Local 12: CPS students get head start on pharmacy careers through UC partnership

Local 12 highlighted a partnership between the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) that is helping high school students earn class credit, and a potential paycheck, through pharmacy technician training.

Students at CPS' Woodward Career Technical High School and Shroder High School take online modules in preparation for the pharmacy technician certification exam in March, but the modules can become monotonous and boring. To receive more hands-on training, the students come to UC’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy.

"Students really work on modules and then we work to amplify those modules. They come to the college, and here at the College of Pharmacy, they come and go through skills labs or classes," Pat Achoe, director of Equity and Inclusion at the College of the Pharmacy, told Local 12.

New this year, students are also able to learn on the job through paid internships at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC) and Kroger pharmacies.

Shroder graduate Jason Short is a pharmacy technician trainee at UCMC, learning on the job as he studies social work at UC Blue Ash College.

"When I first started, honestly, I didn't have much motivation until I had lots of people around me telling me I could do it. That I could accomplish it," Short told Local 12. "I want to work to help get people through addiction. So, with this, I can learn what drugs do and [how they] affect people, and then also how to put that into action to help people overcome it."

Erin Scott, UC Health's assistant director of pharmacy, said the program helps address a nationwide shortage of pharmacy technicians.

"We've been working hard to try to build a pipeline of technicians coming in. This was one of our efforts, to work with CPS and the College of Pharmacy to try to build that pipeline for our local students that're looking for other opportunities," Scott said.

Watch or read the Local 12 story.

Read more about the program.

Featured photo at top of CPS students in a laboratory at the UC James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy. Photo/Alyssa McKinney/UC College of Pharmacy.

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