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May 2, 2017 | last updated May 5, 2017 9:42 am

SMCC, UNE sign transfer agreement to train pharmacists

Courtesy / Southern Maine Community College
Courtesy / Southern Maine Community College
Ron Cantor, president of Southern Maine Community College.

Southern Maine Community College and the University of New England have signed a new transfer agreement that will ensure that SMCC students can transfer seamlessly to UNE's Doctor of Pharmacy program upon graduation.

The agreement comes just a week after SMCC signed a similar agreement with the University of Southern Maine to boost the numbers of qualified engineers entering the Maine workforce.

Under the pharmaceutical degree agreement with UNE, students who earn an associate degree in health science at SMCC can continue their education and earn a doctoral degree from UNE's College of Pharmacy.

"This is a milestone partnership that ensures a smooth transition from SMCC to UNE and from an associate degree to a doctoral degree," SMCC President Ron Cantor said in a news release. "SMCC already has seamless transfer options to nearly 70 degree programs at over 20 colleges and universities, but this is the first that covers graduates entering a doctoral program. This will enhance student success at both SMCC and UNE."

By matching coursework between programs at both schools, transfer agreements allow students to pre-plan their college careers and avoid taking unneeded credits and spending money on courses that won't count toward an advanced degree.

University of New England President Danielle Ripich said that this agreement, creating a pathway from a community college to a UNE graduate program, is a first for UNE as well.

"The university has previously signed agreements with a number of area high schools and community colleges that pave the way for students to acquire an undergraduate degree," Ripich said in the release. "We are very excited to now offer SMCC students a smooth and succinct — and potentially cost-saving — route to a UNE doctoral degree from our College of Pharmacy." SMCC is one of the institutions with which UNE already has transfer agreements that provide pathways to undergraduate degrees. SMCC programs covered under these agreements include business administration; English; history; liberal studies; mathematics; political science and science.

From those programs, SMCC students can transfer into corresponding UNE programs that include applied exercise science; applied mathematics; business administration; dental hygiene; English; health, wellness and occupational studies; history; liberal studies; political science and psychology.

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