School and Ranking Information
Students in Madison, Wisconsin, seeking careers as pharmacy technicians can choose from roughly six schools within an 80-mile radius of the downtown area. Based on programs available and graduation rates, the top three schools are as follows:
- Winner: Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (SWTC) has the highest graduation rate of the three schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
- Runner-Up #1: While Gateway Technical College's (GTC) administrative office and largest campus are located more than 100 miles from Madison, most of the classes for this program are available at the Elkhart campus, which is about 70 miles from downtown Madison. GTC has the second-highest graduation rate in this area and is the only school to offer a full summer term.
- Runner-Up #2: Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) has the third highest graduation rate of these three schools. It's located the farthest away, at 79 miles.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Southwest Wisconsin Technical College||Gateway Technical College||Milwaukee Area Technical College|
|Location||Fennimore, WI (71 miles from Madison)||Elkhorn, WI, campus (71 miles from Madison)||Milwaukee, WI (78 miles from Madison)|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)||$3,800 for in-state; $5,571 for out-of-state*||$3,722 for in-state; $5,476 for out-of-state*||$3,997 for in-state; $5,748 for out-of-state *|
|Pharmacy Technician Program Levels Offered||Diplomas||Diplomas||Diplomas|
|Pharmacy Technician Diplomas Awarded in 2011-2012||N/A||6*||16*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate for 2008 entering class (in 150% of normal degree time)||60%*||25%*||13%*|
|Noteworthy||Program is offered in conjunction with Lakeshore Technical College||Students can participate in simulations and practice filling prescriptions in the Pharmacy Lab||MATC has a 52% minority population and is considered the most diverse school in Wisconsin**|
Source: *NCES College Navigator, **MATC
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Winner: Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
- Program-specific courses are available through an interactive television system
- Clinical experiences take place in the Fennimore area
- Students have to apply to the program through Lakeshore Technical College
All students in this shared pharmacy technician program can expect to complete 37-38 credit hours of courses in pharmacology, pharmacy law, and pharmaceutical calculations, among others. General studies courses in interpersonal communications and psychology and a business course are included in the program. The pharmacy technician program can be completed in one year, and courses are only offered during the day. Students earn technical diplomas upon completing the requirements for the program.
Runner-Up #1: Gateway Technical College
- Features a chemistry lab and a compounding lab in which students learn to make aspirin and mix solids, emulsions, and ointments
- The only technical college in Wisconsin with a full-length summer term
- GTC has a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, according to NCES
Students seeking a pharmacy technician diploma through Gateway Technical College complete two semesters of academic coursework focusing on customer relations, prescription preparation, and record-keeping. In the third semester, students participate in clinical experiences. Most clinical work is completed at local pharmacies. To graduate from the program, students must compile a portfolio showcasing their best work in practical assignments and class projects. Graduates of this program are prepared for national certification exams.
Runner-Up #2: Milwaukee Area Technical College
- Pharmacy technician program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
- Scholarships are available for those going into health occupations
MATC offers a pharmacy technician technical diploma through the School of Health Sciences. The program consists of 29 credits and can be completed within two semesters. Students focus on coursework related to medical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, and pharmacy customer relations, as well as clinical experience in both hospital and community pharmacies. Students are chosen for this program through a petition process.