From the Dean
Dear Alumni and Friends,
I hope summer is finding you well and enjoying the season. I always say that no place can beat Minnesota in the summer time.
Members of the College of Pharmacy are using the summer to compile a self-study that we must assemble in preparation for an accreditation site visit from a team from the Accreditation Council for Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) that will occur November 11-13, 2015. Our last visit occurred in 2009 and we received a full six-year accreditation with praise for many aspects of our program and monitoring (annual reports due) for finances (this was in the middle of the recession) and curriculum (we were — and are — in the middle of a curriculum revision). After a few years of annual written reporting they decided we were fine on these two aspects and we didn’t have to submit further monitoring reports.
We are being reviewed at an awkward time in that the college has halfway implemented a new curriculum (we are two years into it, which leaves two years that have not been taught yet), and the ACPE standards have also been recently revised (Standards 2016) and will start being used in January 2016. That means we are the last school to be reviewed under the old standards, but we are also expected to be planning for the new standards. So two curricula and two sets of standards are adding to the effort required!
Nevertheless, the new curriculum has been a wonderful learning experience for faculty and a great effort has been put forth to create a program at the forefront of pharmacy curricula, and I am confident we will fare well. Faculty have added lots of active learning to their classes, and we have wonderful new classrooms that are proficient at both interactive television and active learning. We are also at the forefront of incorporating interprofessional learning, teaching the new biology to our students, and integrating the courses among the basic, translational and clinical sciences. We believe we are truly on track to graduate generalist pharmacists who are able to practice at the limits of their education and provide direct care to their patients, all while helping to shape the revisions that are occurring in the health systems.
The ACPE team will want to know that we have consulted preceptors and alumni in our review and development of the self-study. We use the alumni surveys that we distribute annually, but we will also be calling upon you between now and
November to help us assess ourselves and propose areas of potential development. I hope you will be able to participate when called upon. If you wish to volunteer at this time, please let me know or contact Tim Stratton (firstname.lastname@example.org) who is the executive associate to the dean for assessment and accreditation. Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Please know that we take the ACPE review very seriously as an important mode of quality control for the profession. While we might not agree with every standard, we do believe in the system that has generated standards through a process involving lots of consultation with many pharmacy organizations.
I hope to report to you in January following the ACPE review that we have fully achieved all 30 standards and are approved for an eight-year term (they have expanded a full term from six to eight years). We know we will be monitored to follow the remaining curriculum development, but I am hopeful that that will be it. Thanks in advance for helping us achieve that goal!