of elitist profession would we create if only those who attended a university were considered for admittance?

If student A went to a university and had a gpa of 3.0 with a PCAT of 80 and student B went to a community college and had a gpa of 3.25 with a PCAT of 90...who do you pick?

If we got rid of PCAT scores and just dismissed the student from the community college...isn't that discrimination? There are alot of students, and there are going to be alot more students in the future; who attend community colleges. From a financial perspective it's a wise decision.
 

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That's what I'm referring to when I say nepotism. What kind of elitist profession would we create if only those who attended a university were considered for admittance?

If student A went to a university and had a gpa of 3.0 with a PCAT of 80 and student B went to a community college and had a gpa of 3.25 with a PCAT of 90...who do you pick?

If we got rid of PCAT scores and just dismissed the student from the community college...isn't that discrimination? There are alot of students, and there are going to be alot more students in the future; who attend community colleges. From a financial perspective it's a wise decision.
Okay, I think you're getting some terms mixed up. Nepotism is favoring your relatives. Not applicable.

As for the 'discrimination' thing...it's hardly discrimination to accept only what you consider to be the best candidate. I've taken classes at CC and at a university, and the classes at CC are DEFINITELY inferior from my experience. If I was an adcom, my experience in taking both levels would definitely cause me to accept a university student over a comparable or an even slightly higher GPA CC student.
 

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****, my community college was hell. The organic chem teacher refused to give out As. And that class had me, a future Rho Chi member, a girl that's at a top 5 veterinarian school, and a dude that's doing a nephrology residency right now...all of us got Bs. Low Bs. And we were the best students in the class. AND I got a 63/70 on the ACS exam...:eek: Her tests would be like 3 questions. Stuff like "using only methanol and ethanol and any inorganic molecules, synthesize acetyl-salicylic acid." The tests would look like hell when you turned them in. Like 35 grignard reactions and a diels-alder thrown in, a few free radical additions.....and maybe it was right...hell...

Then I compare that to the course my wife took at WVU. Looking at the tests, that **** was a cakewalk. "If you did this reaction to this molecule, what would be the resultant compound?" type of ****. And it was multiple choice. Please.

Of course the people at WVU know about the WV colleges...so maybe they took that into consideration.
 
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Sure students change their mind in the 6 years and drop out, but hey- who's complaining, less surplus!

I think that's what some posters meant when they referred to maturity.

All I know is that at 18 I knew I wanted to do pharmacy and law and that is enough school for me so I'll be damned if someone is going to sit here and say I should have wasted time doing something I didn't care about in undergrad just to get their approval.
What do they use to determine your admittance? Do they screen people in the 0-6 with the PCAT? What is the minimum gpa they have to maintain in the first 2 years?
 
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Okay, I think you're getting some terms mixed up. Nepotism is favoring your relatives. Not applicable.

As for the 'discrimination' thing...it's hardly discrimination to accept only what you consider to be the best candidate. I've taken classes at CC and at a university, and the classes at CC are DEFINITELY inferior from my experience. If I was an adcom, my experience in taking both levels would definitely cause me to accept a university student over a comparable or an even slightly higher GPA CC student.
So then what specific word is there for favoring an applicant from the university to which he is applying? Favoritism applies. But nepotism just sounds more appalling.

Not applicable? I haven't seen where nepotism meant favoring only family or relatives. Sure, in common use that's what is meant, but there exists an unspoken relationship between these applicants from the university and the committee members. The potential for subjective, biased admissions is much more possible when there is no objective measurement of the applicants ability.

If all applicants were from the admitting university, there would be no need for a PCAT because the GPA would be your ruler...but how in the world...without bias...could you objectively compare candidates if even one was from a different institution?

I've taken classes at CC and at a university, and the classes at CC are DEFINITELY inferior from my experience. If I was an adcom, my experience in taking both levels would definitely cause me to accept a university student over a comparable or an even slightly higher GPA CC student
You strenghten my argument for requiring a PCAT. Your subjective view may not hold true for all situations. It's like comparing apples to oranges to strawberries to bananas to...

That's the point of the PCAT.
 
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****, my community college was hell. The organic chem teacher refused to give out As. And that class had me, a future Rho Chi member, a girl that's at a top 5 veterinarian school, and a dude that's doing a nephrology residency right now...all of us got Bs. Low Bs. And we were the best students in the class. AND I got a 63/70 on the ACS exam...:eek: Her tests would be like 3 questions. Stuff like "using only methanol and ethanol and any inorganic molecules, synthesize acetyl-salicylic acid." The tests would look like hell when you turned them in. Like 35 grignard reactions and a diels-alder thrown in, a few free radical additions.....and maybe it was right...hell...

