Outcome Assessment in a PharmD Program: The Texas Tech Experience

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Systematic assessment and evaluation of professional pharmacy programs are mandated by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education. Therefore, U.S. schools and colleges of pharmacy are developing programs to assess student mastery of curricular outcomes. Beginning with its inaugural class in the fall of 1996, Texas Tech School of Pharmacy began an annual assessment program, which has undergone significant changes since then. Currently, an Outcome Assessment Committee with faculty, administration, and student representatives and an Outcome Assessment Office with Associate Dean for Curriculum, Students, and Outcomes Assessment are responsible for the program. In the 2000-2001 academic year, the program assessed student learning in six abilities: (i) use of basic science in the practice of pharmacy; (ii) problem prevention and solving; (iii) dispensing pharmaceuticals; (iv) providing patient-specific pharmaceutical care; (v) moral reasoning and ethical and legal judgment; and (vi) management sciences. Different steps in the annual assessment program included: (i) selection of curricular abilities to be assessed; (ii) development of the assessment tool; (iii) assignment of minimum competencies and cut-scores using the modified Angoff method; (iv) administration of the assessment; and (v) analysis and distribution of reports to both students and faculty. Although several issues remain to be resolved, surveys indicate that both students and faculty believe that the assessment program is a valuable tool for identification of student strengths and weaknesses and for curricular evaluations. Faculty and students are, however, almost evenly divided as to the use of assessment data for student progression. A step-by-step description of the program evolution, along with its shortcomings and future directions, is presented with the hope that it may be of some value to other institutions currently developing similar programs.


This article was originally published in American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, volume 66, issue 3, in 2002. DOI: aj660305.pdf


American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy