After surveying students and cold-calling local pharmacies, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Career and Technical Education teachers launched a pharmacy course at the start of the 2023-24 academic year that is providing students real-world experience.

The details

In 2022, CTE health sciences teacher Kristi Mordhorst surveyed students, and the results showed that there was interest in a pharmacy class, according to a district news release. Using those results, Mordhorst and the CTE team began developing the course.

But there was one major component that Mordhorst said the course needed—practicums that provided an opportunity for students to spend time in actual working pharmacies. The news release states that through practicums, students could earn their certification as a pharmacy technician before they graduate from high school.

Mordhorst said that she started cold calling local pharmacies, and the response she received was a resounding yes.

“The support that we’ve received has been amazing,” Mordhorst said. “We definitely could not do it without our partners because there is only so much I can recreate in the classroom. When they get out into the pharmacies, it gives them that real-world experience that just brings it all together. They can see the connection between the classroom learning and to know what it’s really like to be in a pharmacy.”

A closer look

According to the news release, rotations began in October, and students had to obtain a technician trainee license through the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. As part of the rotations, students intern at local pharmacies two days a week. The news release states that the pharmacies include:
  • Albertsons pharmacy
  • Bedford pharmacy
  • Grapevine Drug RX
  • The outpatient and hospital pharmacies at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center
Grapevine High School senior Cole Burtzlaff, who wants to pursue a career as an anesthesiologist, is doing his practicum at Grapevine Drug RX. He said the practicum and the class “will help me a lot, as knowing medications will be a big part of my future.”

Quote of note

“I just want our students to have options for their future,” Mordhorst said. “A pharmacy technician certification is something that they can earn while they’re in school. It’s just one more stepping stone that can lead to a future health care career.”