- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - State and university officials are celebrating a school of pharmacy program at Missouri State University that was made possible through a collaboration with the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The program at Missouri State University in Springfield began this fall with 30 graduate students, the Springfield News-Leader (https://sgfnow.co/1DBQ8xh ) reported.

“The expansion of our program in the School of Pharmacy … is a golden opportunity to provide high-quality pharmacy education and access to pharmacy education to those who may not be able to pack up and move to our sites in Columbia and Kansas City,” said Russell Melchert, a University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy dean and professor.

He said the pharmacy school was able to create a cost-effective program in Springfield by using the Missouri State University’s campus. The university has a 15,000-square-foot area inside one of its buildings that has three video conference-equipped classrooms that can support live streaming between the pharmacy schools’ now three sites.

Gov. Jay Nixon attended the program’s grand opening ceremony on Wednesday and praised the schools for working together to establish the program.

“The first class of 30 students now enrolled in this program are charting a solid path toward a bright future and rewarding careers that remain in very high-demand, especially in rural parts of our state,” he said.

The Legislature approved $2 million in annual funding for the program. State Sen. David Sater helped get funding passed for the program and said he was proud Missouri lawmakers recognized the program’s importance.

Leo Morton, chancellor of University of Missouri-Kansas City, said the pharmacy school only accepts 125 students from 600 applicants. Having the Springfield location at Missouri State University increases that number.

Missouri State University Provost Frank Einhelling said plans to create the Springfield program have been in the works for two years.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, https://www.news-leader.com


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