Experiential Education Program
The Experiential Education Program is the practice component of the Pharmacy Professional Program curriculum. Its goal is to enhance students' attitudes, skills and knowledge through experiential learning to prepare them to provide pharmaceutical care.
The program is divided into introductory experiential and advanced practice components. The introductory components are completed throughout the students’ first three professional years. The fourth professional year consists entirely of advanced practice rotations. Students are placed around the state of Minnesota for both introductory and advanced practice rotations.
Specific experiential education calendars and events for the current and upcoming academic year can be found here.
Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) - Years 1, 2, and 3
In the first three years of the PharmD program, students complete four types of Introductory Practice Pharmacy Experiences (IPPEs). The college secures rotation placements for all students.
At the midpoint of each semester during the first year of the PharmD program, students spend a 40 hour week in a community pharmacy. This experience is designed to familiarize pharmacy students with community practice fundamentals.
At the midpoint of each semester during the second year of the PharmD program, students spend a 40 hour week in a hospital pharmacy setting. This experience is designed to familiarize pharmacy students with hospital practice fundamentals.
Advanced Selective IPPE
Throughout one of the third-year semesters or during a two-week period at the midpoint of a semester, students spend 80 hours at one of many possible practice settings providing direct patient care. Students contribute to patient care processes based on student abilities.
Improving Medication Use Systems IPPE
Throughout one of the third-year semesters or during a two-week period at the midpoint of a semester, students spend 80 hours at one of many possible direct patient care practice settings. Students engage in projects that contribute to the advancement of a quality improvement (QI) project at any practice site. Students learn about the QI project and the site's overall approach to quality.
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) - Year 4
Upon completion of the third year of the PharmD program, students begin a year of full-time Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs). Students complete eight 5-week rotations applying their knowledge in a variety of real-life settings. Four rotations take place in required setting types and four are elective experiences. The College secures rotation placements for all students.
Acute Care/ Institutional
The Acute Care APPE takes place in a hospital setting, providing patient care on a variety of units/floors. Through supervised observation and practice, students develop and explore their roles on an interprofessional health team. Students attend clinical rounds, take medication histories, monitor drug therapy, provide patient education, and research patient-specific drug information questions.
The Institutional APPE takes place in a hospital setting, focusing on medication access and use. Building on the institutional IPPE experience, students focus on advancing their knowledge and skills in the distributive and operational side of hospital practice. Students participate in fulfilling medication orders, overseeing operations, and engaging in initiatives that minimize adverse events and errors.
Ambulatory Patient Care
The Ambulatory Care APPE takes place in outpatient settings including clinics, pharmacies, managed care organizations, and health/wellness companies. Through observation and practice, students develop and explore their roles in an interdisciplinary health team and participate in a variety of patient care activities with the pharmacy preceptor and, often, the medical team. Students participate in clinical care conferences, take medication histories, monitor drug therapy including performing physical assessments, provide patient education, and research patient-specific drug information questions.
The Community APPE takes place in a community pharmacy, focusing on medication access and use. Building on the Community IPPE experience, emphasis is placed on integrating principles of pharmaceutical care and pharmaceutical sciences with practice situations (prescription processing, pharmacy administration, OTCs, pharmacy law, etc.). Learning outcomes focus on both distributive and patient care activities.
The Elective APPEs take place in a variety of settings ranging from research to governmental agencies to pharmacy associations to specialized practices. Most APPE sites for the four required APPE types also offer elective APPEs to advance skills even further in those settings. These APPEs allow students to further explore settings related to their career interests and goals. A maximum of two electives can take place in non-patient care settings.