Then I compare that to the course my wife took at WVU. Looking at the tests, that **** was a cakewalk. "If you did this reaction to this molecule, what would be the resultant compound?" type of ****. And it was multiple choice. Please.

Of course the people at WVU know about the WV colleges...so maybe they took that into consideration.

I hear ya...alot of CC profs are former university professors...but they have 30 student classes now instead of 100-200 or whatever. I've been told they go back to teach at CC because they can focus on textbooks n **** that makes them money...vs grant writing and pressure from university admin to get research grants.
 

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University? Nah, this woman come from the department in the CIA that oversaw torturing inmates at Gitmo.
 

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Okay, I think you're getting some terms mixed up. Nepotism is favoring your relatives. Not applicable.

As for the 'discrimination' thing...it's hardly discrimination to accept only what you consider to be the best candidate. I've taken classes at CC and at a university, and the classes at CC are DEFINITELY inferior from my experience. If I was an adcom, my experience in taking both levels would definitely cause me to accept a university student over a comparable or an even slightly higher GPA CC student.
I realize this is an ad nauseum argument, but I'll throw my two cents in anyway.

Your experience is all well and good...but personal experience does not make something universally true. My CC absolutely blew UB out of the water on what were the exact same exams (ACS finals and exams given by a professor who taught at both schools). There's no possible way to argue that myself or anyone else from my CC took an inferior Chemistry class, because the hard numbers are there. That's why you need multiple criteria for admission.
 

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I go to a 0-6 school that has a 10% acceptance rate and doesn't accept transfers. We take the PCAT or an equivalent exam as a competency test to see how well the school is doing at teaching us, but not for admittance. I think that there are a lot of people here putting down 0-6 schools with really no basis behind it.

A lot of the leading programs are 0-6, and if there are students graduating from HS and know that they want to go into pharmacy, why slow them down with some BS undergrad degree first? In 0-6 we had to take core classes but they were geared towards pharmacy, to help us in the future. If nothing else, it helps the profession. Sure students change their mind in the 6 years and drop out, but hey- who's complaining, less surplus!

All I know is that at 18 I knew I wanted to do pharmacy and law and that is enough school for me so I'll be damned if someone is going to sit here and say I should have wasted time doing something I didn't care about in undergrad just to get their approval.
It seems there are 2 types of 0-6 schools:

School #1: 0-6 schools that bring in transfers to replace drop outs
School #2: 0-6 schools that has low acceptance rate (10%??) to their professional years. (This is the one you're attending)

BTW, I totally agree, students like yourself can handle the work from the beginning, and don't need to be held back by getting a Bachelors. But what about your classmates who drop out but still wants to pursue pharmacy??

The reason I'm not in favor of 0-6 like programs is it can potentially breed cheating and harm the GPAs of students who are not really ready for this kind of competitive program. (Note: I'm not accusing you nor your program of cheating)

I was one of those students who transitioned poorly and struggled in a similar type of program in undergrad. We also had a 10% acceptance rate to the professional year. We started with around 240 to 300 students, and only 24 to 26 students were allowed into the professional year. The curriculum was set up where in 1 quarter, I was taking physics, biology, organic chemistry, and statistics for science majors. Long story shorter, the competition led to a great amount of cheating and sabotaging your lab partner's work so you can get up on the competition. (Not everyone was doing this, but a selected few was). It was really brutal. The program has changed where acceptances to the professional years is no longer exclusive to 240 to 300 students; it's now open to all of the school's undergrad students.

I honestly believe I can hack the work but just decided I didn't like the lifestyle of the profession and I got out of the program. Either you STUDY to death and only earn a B or C, and/or you get your hands on old professor exams and get an A regardless of you really learned the material or not (Test answers were different but the same type of questions asked). The tactic was to assure you get the A now and learned the material well or even better when a standardized exam is coming.

As you can tell I had a bad experience with these type of programs and they're really risky. Because of that, I do have just a little bit of pent up anger and yes, I'm bias.

Bottom line would you go to a 0-6 program where there is no guarantee you will proceed to the professional years or would you finish your bachelors, score high on PCAT, and have gained a certain level of pharmacy experience before getting into a 3 to 4 year pharmD program that is banking on you to succeed (because they can't replace you with transfers and wants you to get your pharmD so you can pay back your 150 to 200K loans); thus breeding a potentially friendlier learning environment??
 
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Okay, I think you're getting some terms mixed up. Nepotism is favoring your relatives. Not applicable.

