Objectives: To describe implementation of incremental curriculum changes aimed at addressing identified gaps via subjective and objective programmatic assessment in a 2 + 2 curriculum.
Method: After low first-time NAPLEX pass rates for two consecutive class years, subjective and objective assessment of a 2 + 2 curriculum was conducted. The curriculum was benchmarked to the other existing 2 + 2 program. Other assessments that occurred include: intensive course content review, course credit number versus instructional time audit, vertical and horizontal topical sequence revision in the clinical, basic sciences and social and behavioral course sequences, faculty/student feedback and focus groups; outside experts and best practice consulting.
Results: Instructional time was increased from 15 to 19 weeks to mirror the only successful 2 + 2 Pharm.D program. Discrepancies in instructional time versus credit hours were identified in four courses resulting in increased instructional times. Laboratory courses increased from sporadic lab meeting times to once weekly meetings times (three courses) resulting in further strengthening of the compounding curriculum. Nine new therapeutic topics introduced during years 3 and 4 were reinstated in the first two years.Topical clinical sequence was revised to integrate and harmoniously match the basic science curriculum.Social and behavioral course sequence was benchmarked to other pharmacy programs and resequenced and adjusted accordingly.
Implications: Curricular assessment is valuable in addressing gaps and strengthening a curriculum. Further study is necessary to determine if the changes implemented are valuable and positively impact performance on first-time NAPLEX pass rates.
Senhaji-Tomza, B., Soliman, S. R., & Basu, P. (2015). Improving a curriculum through incremental changes based on programmatic assessment results. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 79(5) [Article S4].
Originally published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 79(5) [Article S4]. Reprinted with permission. doi:10.5688/ajpe795S4