Chicago State’s New College of Pharmacy Will Concentrate on Recruiting Black and Other Minority Students

With the baby boom generation beginning to achieve senior status, there is a pressing need for more pharmacists to fill the prescription needs of the growing population of older Americans. Drugstore giant Walgreens plans to increase its number of stores nationwide by 35 percent over the next four years. Labor Department statistics say the nation may face a shortfall of 157,000 pharmacists by 2020. Blacks and other minorities are only about 13 percent of all pharmacy students nationwide, about one half the level that would exist if racial parity were to prevail.

The Illinois Board of Education has approved the application for a graduate school of pharmacy at Chicago State University. The school, which may open as soon as the Fall of 2007, hopes to address the shortage of black and other minority pharmacists by concentrating its recruitment efforts on minority students.

A prime feeder program for the new College of Pharmacy will be Chicago State’s undergraduate program in pharmaceutical science. Currently there are 60 students enrolled in the program and 80 percent of them are African Americans. About 87 percent of all undergraduate students at Chicago State are black.