As for the 'discrimination' thing...it's hardly discrimination to accept only what you consider to be the best candidate. I've taken classes at CC and at a university, and the classes at CC are DEFINITELY inferior from my experience. If I was an adcom, my experience in taking both levels would definitely cause me to accept a university student over a comparable or an even slightly higher GPA CC student.
chem 1 university:
lecture hall with 250 students, old professor reading slides not caring who shows up or doesn't. Lab run by teachers aid.

Chem 1 cc:
professor probably doesn't have Phd but maybe masters, knows stuff lecturing a class of 30 who takes attendance gets to know student and makes class interactive. Lab run by same professor.

Explain to me why university class is better?
 

Transformer

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chem 1 university:
lecture hall with 250 students, old professor reading slides not caring who shows up or doesn't. Lab run by teachers aid.

Chem 1 cc:
professor probably doesn't have Phd but maybe masters, knows stuff lecturing a class of 30 who takes attendance gets to know student and makes class interactive. Lab run by same professor.

Explain to me why university class is better?
I've attended both CC and University classes, and personally, I learned so much more at a CC than at the University level.

Reason being CC Professors were much more accessible since their sole reason for being there is to TEACH me; whereas university professors have research obligations, and graduate students to mentor and teach and seminars to attend, etc, etc.

If you have trouble learning on your own, don't go to a university right out of high school. Go to a CC for the first two years, learn the basic learning skills there and take advantage of CC professors' accessibility. Go to an university for the last 2 years and earn an university degree at half the price.
 
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What do they use to determine your admittance? Do they screen people in the 0-6 with the PCAT? What is the minimum gpa they have to maintain in the first 2 years?
To determine admittance, they base it off of our choice and success in science curriculum in HS (for instance, I took a college course of AP in HS and all advanced placement sciences courses in HS). You have an interview and are either recommended or not by the college's regional representative that interviewed you. You SATs are obviously looked at, but an ACT was encouraged due to the science component.

Like I said, the PCAT is only used to make sure they are teaching us efficiently. The students don't seem to have a problem on it so there has been no need for weeding out or screening that I know of.

The minimum gpa is the same for all 6 years- you need to maintain a 2.3 gpa in your pharmacy classes (your core classes like english and theology can't help you stay in the program). You will lose your scholarship after you dip below a 3.0.

I understand that it may be immature people who dropped out during the 6 years, but I'm not sure I'm seeing where you are coming from on complaining about it. It's a good thing they chose to leave. Sure its a waste of time for them, but a lot of the time a student drops out because 1. their parents had pressured them into the field because of its job stability or 2. they were removed from the program due to low grades- if they decide to transfer to a school that accepts transfers in that case, I agree. I think schools need to have higher standards for a medical profession and if the grades aren't high enough, it means the student isn't absorbing enough material and therefore won't be able to accurately provide care.
 

Carboxide

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I've attended both CC and University classes, and personally, I learned so much more at a CC than at the University level.

Reason being CC Professors were much more accessible since their sole reason for being there is to TEACH me; whereas university professors have research obligations, and graduate students to mentor and teach and seminars to attend, etc, etc.

If you have trouble learning on your own, don't go to a university right out of high school. Go to a CC for the first two years, learn the basic learning skills there and take advantage of CC professors' accessibility. Go to an university for the last 2 years and earn an university degree at half the price.
I didn't find that at all. I found that my CC professors didn't give a **** about us; they wanted to go home, whereas my university profs were there to answer questions. In my CC classes, it was like the prof wanted to babysit you - took attendance, spoonfed material and in some classes forced us to spend class time working on papers! When in the WORLD would a university do that? (And yes, I mean forced; if you left, your final grade would drop by a half a grade point automatically.)

No, I prefer to be responsible for my own grade. I don't think it's appropriate to spend class time doing homework, but CCs think that is, apparently. Maybe my CC experience is different than yours, but it is my experience and it is what I will continue to view CC classes as - that is, easy and inappropriately taught.
 
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Now I cannot speak for all schools but after speaking to a person on an admissions committee for Texas Southern's College of Pharmacy-their logic for requiring the PCAT for admissions is using the PCAT as a footnote for how the student will do on the NAPLEX. The reality is all too many students are becoming excellent test takers and doing academic bulimia (learning information in a short period of time and regurgitating it retaining NOTHING).
I however did well on the PCAT but I also studied FOREVER for that test and retained most of the knowledge. :D
 

tootoo30

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This is the first year that Xavier is requiring the PCAT also. I think it's a great tool to weed out the undesirables, but on the other hand not everyone does great on standardized test, so I don't know. Xavier also raised their GPA requirement from 2.0 to 2.75. If I had to take the PCAT, the range of schools that I applied to would have been bigger.

