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American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

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The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) is a nonprofit, national organization representing pharmaceutical education in the United States. Its mission is to serve its member colleges and schools and their respective faculties by acting as their advocate and spokesperson at the national level, by providing forums for interaction and exchange of information among its members, by recognizing outstanding performance among its member educators, and by assisting member colleges and schools in meeting their mission of educating and training pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists.

The association was established in 1900 with twenty-one member colleges. At that time, the typical pharmacy program was a two-year course of study, and most schools admitted students with only a grammar or elementary school education. As of 2001 the association comprised eighty-two colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education. The doctor of pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.), a four-year professional degree program following a minimum of two years of pre-professional college study, is the predominant degree granted and is consistent with the profession's support of a single professional degree program. Students who successfully complete the requirements for a professional degree must also pass a state licensing examination in order to engage in professional practice.

All accredited U.S. colleges and schools of pharmacy are regular institutional members of AACP. Each regular member has two votes in the AACP House of Delegates (one representing the school's faculty voting in the Council of Faculties and the other representing the school's administration voting in the Council of Deans). Faculty may also be individual members of AACP, entitling them to receive a number of services and to participate in the various activities of the association. Nearly two-thirds of all full-time faculty choose to become members of AACP, a high percentage of individual membership for a national organization. The AACP enjoys the widespread support of the community it represents, and there is a high degree of faculty participation in association committees, academic sections, and special-interest groups. Several publications and reports are among the benefits of membership in AACP. The American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education is an internationally distributed quarterly publication devoted to communication among pharmaceutical educators. The AACP News, a monthly publication, provides current information on issues, events, and employment opportunities in pharmaceutical education. The annual Roster of Faculty and Professional Staff is a tool for locating and communicating with fellow educators in pharmacy schools across the country. The Profile of Pharmacy Faculty is an annual report that provides a summary of demographics, teaching discipline, rank, highest degree earned, tenure status, type of appointment, and compensation. Other annual research reports, such as the Profile of Pharmacy Students and the Pharmacy College Admission Requirements, are available for purchase by individual members of AACP.

The association is structured as a democratic organization with decision-making vested in a house of delegates, a board of directors, and the executive vice president. The house of delegates meets annually and generally considers issues of major policy. The board of directors consists of three presidential officers, three representatives of school administrations, three representatives of school faculties, one representative of academic disciplines, and the executive vice president. The board generally meets three times per year to authorize policy and program implementation and to consider significant matters related to the operational and financial affairs of the association. The executive vice president is selected and employed by the board of directors as the chief executive officer of the association, with overall responsibility for the administration of the policies and programs adopted by the house of delegates and the board of directors. The executive vice president, who is responsible for all actions taken by staff members on the association's behalf, appoints the association's staff.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BUERKI, ROBERT A. 1999. In Search of Excellence–The First Century of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. Durham, NC: Litho Industries.

INTERNET RESOURCE

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES OF PHARMACY. 2002. <www.aacp.org>.

RICHARD P. PENNA

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