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1.  Portfolio Use and Practices in US Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy 
Objectives. To identify the prevalence of portfolio use in US pharmacy programs, common components of portfolios, and advantages of and limitations to using portfolios.
Methods. A cross-sectional electronic survey instrument was sent to experiential coordinators at US colleges and schools of pharmacy to collect data on portfolio content, methods, training and resource requirements, and benefits and challenges of portfolio use.
Results. Most colleges and schools of pharmacy (61.8%) use portfolios in experiential courses and the majority (67.1%) formally assess them, but there is wide variation regarding content and assessment. The majority of respondents used student portfolios as a formative evaluation primarily in the experiential curriculum.
Conclusions. Although most colleges and schools of pharmacy have a portfolio system in place, few are using them to fulfill accreditation requirements. Colleges and schools need to carefully examine the intended purpose of their portfolio system and follow-through with implementation and maintenance of a system that meets their goals.
PMCID: PMC3327244  PMID: 22544963
portfolio; assessment; evaluation; competency achievement; pharmacy practice experiences; pharmacy education
2.  National Survey of Volunteer Pharmacy Preceptors 
To survey pharmacy preceptors regarding experiential education and determine the implications of the findings on colleges and schools of pharmacy.
An online survey was sent to 4,396 experiential sites. The survey instrument consisted of 41 questions regarding the experiential education environment from the preceptor's perspective (eg, experiential load, time-quality issues, compensation, etc).
One thousand one hundred sixty-three preceptors responded (26.5%) to the survey. Concerning experiential load, 73% took 2 or more students in the past year and almost half of the sites had to turn placements away. Nearly all preceptors felt that the more time they spent with students, the higher quality the experience, and 20% felt they didn't have enough time to provide a quality experience. Thirty-six percent of respondents chose monetary stipend as the form of compensation they valued most.
This study provides insights into the issues that concern volunteer preceptors and the findings could be used to enhance the quality of experiential education in pharmacy.
PMCID: PMC2630137  PMID: 19214266
preceptor; experiential education; rotation; clerkship; advanced practice experiences
3.  A Service-Learning Elective in Native American Culture, Health and Professional Practice 
To evaluate the success of an elective course in Native American culture, health, and service-learning in fostering interest in experiences and careers with the USPHS Indian Health Service (IHS), and in shaping reflective practitioners.
Students conducted readings, kept reflective journals, and engaged in discussions with Native American and non-Native American speakers. Students orally presented a Native American health issue and spent their fall break in Chinle, Ariz, providing social and healthcare services to the Diné under the supervision of IHS pharmacists. Opportunities for additional IHS experiences were discussed, as was discerning the Creator's call to a professional life of service.
Thirteen of 15 students who had completed the service-learning course by January 2007 responded to a brief survey indicating that not only were the course objectives met, but the experiences had a lasting impact on professional mindset and career plans.
The course had a lasting impact on students' understanding of Native American social and health care issues, and on how they will practice their profession and live their lives.
PMCID: PMC2690930  PMID: 19503711
Indian Health Service; Native American; service-learning; reflection; cultural competence; USPHS
4.  Using Performance-based Assessments to Evaluate Parity Between a Campus and Distance Education Pathway 
To compare the performance of campus-based students with that of distance students during the first 2 years of a doctor of pharmacy program to evaluate parity between the pathways.
Twelve cases were created for each year of the program along with performance criteria. The cases were converted into computer-based simulations for programmatic assessment at the end of the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 school years. All first-professional year (P1) and second-professional year (P2) students participated in the assessments. Overall class means were calculated and used to compare student performances between campus and distance education pathways.
Overall scores for the 2003 P1 class were 56.4% for the campus-based students and 62.4% for the distance students, (p = 0.002); overall scores for the 2003 P2 class were 48.8% and 55.5%, respectively (p < 0.0001). The 2004 overall scores for P1 campus and distance students were 59.0% and 65.7%, respectively, (p = 0.001); and for 2004 P2 scores the results were51.8% and 56.5%, respectively (p = 0.049).
Students receiving their pharmacy education via a distance pathway scored higher on performance-based assessments compared with students receiving their pharmacy education via the traditional campus-based pathway. This indicates that distance students are receiving at least an equivalent curricular experience in the P1 and P2 years compared to that received by campus-based students.
PMCID: PMC1636977  PMID: 17136209
performance-based assessment; distance education; abilities-based curriculum

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