The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Comments and Student Experiences|
I?m going to be brief with these first few points
They are very nice, in my opinion. You won't need to walk far to get to any building on campus from your dorm.
It?s alright. It gets redundant after a few weeks, but that's common wherever you go. I could always find something I liked. I wish some of the places stayed open later, though.
There are clubs and activities, but if you look at the options offered at other schools you'll have more options for sure. Student involvement could stand to improve. The same people are super involved and hold leadership positions in multiple clubs. Nothing against them at all, they're getting the most out of their time here and taking advantage of the opportunities available to them. A lot of people just show up to a meeting, sit in the back, and complain about the fact that they'd rather be sleeping and they really don't care about the club at all. They just participate at a minimal level because it looks bad if you have no extracurricular activities to list on your resume. As someone who previously attended another school, I can say that ACP parties are the absolute most boring parties I have ever been to. Most people come here right out of high school, so they don't have anything to compare it to. That's not a deal breaker for me, but some people who come with partying very high on their list of priorities are disappointed to say the least. There are several other colleges in the area, so if you absolutely must attend a party multiple times a week to feel that you are getting the college experience you would like, chances are you'll be able to find a party to go to.
There is no umbrella statement that encompasses the entire student body, but in general you are going to find A LOT of people here who came because they saw the starting salary of a pharmacist. Again, I just want to make it clear that this is not the case with every single person attending the school. The social dynamics are very odd. The structure is very much like a high school and the social groups tend to be pretty small. I do think that most people find a group of friends, though. The fact that the school is so small and the students take almost all of the same classes, coupled with the fact that almost everyone comes here straight out of high school, makes for a setting that very much mimics a high school. The level of immaturity is very much like what I personally saw in high school and many others share that opinion. There are a few things about the attitude of the majority of the student body that I found extremely off-putting to say the least. The first being that the work at ACP is in a totally different league than all other schools. As someone who came from another school with a much lower acceptance rate, I can tell you that the work is not at some crazy difficult level that is far beyond that of other schools. I?m only using that as a reference point, I don't think I?m better than everyone here or something because I attended a really selective school. In 50 years there aren't many people who will care about the prestige of your school. It?s just strange that I?m seeing this ?my school is so much more challenging than yours? here, but it wasn't present at all at the school I came from. I mean this is pharmacy school, so it isn't going to be easy, but the work is doable. To me, it was irritating to constantly, and by constantly I mean multiple times each day, hear students talking about how much of a joke state schools (and all schools other than ACPHS) are and stating that the students at these schools do not have the right to say their coursework is difficult. Mocking students who attend other schools and saying things like ?wow, congratulations on your A in elementary basket weaving since I know how difficult that must have been? is just so ridiculously immature and inappropriate. The cutoff to make the dean's list was recently raised to 3.5, which is the same as the cutoff at UAlbany and there were lots of inappropriate and demeaning comments oozing with arrogance directed toward those who attend UAlbany. I mean, University at Buffalo had a reported acceptance rate of 57% in 2012, while ACPHS reported 67% that same year. That same data set listed the 75th percentile ACT score for UB at 28, while ASPHS listed 27. I could go on for pages listing statistics like that. I chose to use UB as an example because I heard the most belittling comments about students who attend UB. The attitude that anyone who is not a science major is a joke and is wasting their life is also pretty prevalent. I do not enjoy hearing about how these individuals ?have it so easy? and how all of their classes are ?a joke? and they would all definitely fail all of the classes at ACPHS. There seems to be an extreme lack of knowledge as to what individuals not going into a science oriented field can do with their lives. It is not ?nothing worth doing? contrary to popular belief among the student body. It also does not sit well with me when I hear the word "retarded" used to describe other students, educators and individuals attending other universities. Again, this is on a daily basis from so many individuals. This, again, shows the lack of maturity I mentioned earlier. I also witnessed students making inappropriate and degrading comments regarding individuals with physical and mental illnesses they have no control over. To me, it's very sad that these students will be healthcare professionals and one day be involved in the care of those individuals. Not everyone here is unhappy, but SO many people are miserable. They basically have a pity party in which all these comments about the superiority of the academics and the general lack of intelligence of the rest of the population are repeated amongst a group of people to make themselves feel better about the fact that those individuals that they are bashing are probably having a much more enjoyable college experience. I understand that this may not be possible for everyone, but I don't understand why so many students do nothing to change any of the things causing them to be so unhappy. There are plenty of other pharmacy programs. You could transfer to any school and take the prerequisites for other pharmacy programs and apply to schools as a P1. There's just a whole lot of complaining without any sort of action being taken.
Okay, here's the big one. I would like to start by saying I wish I could include pictures to prove that everything I am including in this is actually true, because it seems far-fetched. I was completely shocked at the amount and extent of the cheating going on. When I say cheating, I don't mean having old tests with some repeated questions. Quizzes are given online and the people who take the quiz on Monday screenshot the questions, so the only thing people do for a quiz is memorize the answers. Literally everyone has every single quiz. For a school with students who speak of the superiority of the academics, there isn't a whole lot of learning taking place. Although the NAPLEX pass rate is pretty high, so I guess students do learn enough, but it's the extreme extent of academic dishonesty I?m getting at here. There are completed lab reports that students copy and paste instead of actually writing their own report. Turn it in, which is a program that catches plagiarism, is the only thing that stops people from copying and pasting entire reports, but not every class uses that program. There are entire flash drives filled with information like this going around. During exams, the amount of cheating varies depending on the course. For some courses, the professors work very hard to minimize cheating and make it very difficult, but not all professors do. There are some exams and quizzes in which students intricately plan a seating arrangement, and even have huge group text messages with students who are strong in a particular subject area texting answers to others. I have never seen or heard of anything like the kind of cheating going on at ACPHS. In my opinion, it is awful that students are kind of at a disadvantage for having academic honesty. If an exam is extremely difficult to the point where a curve may be possible, the cheating completely ruins that possibility because so many people do well as a result of cheating. I?d also like to note that the average PCAT score for the incoming class last year was the 51st percentile, which is very low for pharmacy schools. Yes, some students do take the PCAT having not taken organic chemistry and microbiology, but the majority of the questions are ones they should be able to answer based on the courses they have completed. The worst part about all of this is that there is someone/a group of people in the upper tiers of the administration who know full well that all this is happening and will not allow anything to be done about it. If they cracked down on the cheating, their enrollment would undoubtedly go down. It?s a major problem when a professor catches students red handed cheating, but cannot take action as they wish. There is certainly not a zero tolerance policy for cheating. If you're not PharmD, I would not recommend attending either. There are more opportunities elsewhere. Most of the non-PharmD students are either interested in becoming a doctor, physician assistant, or going into research. My advice to you is to go to a school with a strong pre-health program and undergraduate research opportunities, because there's a lot more out there than this school offers. Graduate programs in fields like that are growing increasingly competitive, and your application could be made stronger in terms of all of the specific things these programs are looking for in a strong applicant by attending a different school.
I get that just ranting and saying ?don't come here because it's the worst place in the world? doesn't have a whole lot of credibility. That wasn't my point at all. Reviews of that kind should be taken with a grain of salt. I have yet to see reviews containing the information I posted about the academics, and I find that surprising just because it's what this school revolves around. They try to hide it, but I think it's something that should be taken into consideration by perspective students. There are a multitude of places to further your education and grow as an individual, and I wish I could tell you ACPHS is a place in which you will likely be forced to go outside your comfort zone, meet tons of diverse individuals, and change your views on life forever, but I can?t. It has lots of potential, it really does, but there are some major issues that need to be addressed in the meantime.