The University of Hawaii at Hilo has signed an agreement with American Samoa Community College(ASCC) to help students in the Pacific Pre-Pharmacy Program to successfully apply to the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy.
“This is further proof of our commitment to extend our reach beyond Hilo and we’re looking forward to working with educators and students in American Samoa,” said Dr. John M. Pezzuto, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “It is a true collaboration in the sense that it gives American Samoa more opportunities to fill critical shortages in the health care field while strengthening our capabilities to improve health in the entire region.”
The agreement between UH Hilo and ASCC is designed to clear the way for course transfer between academic programs and courses at both institutions, help ASCC students fulfill the Pacific Pre-Pharmacy Program requirements to apply to the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy and to provide advising on both campuses.
“ASCC regards UH Hilo as an important partner in offering programs to island students that are unavailable on the ASCC campus,” said Irene Helsham, dean of academic affairs at ASCC. “Additionally, our collaboration will help students make wise decisions in plotting their coursework because they will know what classes will transfer, and will receive mentoring and advising along the way.”
UH Hilo’s Susan Jarvi, director of the Pre-Pharmacy Program, and CoP faculty members Linda Connelly and Gary Ten Eyck will act as primary advisors to students coming to UH Hilo.
“Because we are the only school of pharmacy in the Pacific area, the Pre-Pharmacy Program gives students in this region a level of training never before available,” Jarvi said. “The teams at both institutions have the same goal, which is to give students in American Samoa every chance to succeed at becoming a pharmacist.”
Last year, UH Hilo signed a similar agreement with the University of Guam, which Jarvi said served as a guideline for the cooperative promotion of successful educational experiences for students from all institutions.
Currently there are eight students from Guam enrolled in the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy. Both Guam and American Samoa are part of the U.S.-affiliated western Pacific region.
Future plans call for continued support and development of the UH Hilo Pre-Pharmacy Program in Hawaii and the Pacific Region to further develop academic options through distance-learning for students interested in a career in health care.