GRAND RAPIDS – A new agreement guarantees five seats each year in Ferris State University’s Doctor of Pharmacy program for Grand Rapids Community College students, helping students along a pathway to an in-demand career.
Ferris is one of only three colleges in the state that offer a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, required to be a licensed pharmacist in Michigan.
“This partnership provides a valuable service for the state and regional economy,” said Stephen Durst, dean of Ferris’ College of Pharmacy. “Providing career training and education in high-level medical professions is a winning situation for everybody. This example of higher education collaboration demonstrates our meaningful partnership with Grand Rapids Community College and West Michigan. It is a component of a larger statewide commitment and footprint for Ferris State University.”
The coronavirus pandemic has led to an immediate demand for pharmacists -- industry publication Drug Topics reported that the CVS chain alone was seeking to fill thousands of positions nationwide -- and the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to heighten that need.
The agreement allows students to get all of their prerequisite classes for this program at GRCC, then transfer directly into the Ferris doctoral program.
“This agreement builds upon the more than 25-year partnership we have with Grand Rapids Community College,” Ferris President David Eisler said. “Working together we provide the opportunity that is at the core of our mission. I am delighted with this expansion of our strong working relationship.”
The agreement also qualifies the GRCC students accepted into the annual Ferris cohort to apply for admission into one of two dual-degree programs and earn a Master of Business Administration or Master of Public Health with the Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
“Partnerships make our community stronger, and Ferris has been a proud partner for GRCC for many years,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “The new agreement creates more opportunities for GRCC students to study in one of the best pharmacy programs in the state and work toward a well-paying, in-demand career.”
Ferris shares the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center on GRCC’s downtown campus. Students can take advantage of more than a dozen educational pathways to earn an associate degree at GRCC and bachelor’s and graduate degrees at Ferris.
Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college – and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.
Ferris State University is a four-year public university with campuses in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids and satellite campuses across Michigan. Ferris offers more than 180 educational programs, including doctorates, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees, through seven academic colleges: Arts, Sciences and Education, Business, Engineering Technology, Health Professions, Kendall College of Art and Design, Michigan College of Optometry and Pharmacy.