Minority High School Students Participate in Summer Programs at STLCOP
St. Louis College of Pharmacy
4588 Parkview Place * St. Louis, MO 63110 * www.stlcop.edu
Nearly 100 St. Louis Area Minority High School Students will
Participate in Pharmacy Focused Summer Programs
ST. LOUIS (June 14, 2011) – Through July, nearly 100 St. Louis-area high school students – most of whom are minorities – will learn firsthand about the profession of pharmacy by participating in two summer programs at St. Louis College of Pharmacy (STLCOP).
Both programs provide exposure to career opportunities in pharmacy and aim to increase interest in health care-related professions. According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, minorities account for about 12 percent of the total number of doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degrees conferred. However, minorities make up a third of the U.S. population. More minority representation in the profession is necessary to improve health outcomes of an increasingly diverse U.S. population.
The Walgreens/St. Louis College of Pharmacy Career Explorers Program: The 20-day program, which runs June 13 through July 9, is one of only two such in the nation sponsored by Walgreens. Since its inception in 2001, more than 250 students have participated, and nearly 50 percent have enrolled in pharmacy schools throughout the nation, said Freddie Wills, the program’s coordinator and STLCOP’s director of diversity.
This year, 25 students will participate. They will learn about the history of pharmacy, how to read prescription abbreviations, calculate dosages for prescriptions and fill prescriptions. They take hospital tours and participate in laboratory compounding exercises – developing medications such as lip balm, ointments and calamine lotion. Students will also alternate between STLCOP and St. Louis-area Walgreens stores, working as pharmacy technicians for 10 days. They also will work with mentoring Walgreens pharmacists to learn about the company and its pharmacy system. Along with a certificate of completion, each participant will receive a $1,200 stipend.
The BESt Pharmacy Summer Institute: The six-week program, which runs June 13 through July 22, is a partnership between Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Express Scripts and STLCOP. It started in 2008 and nearly 125 students have participated since its inception. More than 50 percent have enrolled in pharmacy schools and 86 percent have chosen health care-related majors, said Dr. Steven Player, co-director of the program and inpatient pharmacy manager at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Along with exposing students to pharmacy and academic rigors associated with attending college, BESt focuses on academic enrichment (mathematics, science, and English), ACT/SAT preparation, and professional development. This year, 60 students will participate. They represent 26 St. Louis-area high schools. Of that total, 15 are high school seniors, who will live on campus at STLCOP’s Residence Hall – gaining a college-like experience. Of the seniors, six participated in the program last year. Participants will receive a stipend of between $1,000 and $1,400.
About St. Louis College of Pharmacy: Founded in 1864, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is one of the oldest and largest colleges of pharmacy in America. The College admits students directly from high school and integrates the liberal arts and sciences with a six-year professional curriculum leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Approximately 1,200 students attend, and more than 72 percent of practicing pharmacists in the St. Louis metropolitan area are alumni.