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.