Update: Right after typing this message, I got an email telling me that Xavier is requiring the class of 2013 to take the PCAT in August for free. They just need to have a score on file for the students, go figure!
 
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Jun 19, 2009
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This is the first year that Xavier is requiring the PCAT also. I think it's a great tool to weed out the undesirables, but on the other hand not everyone does great on standardized test, so I don't know. Xavier also raised their GPA requirement from 2.0 to 2.75. If I had to take the PCAT, the range of schools that I applied to would have been bigger.
That's the thing about standardized test..not everyone is a stellar test taker. I was thinking about Xavier-what made you pick that school?
 

tootoo30

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That's the thing about standardized test..not everyone is a stellar test taker. I was thinking about Xavier-what made you pick that school?
I'm from New Orleans and didn't want to leave, so it was my only option!
 

inquirer89

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If you have trouble learning on your own, don't go to a university right out of high school. Go to a CC for the first two years, learn the basic learning skills there and take advantage of CC professors' accessibility. Go to an university for the last 2 years and earn an university degree at half the price.
Absolutely true. I've told this to friends who are seniors in high school, and they refuse to go to a CC until, unshockingly, they end up dropping out and taking CC classes in their sophomore years. Most people, including me at one point, have the negative connotation that CC is where losers go. Not true at all. Once people make it past their senior year in high school, they soon find out that life goes on and no one cares where you go and how you get there. I've learned more from CC and smaller public colleges than the big one I went to for my freshman year. If I had to do it over again, I'd do my 2 years of prereqs at a CC and save money.

Back to the original conversation, I also think the PCAT is pretty easy to learn, just like any other standard test. There is always a way to "cheat the system". After doing several practice PCAT exams, you start to see the pattern.
 

IrishHammer

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I however did well on the PCAT but I also studied FOREVER for that test and retained most of the knowledge. :D
I always go into standardized tests cold. I'm of the mindset that I either know the material or I don't, and besides, most standardized tests are so vast and comprehensive that it's nearly impossible to perform mental bulimia and yak up a high score.
 

owlegrad

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I've told this to friends who are seniors in high school, and they refuse to go to a CC until, unshockingly, they end up dropping out and taking CC classes in their sophomore years. Most people, including me at one point, have the negative connotation that CC is where losers go. Not true at all. Once people make it past their senior year in high school, they soon find out that life goes on and no one cares where you go and how you get there.


I went to a CC and did not regret it one bit. I had a great time, learned allot and saved some money. But your statement confuses me. You say your friends go to CC after failing at a University and then say CC are not for losers? I don't mean to be nit-picky but saying that people who drop out of University go to CC is like saying CC's are for losers. LOL

As for people not caring where you went to college, in my experence this has been true. I mean unless you are on the extremes (online degree vs. Yale), who cares? My two cents.
 

type b pharmD

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I've told this to friends who are seniors in high school, and they refuse to go to a CC until, unshockingly, they end up dropping out and taking CC classes in their sophomore years. Most people, including me at one point, have the negative connotation that CC is where losers go. Not true at all. Once people make it past their senior year in high school, they soon find out that life goes on and no one cares where you go and how you get there.


I went to a CC and did not regret it one bit. I had a great time, learned allot and saved some money. But your statement confuses me. You say your friends go to CC after failing at a University and then say CC are not for losers? I don't mean to be nit-picky but saying that people who drop out of University go to CC is like saying CC's are for losers. LOL

As for people not caring where you went to college, in my experence this has been true. I mean unless you are on the extremes (online degree vs. Yale), who cares? My two cents.
agreed. i took a lot of my prereqs at a CC, and saved myself nearly $10,000. The teachers there were every bit as good as the ones at my liberal arts college, this may not be true across the board though. (cc was in a city oversaturated with talented profs). My non science classes there were overall harder than my non science classes at college. Anthropology required 70 pages of essays over the course of the semester !
 

confettiflyer

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CC is a good option for lots of people, but quality varies location to location. Adcoms play the "on average" game all the time. On average, their CC students may not do as well...on average, university students do better, based on that, they're going to make decisions for the next year's class.

If you've got a contingent of students with CC only backgrounds that are doing horribly against their peers, adcom will make adjustments as necessary.

With that said, I'm an academic snob and so are most of my friends. The only people that went to CC in my HS batch were losers who ended up spending 6 years there and transferred to a mediocre state university, if at all. I had maybe 2-3 friends who did it for cost purposes but held acceptances to UC's and a few top tier privates, but they were the exception, not the rule.

