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College of Pharmacy

  • Amy Grant with student

Attracting the Next Generation of Pharmacists

College of Pharmacy shines spotlight on diverse roles for pharmacy careers

Posted on: January 31, 2020

While pharmacy career paths continue to expand and diversify, it is not uncommon for middle, high school and college students to only think of traditional pharmacist roles when considering the profession as a possible career choice.

Amy Grant, associate dean for Student Affairs and Diversity in the College of Pharmacy, and her team are responsible for recruiting our future Gamecock pharmacists. They work diligently to help prospective pharmacy students understand there is much more to the world of pharmacy than counting pills. While traditional pharmacy roles are right for some, it is important to raise awareness for non-traditional roles as well.  

Their recruitment efforts to attract top students to UofSC’s College of Pharmacy are producing positive results.

It gives us the chance to show more students the many opportunities a career in pharmacy offers ...

"Whereas In the past, recruitment of future pharmacists has primarily taken place at the high school and collegiate levels, it has become increasingly common for us to participate in career fairs, presentations and demonstrations at the middle school and even elementary school levels,” Grant said. “We also work more closely with teachers, counselors and advisors who help identify students with potential to succeed in a variety of opportunities within the field of pharmacy.”

A new initiative for her team includes involvement on a state and national level with Health Occupations Student Organization (HOSA), a group that provides education and leadership for students interested in health care careers at the middle and high school levels.

“We now participate at the HOSA state and national conferences by exhibiting and presenting symposiums,” Grant said. “We helped create the first pharmacy competition for our state conference. It gives us the chance to show more students the many opportunities a career in pharmacy offers,” she said.

High school students also can commit to attending the College of Pharmacy through the Gamecock Pharmacy Assurance (GPA) program. The early assurance program allows graduating high school students that meet certain academic distinctions to receive a provisional early acceptance into the college’s Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program. Successful candidates are expected to matriculate into the Pharm.D. program at the beginning of their third collegiate year.

“We rely on alumni and pharmacy professionals to help students investigate the profession through shadowing, volunteering, and conducting undergraduate research,” Grant said.

The Carolina Association of Pre-Pharmacy Students (CAPPS) is another recruitment tool that focuses on mentoring undergraduates interested in pursuing a Pharm.D.

“CAPPS would not be effective without the participation of pharmacists who speak at the bimonthly organization meetings about their individual careers,” she said.

With this type of outreach, the College of Pharmacy can continue to attract and retain the highest quality of students and produce accomplished pharmacy leaders.

If you would like to know more about participating in our recruitment efforts, please contact Kristi Kinslow, director of Pre-Professional Studies and Recruitment, at or 803-777-6635.

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