March 28, 2018
By Sydney Slotkin DuPriest
OXFORD, Miss. – Over 20 years ago, the Ole Miss School of Pharmacy pioneered the Early Entry program to offer high school seniors early acceptance into the professional pharmacy program. Since then, the Early Entry program has become a model for numerous similar programs across the country.
Through the program, high-performing high school seniors apply to secure their spot in the Ole Miss School of Pharmacy’s Pharm.D. program. If accepted, they will not have to go through the competitive application process that normally would occur during a pre-pharmacy major’s junior year.
One of the most unique aspects of the program is its Living-Learning Community, which allows freshman Early Entry students to live on the same floor of a residence hall. This option allows EE1s, or first-year Early Entry students, to form a community with classmates they will study alongside for the next seven years.
“I enjoyed living in the LLC because I was surrounded by like-minded, driven people who had the same classes as me,” said Lauren Pitts, a second-year Early Entry student. “It was nice being able to walk a couple doors down and work on homework or study for a test with people in my same major. Everyone in the LLC is taking the same difficult classes, so you encourage each other to study.”
The incoming class of LLC residents will live in Burns Hall. In addition to allowing students to get to know each other better, the LLC offers social activities, free tutoring and study resources.
Lindsey Cooper, admissions counselor for the School of Pharmacy, attributes the program’s success to the close bonds Early Entry students form during their first year on campus.
“The EE1s truly become like family to one another, not only because many of them live in the same residence hall, but also thanks to a variety of program initiatives such as EE1-only classes in the fall and a strong mentoring program led by older students,” Cooper said.
Now that this year’s 80 EE1s are nearing the end of their freshman year, they will soon become ambassadors and mentors for the next class of Early Entry students.