Academic and Technical Standards

Program Academic and Technical Standards

Academic Program Standards

Pharmacy students must complete all Doctor of Pharmacy Program requirements and receive a passing grade in all courses and clinical rotations to be eligible for graduation. The graduating student must have a cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 or better and be recommended for graduation by the faculty.

Technical Standards

All students must be able to meet the following University of New England (UNE) College of Pharmacy technical standards.  A student accepted into the Doctor of Pharmacy Program must have abilities and skills in five categories: observation, communication, motor, intellectual, and behavioral/social. Standards are developed as criteria to achieve the Doctor of Pharmacy degree in preparation for licensure as a practicing pharmacist and for postgraduate professional training and education in any of the varied fields of pharmacy. Further, the safety of the patient, on whom the pharmaceutical education process is largely focused, must be guarded as the final and ultimate consideration.


The University of New England, College of Pharmacy acknowledges Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and PL 11-336, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 19903, and requires minimum technical standards be present in students accepted into the Doctor of Pharmacy program. The College of Pharmacy will engage in an interactive process with applicants with disabilities but the College of Pharmacy reserves the right not to admit any applicant who cannot meet the Technical Standards set forth below, with reasonable accommodations. Applicants are not required to disclose the nature of their disability(ies), if any, to the Admissions Committee. However, any applicant with questions about these technical standards is strongly encouraged to discuss his/her specific issue(s) with Disability Services prior to the interview process. If appropriate, and upon the request of the applicant, reasonable accommodations will be provided. 

Reasonable accommodation for persons with documented disabilities will be considered on an individual basis, but a student in the Doctor of Pharmacy program must be able to perform in an independent manner. Every applicant is considered without regard to disability. Once accepted, students must complete all elements of the curriculum with or without reasonable accommodations. In the case of a documented disability, the College of Pharmacy must be fully satisfied that the applicant can make progress through the curriculum. Students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program must have the functional use of the senses of vision and hearing. A student's skills will also be lessened without the functional use of the senses of equilibrium and smell. Additionally, they must have sufficient exteroceptive senses (touch, pain and temperature), and sufficient motor functions to permit them to carry out the activities described in the sections that follow. Doctor of Pharmacy students must be able to integrate information received from multiple senses quickly and accurately. They must also have the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data. Graduates of the College of Pharmacy must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical, administrative and leadership situations and to render a wide spectrum of pharmaceutical care. 


Throughout the pharmacy program, a student will be expected to maintain the technical standards and demonstrate them through their coursework, interaction with peers and faculty, and in their professional experiences.  Students who fail to demonstrate the technical standards while in the program will be evaluated and appropriate action (e.g., remediation, counseling, or dismissal) will be taken.  Because this expectation is separate from academic achievement, simply maintaining a passing GPA is not sufficient. 

While the College of Pharmacy recognizes that certain disabilities can be accommodated without compromising the standards required by the college and the integrity of the curriculum, the use of a trained intermediary means that a student's judgment must be mediated by someone else's powers of selection and observation, and is not acceptable.  Additionally, those individuals who would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of others are not considered suitable candidates for continued matriculation.

The following skills are required, with or without accommodation:

Observation

Students must be able to observe demonstrations and conduct exercises in a variety of areas related to contemporary pharmacy practice, including but not limited to monitoring of drug response and preparation of specialty dosage forms. Students must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and pharmaceutical sciences, medical illustrations and models, microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathological states. A student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand, noting nonverbal as well as verbal signals. The student must be able to observe and interpret presented information. Specific vision-related requirements include, but are not limited to the following abilities: visualizing and discriminating findings on monitoring tests; reading written and illustrated material; discriminating numbers and patterns associated with diagnostic and monitoring instruments and tests; observing the activities of technical staff operating under their supervision; reading information on a computer screen and small print on packages or package inserts; distinguishing shapes, colors, markings, and other characteristics of small objects (eg. different dosage forms); and competently using instruments for monitoring drug response. Observation requires not only the functional use of the sense of vision, but other sensory modalities as well such as hearing and other somatic senses. For example, observation can be enhanced in some situations by the use of the sense of smell.

Communication

A pharmacy student should be able to speak, to hear and to observe patients and other health care professionals in order to elicit both verbal and non-verbal information, and must be able to communicate effectively with and about patients. Communication includes speech, reading, writing and computer literacy. The student must be able to perceive and respond appropriately to all types of communication including telephone communications (verbal, non-verbal, written) from faculty, staff, peers, patients, caregivers, family of patients, the public, and all members of the health care team. 

