Tri-County Studentís Pharmacy College
Admission Test Scores Rate in 99th Percentile
CONTACT: GALEN DEHAY, 646-1301
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1/4/2010
(By Lisa Garrett)
PENDLETON --- Alan Rusnak left the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) several months ago feeling like his Pre-Pharmacy degree from Tri-County Technical College had prepared him for the specialized test that helps to identify qualified applicants to pharmacy colleges. But he was still anxious to receive his score on the 240 multiple choice/essay test that measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for those beginning their pharmaceutical education. He checked the mail daily not knowing what to expect. “I entered the exam feeling confident in my skills but I didn’t know the level of competition,” he said.
When he received the results, he saw that his scores had rated in the 99th percentile. “What a huge weight off my mind,” he said.
“Alan is an exceptional student. His performance in science courses was surpassed by his performance on the PCAT,” said Galen DeHay, science department head at Tri-County. “This means Alan’s scores ranked among the best nationally compared to all other students taking the PCAT. As a result of his academic performance and excellent communication skills, he was chosen to serve as the student representative on our Pre-Pharmacy advisory committee.”
Rusnak is among the many students who have recognized the value of Tri-County’s prerequisite courses needed to apply for entrance into the S.C. College of Pharmacy. This two-year program, titled Occupational Technology with a concentration in Pre-Pharmacy, is a mix of online and traditional courses. The curriculum gives students the courses they need to have before they can apply to the S.C. College of Pharmacy. “In addition, it gives students the same opportunities to apply to enter the School of Pharmacy that a four-year college or university would -- at a fraction of the cost,” said DeHay.
Tri-County was first technical college in the State to offer this package of classes.
After earning a B. S. in Criminology from Florida State University and working in the field doing research, Rusnak said his career interest changed. He decided on pharmacy and did research on schools in the area after moving back to his hometown of Clemson. “Tri-County quickly became an option because it offers a skills- based approach. A lot of my friends said the science program at Tri-County is really doing things right and the instructors are on top of things. And Tri-County is a better value than four-year colleges and universities.”
With his credits from Clemson and Florida State, Rusnak had just a year and a half to complete the program. He graduated in the spring with a 4.0 GPA and as the department’s outstanding graduate. He also was named to Who’s Who Among American College Students. He will be back in January to take an Ethics class, a new requirement for entrance to many pharmacy schools.
“Tri-County’s Pre-Pharmacy program is a rigorous curriculum and really prepared me for the exam. The instructors care about the students and take the extra time with those who need it and really challenge students to excel. I’m impressed with the educational level of the instructors. They have experience in their fields and it shows in their teaching.”
“I love it at Tri-County. The people here are open and welcoming. I can say that Tri-County is the best college I have ever attended.”