Texarkana College is accepting applications for its new Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technology. Twenty-five qualified students will be accepted this fall to begin their journey to becoming a certified pharmacy technician.

Courtney Shoalmire, Dean of Health Science, said the older adult population is the fastest growing segment of American people, which means we have an increase in disease and illnesses, which will require more medications and treatment.

“It’s important we have qualified individuals to work in pharmacies to help ensure the medications that are being provided are accurate, are a safe dose, and are compatible with other medications that are prescribed,” Shoalmire said.

TC has the only for credit program in our service area, including a mock pharmacy on campus for practice in the lab setting before going to the actual pharmacies for clinical.

“The pharmacists can’t handle each prescription by themselves,” she said. “They have to have someone who is knowledgeable and qualified, who can interact with the customers and ensure that the products that are being distributed are correct and safe for them to take.”

While there are no prerequisite courses required to start the program, students must be college-ready and meet all requirements when applying to TC, which is separate from applying to the program.

“It’s a set of courses in the fall semester that you have to take all together, and then a set of courses in the spring semester that you take all together,” Shoalmire said. “At the end of that spring semester, you’re eligible to take the certification exam and become a certified pharmacy technician in the state of Texas.”

Students then have the option to continue their education with two more semesters, including academic courses, to obtain the Associate of Applied Science in Pharmacy Technology.

“Students who choose to continue on are set up on the path to becoming a pharmacy manager or a lead pharmacy technician,” Shoalmire said. “Anyone who is interested in moving toward a degree as a pharmacist, it would also help them get started toward that.”

Shoalmire explained the pass rate on the certification exam for the 2019 graduates was 100% and all the students were offered employment.

“This is a good career for someone who is pursuing further education,” she said. “The average rate of pay for a new pharmacy technician is $13 to $15 per hour, with a flexible schedule to allow you to go to school or have a different part-time job while also working as a pharmacy tech.”

The new degree program is fully fundable through the federal Pell Grant program for students who qualify for federal financial aid.

For more information and/or to apply, contact Karen Holt at 903-823-3351 or karen.holt@texarkanacollege.edu.