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St. Joseph College Delays Opening Downtown Hartford Pharmacy School

Kenneth R. Gosselin

April 28, 2010

St. Joseph College will delay by a year the opening of its downtown Hartford pharmacy school because developing the curriculum is taking longer than expected, the school said Tuesday.

The college had said it would have students this fall in newly outfitted space in the Hartford 21 complex facing Trumbull Street.

The space will be ready in mid-June, and faculty will occupy the space soon afterward as they work on developing the program.

But the first class of about 65 students won't arrive until late summer or early fall of 2011.

"We started to accept a class for this fall, but we realized it was going too fast," said Pamela Trotman Reid, the college's president. "Some things can't be rushed."

City officials said the West Hartford-based college's commitment to downtown hasn't wavered even though the opening is being pushed back.

"It's an understandable disappointment," said David E. Panagore, the city's chief operating officer. "But we want to make sure everything for their arrival is pitch perfect."

Even with the delay, the college's commitment and its $5 million investment in outfitting space still could act as a catalyst for further leasing and development in the area, Panagore said.

The city hopes the school will bring more people downtown to patronize restaurants and shops. Some students also may live downtown.

In the next year, the space might be used for other programs, including evening and weekend courses offered by the school, Reid said. The school also may host events there.

Reid expressed her disappointment in the delay in an e-mail to faculty late last week.

"I know that you share my disappointment in this delay, but I hope that you also share my conviction that we should not move forward until we are ready to provide the best possible experience for our students," Reid wrote.

Reid said Tuesday that the program, which will offer a three-year doctoral degree, is structured differently from most other pharmacy school programs and is taking longer to develop than expected.

The school has made significant progress toward opening, beyond preparing the location. It has received a license from the state Department of Higher Education, and approval from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges to offer doctoral degrees. It has hired a leadership team and faculty.

But the national accreditation agency for pharmacy programs agreed with the college that more time was needed to develop the program, Reid said.

The school projects that enrollment could swell to 300 in five years.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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