For a while we jokingly referred to CC as grades 13 and 14, it was funny until we realized the CA department of education actually uses the designation for funding (K-14). Oddly enough back when FB/myspace started getting popular, not many made the jump to FB. Our joke was that only losers who didn't go to college were on myspace.



Anyway back to topic....my CC classes were kind of a joke. The material presented in pharmacy school best resembles the style I got as an undergrad. Sure, maybe your CC teachers have more one-on-one time and actually teach you things, but IMO, that sets you up for heartache when you get into Rx school when you just get material thrown at you and are expected to just "pick it up" without additional help.

I know two CC only students in my class who struggled with this aspect of it, they're doing fine now...but I would imagine that others didn't fare so well.
 

owlegrad

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CC is a good option for lots of people, but quality varies location to location. Adcoms play the "on average" game all the time. On average, their CC students may not do as well...on average, university students do better, based on that, they're going to make decisions for the next year's class.

If you've got a contingent of students with CC only backgrounds that are doing horribly against their peers, adcom will make adjustments as necessary.

With that said, I'm an academic snob and so are most of my friends. The only people that went to CC in my HS batch were losers who ended up spending 6 years there and transferred to a mediocre state university, if at all. I had maybe 2-3 friends who did it for cost purposes but held acceptances to UC's and a few top tier privates, but they were the exception, not the rule.

Anyway back to topic....my CC classes were kind of a joke. The material presented in pharmacy school best resembles the style I got as an undergrad. Sure, maybe your CC teachers have more one-on-one time and actually teach you things, but IMO, that sets you up for heartache when you get into Rx school when you just get material thrown at you and are expected to just "pick it up" without additional help.

I know two CC only students in my class who struggled with this aspect of it, they're doing fine now...but I would imagine that others didn't fare so well.

What a well balanced post! The only part that I wonder about is whether adcoms really think that way about CC's. Going to a CC did not seem to hinder my chances with admissions, perhaps others have had different experiences? I have always wondered if this business about going to a CC looking bad is true. I kinda think that it is a misconception formed, perhaps, from a combination of "academic snobs" (Thanks for that term, I love it!) and CC students who are not secure about there education (as in: "Man, if only I had went to a big boys college I would have gotten in!").

Perhaps I am the exception and most CC students have a hard time getting into pharmacy school? To be honest I did not find it hard to get into pharmacy school at all, but maybe I was lucky. I am also not in CA so maybe that has something to do with it? Of course in my state we do not issue IOU's to pay the bills! LOL (sry could not resist)
 

confettiflyer

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What a well balanced post! The only part that I wonder about is whether adcoms really think that way about CC's. Going to a CC did not seem to hinder my chances with admissions, perhaps others have had different experiences? I have always wondered if this business about going to a CC looking bad is true. I kinda think that it is a misconception formed, perhaps, from a combination of "academic snobs" (Thanks for that term, I love it!) and CC students who are not secure about there education (as in: "Man, if only I had went to a big boys college I would have gotten in!").

Perhaps I am the exception and most CC students have a hard time getting into pharmacy school? To be honest I did not find it hard to get into pharmacy school at all, but maybe I was lucky. I am also not in CA so maybe that has something to do with it? Of course in my state we do not issue IOU's to pay the bills! LOL (sry could not resist)
I was gonna give you an IOU for a reply....haha. Man, that's a first, someone calling my post balanced.

There are always exceptions to every rule...not every CC student will struggle, not every top 10 university grad will shine. The idea comes from the very beginning of each system (CC vs. university). Anyone who feels like it can just "walk on" to the campus of a CC, admission to a university is a bit more involved. It's the same reason why med school apps ask what undergrads you received acceptances to, that will account for students unable to afford Ivy League tuition and attended a cheaper state school instead (anyone know if they still do this?) They want to know whose standards you met/exceeded.

The perception is like comparing minor league baseball vs. the major leagues, or going to Wharton to get your MBA vs. an online diploma mill. In each example, you're doing the same damn thing (playing baseball, getting an MBA), but each has decidedly different standards & environments.
 

Kirbypuff

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From a NYS pov, I've been to Community, CUNY, SUNY, private, and Ivy, and it TOTALLY depends on the professor or the department which hosts the class.

The PCAT is the only unbiased measure of a student's potential in pharmacy school. I failed Speech cus I had a professor who didn't like me. Missing 3 classes was an automatic fail, and I missed 2 classes and was late to one class, and she used her judgment to fail me even though I was averaging a B+. Also, PCAT scores are highly correlated with NAPLEX scores.
 
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