Specific requirements include but are not limited to the following abilities; reading, writing, speaking and comprehending English with sufficient mastery to accomplish didactic, clinical and laboratory curricular requirements in a timely, professional and accurate manner; eliciting a thorough medication and medical history; and communicating complex findings in appropriate terms that are understood by patients, caregivers, and members of the healthcare team. Each student must be able to read and record observations and care plans legibly, efficiently and accurately. Students must be able to prepare and communicate concise but complete summaries of individual activities, decisions and encounters with patients. Students must be able to complete forms or appropriately document activities according to directions in a complete and timely fashion. 

Motor

Pharmacy students must have sufficient motor function to carry out basic laboratory techniques and skills to accomplish basic pharmacy practice tasks utilizing both gross and fine motor skills. These include but are not limited to; compounding prescriptions, filling prescriptions, counting prescription medications, administering medications, preparing intravenous products, and administering intramuscular and subcutaneous injections. The student must be able to conduct a physical assessment of a patient by palpation, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers. Other motor activities include performing first aid and/or cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the clinical setting. 

The student must be able to transport him or herself to off-site settings and experiential locations in a timely manner. Students must be able to respond promptly to urgencies within the practice setting and must not hinder the ability of their co-workers to provide prompt care. Examples of such emergency treatment reasonably required of pharmacists include arriving quickly when called, rapidly and accurately preparing appropriate emergency medication, and the preparation of sterile intravenous medications. 

Students must be able to use computer-based information systems and have sufficient motor function and coordination required for manipulation of small and large objects. The student must have the ability to move and position another person in a manner that will facilitate physical assessment or other diagnostic lab testing. Lastly, students must exhibit the physical and mental stamina needed while standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time.

Intellectual

A student should possess sufficient intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities to complete a rigorous and intense didactic and experiential curriculum. These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, decision-making, judgment, information integration, and solution synthesis. In addition, the student should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relations of structures. Especially important is the appropriate and rapid calculation of dosages for a variety of patient-specific conditions such as renal or hepatic failure, obesity, cardiac or respiratory arrest, etc. Additionally, calculations involving appropriate dilution or reconstitution of drug products, electrolytes, etc. must be made accurately and quickly. Students must be able to retain and recall critical information in an efficient and timely manner. Students must be able to identify and acknowledge the limits of their knowledge to others when appropriate and be able to recognize when the limits of their knowledge indicate further study or investigation before making a decision. Students must be able to interpret graphs or charts describing biologic, economic or outcome relationships. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, small group activities, individual study, preparation and presentation of reports, and use of computer technology. Students are expected to be fully alert and attentive at all times in classroom and clinical settings. 

Behavioral and Social

A pharmacy student must possess the physical and emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the care of patients, and the development of effective relationships with patients. Students must adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the academic and clinical environments with appropriate coping responses. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are qualities that are assessed during the admission and education process. The student must recognize and display respect for differences in culture, values, and ethics among patients, faculty, peers, clinical and administrative staff and colleagues. The student must be able to identify and demonstrate appropriate behavior to protect the safety and well being of patients, faculty, peers, clinical and administrative staff and colleagues. Lastly, the student should handle situations appropriately and professionally when those situations may be physically, emotionally, or intellectually stressful, including those situations that must be handled promptly and calmly. At times, this requires the ability to be aware of and appropriately react to one's own immediate emotional responses and environment.

When a letter of acceptance to the University of New England College of Pharmacy is mailed, a detailed copy of the Technical Standards for completion of the curriculum will be included. The applicant will be asked to respond in writing whether he/she can meet the standards with or without accommodation. An applicant should be able to evaluate him or herself for compliance with these Technical Standards. In the event that accommodation is requested, the student must submit documentation of disability with the proposed accommodation from a certified specialist to UNE's Disability Services. A continuing student who develops a disability should request accommodations based on the limitations of the disability through Disability Services. Individuals unable to meet the above Technical Standards may be unable to progress and/or complete the Pharm.D. program. 

Students must be able to meet the Maine State Board of Pharmacy licensing requirements to obtain a valid Introductory (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) License. These licenses are required to complete off-campus experiential courses. Inability to obtain a Maine IPPE or APPE License may prevent completion of experiential courses and prevent a student from continuing in the program and completing the requirements for graduation. Students completing their experiential education in other states must meet the licensing requirements of that state. 

The College of Pharmacy's Admissions Committee will consider the applicant based on the criteria for admission of all applicants. An applicant who discloses a disability and requests accommodation in the admission process may be required to submit, in writing, the request for accommodation and pertinent supporting documentation. This pertinent information may include a history of accommodations granted previously in other educational programs. Requests for accommodation may be initiated with UNE's Disability Services.

For more information on disabilities and accommodation, please contact the UNE Office of Students With Disabilities.