Categorized | Education

Pre-pharmacy students to get boost from College of Pharmacy


A new program in the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Pharmacy will provide financial, advisory and mentoring support for up to five undergraduate students per year who plan to continue on at the University to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

The STEP (Steps towards Excellence in Pharmacy) program is an intensive, three-year scholarly preparatory program to address underserved students’ educational, social and economic needs. Applicants to the STEP program have diverse backgrounds and are highly motivated to achieve their goal of becoming a pharmacist.

“By helping underserved populations, we can reach students who come from an environment that may have inhibited them from ever going to college,” said Dr. Susan I. Jarvi, director of the pre-pharmacy program and associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences. “This aid will continue in their professional development because after they successfully complete the STEP program, they will be ensured a seat in the College of Pharmacy.”

Priority is given to applicants with strong ties to the State of Hawaii and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, Jarvi said. Acceptance into the STEP program will be determined by the Admissions Committee of the College of Pharmacy.

Funding will be provided for up to five STEP program students for costs related to tuition and fees for up to three years at UH Hilo (based on performance and availability of funds). STEP program students are ensured a seat in the UH Hilo Pharm. D. program upon successful completion of the STEP program.

“This is a very important ‘bridge’ program to help students conquer the maze of academia that often inhibits them from succeeding,” said Dr. Philip Castille, vice chancellor for academic affairs. “The College of Pharmacy has put together a very impressive program that has the potential to change the lives of many families in Hawaii.”

Mentoring will be in the form of advising and learning specialists, as well as three faculty members in the pre-pharmacy program, Jarvi said. The College of Pharmacy STEP program is modeled after the successful Imi hoola Program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at UH Manoa.

Applicants must be accepted to UH Hilo or meet all UH Hilo admissions requirements. Deadline for applications to the STEP program is June 7.

To apply, visit…

For more information about the STEP program, call (808) 933-3162 or visit or call (808) 933-3162.

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