Ashworth College Pharmacy Tech Program Reviews
We all do so much online these days. For some people that includes completing college courses, something that is a convenient alternative to attending a physical school. There are a growing number of online schools that offer pharmacy tech programs to those who are interested in pursuing a career in this growing field.
Ashworth College is one of these online schools. But how does their Pharmacy Tech program stack up against both other online schools and colleges with physical campuses?
And can an online education really give a would be pharmacy technician the knowledge and tools they need to become certified?
This and more is what we will look at here.
Why Ashworth College
Ashworth College began life more than 30 years ago as a correspondence school for real estate salespeople. Over the years it has grown considerably and now offers a wide range of career diploma programs, including the one we are discussing here, the Pharmacy Tech Program.
Ashworth College does not maintain any physical college campuses and all work is completed online which is a great option for those that work full time or have busy schedules.
Along with another online college, Penn Foster, it is one of the largest online career schools in the US.
Is Ashworth College reputable?
Ashworth College is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Ashworth College offers accredited programs leading to online degrees, certificates, and career training diplomas.
Ashworth College pharmacy technician reviews
Here's quick video of George's experience with completing the Pharm Tech program online with Ashworth College where he shares how he found it, the challenges he overcame and the overall feedback.
Trust Pilot rates Ashworth College as "great" with a total of 1,381 individual reviews left by former graduates.
GradReports state that:
"61% of 373 students said they would recommend this school to others".
Julie Mustin, a former graduate of the online pharmacy technician program at Ashworth had this to say about the difficulty level of the course:
“I tell people, look, this is so easy,” Julie said. “It’s kind of like reading your Facebook or Twitter or Instagram every day. If you can commit an hour to that, you can do this [pharm tech program]. Commit to at least one hour or one lesson per day, and you’ll be done in no time.”
What courses does Ashworth College offer for pharmacy tech?
Ashworth College offers a Career Diploma in Pharmacy Technology. Like any other similar program graduating from this course does not make you a Certified Pharmacy Technician.
The only way to achieve that status is by passing the ExCPT Pharmacy Technician certification exam by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board's (PTCB) Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). Graduating from this course however should give you the knowledge and the practical experience to pass the test and become certified.
In terms of the curriculum the Ashworth College Pharmacy Tech Diploma Course covers all the elements of the discipline that are routinely covered on the ExCPT and PTCE.
Students can choose whether they use their test fee credit for the ExCPT or the PTCE Certification from the newer ExCPT is now accepted in most states, with only three not recognizing it as valid.
This does mean however that if you live, or want to work, in Wyoming, North Dakota or Louisiana you will have to take the PTCE in order to become a recognized Certified Pharmacy technician in those states.
What are the prerequisites for the Ashworth College pharmacy tech diploma course?
Students must have a high school diploma or GED to enroll in the course itself. To complete the externship with CVS or Walgreen's they need to be over 18 and able to pass a background test and a drug screen. The same tests are also required to sit either the PTCE or the ExCPT certification test.
How do Ashworth College pharmacy techs get practical experience?
Students who take a Pharmacy Tech course at a physical campus usually have access to a lab where they can complete the required 160 hours of practical experience required for certification. Online students do not have this, and while some things can be completed at home with the special kit provided students also need to complete an externship.
Like Penn Foster, Ashworth College partners with the nation's largest pharmacy chains, CVS and Walgreen's, to place students for their externships.
The internship is 120 hours at a Walgreens or CVS and then 40 more at an independent, hospital, or mailing pharmacy. Students will need to find a second location themselves which can be difficult.
One of the challenges about this program we found is that some students have had long delays in being placed in an externship.
Is Penn Foster better than Ashworth College?
Occasionally when researching schools people ask which is better: Ashworth College or Penn Foster?
But that's a hard question to answer as the colleges have a formal partnership and their programs are often very similar. Penn Foster is the older institution by far, it was founded in 1890, and both are accredited with a number of formal agencies.
How much does the online pharmacy tech program at Ashworth cost?
Undoubtedly, one of the things that attracts many people to the Ashworth College Pharmacy Tech program is that it offers a more affordable way to complete a diploma than traditional credit based colleges.
The 2019 cash cost of the program is advertised at $799.00, with the cost increasing to $1,099 if a student chooses to make monthly payments of around $50 instead.
The cost of tuition covers access to all the required classes, the externship placement, course materials and the fee for the certification test of their choice.
How long does the Ashworth College pharmacy tech program take?
According to their website:
"We allow you up to one year from the date of your enrollment to complete your Pharmacy Technician certification preparation course and graduate."
Like its partner school Penn Foster, Ashworth College encourages students to take their Pharmacy Tech Course at their own pace.
In terms of coursework that can mean a student can complete the program in around 9 months, but you should also factor in the required 160 hour externship into your personal graduation timeline.
Is Ashworth College accepted by employers?
As we mentioned, the program is accredited by a number of recognized bodies. These include the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. Whether an employer chooses to accept these accreditations is at their discretion. Most major pharmacies do, but in some states, hospitals may not.
The most important thing however is that a candidate is certified. If they choose to would be pharmacy techs can study alone and still take the PTCE. This is often the route taken by those working in some capacity in a pharmacy already, as a cashier perhaps.
Is becoming a pharmacy technician a good career path?
The following chart is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook:
Pharmacy Technician Facts
2018 Median Pay:
$32,700 per year or $15.72 per hour
Min. entry level education:
High school diploma or equivalent
Work experience in a related field:
No. of jobs in 2018:
Job Outlook 2018-2028:
7% (faster than average)
As you can see significant growth is expected and although the majority of pharmacy techs work in retail pharmacies there are a growing number of opportunities in hospitals and other medical facilities like urgent care centers and nursing homes but those positions usually call for a higher level of experience and education than a career diploma provides.
ANNUAL MEDIAN SALARY OF
In terms of salary according to Indeed the national average hourly wage for a Pharmacy Technician is $16.08. However that will vary from state to state and according to job title.
Ashworth College's Pharmacy Tech Career Diploma is one of the many options you can consider to gain the education and experience needed to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician. As is the case for any school we strongly advise you do your homework and ensure that you understand as much about the course you choose as possible before you enroll.
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