MISSOULA - At the University of Montana, certain courses are being put on hold until students can get back on campus, and into the lab.
Students are adjusting to new challenges brought on by remote learning.
Sy D’Ambrosia, a first-year pharmacy student at UM, has been taking classes online since March 23 when the Montana University System went to all remote instruction.
“Well I kinda got in panic mode, like ‘oh my gosh, this is a lot harder. I need to figure this out,’ so as of now I’m definitely more motivated just because it’s harder and you have to be more motivated to keep up with things,” D’Ambrosia said.
D’Ambrosia is adjusting to the changes that remote learning comes with, but is still dealing with some major difficulties.
“The biggest challenge that the pharmacy school is facing, and I’m sure some of the other programs are facing as well, is the testing that we’re going through. Because instead of being able to take the class and there’s TA’s and Professors there to proctor it in, some classes we’re having to record ourselves taking the exams or we have to be on the Zoom calls during the exams. So it’s just a lot more of a pain than when we were in person,” D’Ambrosia said.
All lab classes for D’Ambrosia have been canceled and are not being taught remotely. Pharmacy students won’t get credit for these mandatory labs until they’re taken at a later date.
Pharmacy students in their last year of pharmacy school are still expected to graduate even with these changes because they’ve already completed the mandatory labs.
It takes four years to finish pharmacy school and students in their last year are known as P4s.
“I know the P4s are the pharmacy school’s primary focus right now. The rest of us are kinda being put on the back burner just because they’re trying to make sure the P4s can finish their schooling this year while the rest of us have a ton of time, like three more years at least to make it up. So they’re definitely focusing on the P4s to make sure that they get what they need to get done, done,” D’Ambrosia said.
This is an unprecedented time for many, and it has changed D’Ambrosia’s outlook on his future career for the better.
“I think this has made me want to be a pharmacist more than previously, just because I want to be one of those people who’s still out there when everyone else is at home trying to do their job and provide care as much as possible,” he said.
D’Ambrosia does still study with his friends over zoom to try to make such an unusual time in his schooling a little more normal.