Elmhurst, Roosevelt Team Up on Dual-Degree Opportunity

August 30, 2013 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Students at Roosevelt University’s College of Pharmacy in Schaumburg who are studying for the three-year, year-round Doctor of Pharmacy degree will now have an opportunity to simultaneously earn a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Elmhurst College.

The special dual-degree agreement, reached in August between the two institutions, paves the way for eligible College of Pharmacy (PharmD) students to take courses through Elmhurst and to apply pharmacy coursework taken at Roosevelt toward Elmhurst’s Master of Public Health (MPH) degree.

“This is a unique opportunity for our students to save on tuition while earning a second degree that will help prepare them for a wide variety of dynamic careers in the public health and pharmacy fields,” said George MacKinnon, dean of the College of Pharmacy and vice provost for health sciences at Roosevelt University. “With a dual degree, pharmacy students will have the ability to leverage their unique understanding of population-based health and the role of targeted clinical interventions to improve patient outcomes.”

“The partnership between Elmhurst and Roosevelt is a natural one because it’s based on shared values,” said Terry Johnson, a program director of Elmhurst College’s MPH program and an associate professor of nursing at the College. “Both have social justice as part of their missions, and social justice is a core tenet of public health. At the same time, the practice of pharmacy is so much about meeting community needs and looking out for the health and welfare of the public every day.”

“To partner with another institution in this way, in which we complement each other rather than compete, is inspiring.” Johnson said.

Elmhurst College’s MPH program takes a holistic approach to the study of public health. The degree is expected to be useful for new pharmacists who want a broad understanding of the nation’s public health systems. Designed for working professionals as well as recent college graduates, the curriculum uses an ecological framework to explore the intersections among biological, environmental, cultural, socioeconomic, political and health care system influences. The program is one of very few in the field that is fully online except for the practicum, which students complete in a local setting.

Signed in August by Elmhurst College President S. Alan Ray and Roosevelt University President Chuck Middleton, the new dual-degree agreement will enable students who have taken at least one term of PharmD coursework to enroll in the MPH program.

Elmhurst College will make an advisor available to interested Roosevelt pharmacy students who want to design a plan for completing the MPH degree in a timely fashion within three years of receiving a PharmD degree, and within six years’ time overall.

The dual-degree program also provides a pathway for Elmhurst’s MPH students to enroll in elective courses at Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy.

“We are excited to have Elmhurst’s MPH students be a part of the intimate learning environment and thoughtful discussion that is taking place regularly in our state-of-the-art classrooms, which emphasize team building and problem solving,” said Bud Beatty, associate dean for academic and student services at Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy.

“Our MPH students will benefit from being with the high-caliber students who are in the Roosevelt PharmD program,” said James Berry, program director of Elmhurst’s MPH program and a professor of biology at the College.

“For Roosevelt students, we believe our program will add breadth to their experience. Elmhurst MPH students include career-changers, new graduates and people who studied business, kinesiology, marketing, communications and computer science.  Having a variety of perspectives will increase the richness of our discussions and collaborations and raise the caliber of the whole class,” he said.

Established in 2009, Roosevelt’s College of Pharmacy now is running at full capacity with approximately 200 doctoral students who are in three separate cohorts including the inaugural class that will graduate in May 2014 and a new class that began in July.

The master’s degree in public health is offered through Elmhurst College’s School for Professional Studies, which is dedicated to providing high-quality education to working adults and those whose life commitments have precluded higher education. To meet the needs of these nontraditional students, programs and courses are offered in the evenings, on weekends and online in accelerated formats.

For more information on the dual-degree program, contact Bud Beatty at Roosevelt University, 847-619-7287 or bbeatty@roosevelt.edu; or, at Elmhurst College, James Berry, 630-617-3581 or jimb@elmhurst.edu; or Terry Johnson, 630-617-3510 or terryj@elmhurst.edu.

Connect with #elmhurstu