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School of Pharmacy|College of Health Sciences

Committee Spotlight: Curriculum and Instruction

Committees at the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy are a very important part of the administrative structure of the school. Faculty, staff, and student members of these committees work very hard behind the scenes throughout the year. In order to increase awareness and provide information to our alumni, faculty, staff, and students of the efforts and accomplishments of our committees, we will spotlight a committee in each of the next few issues of the News Capsule. These features will show how the committees are positively impacting our program and our students.

This month, the Curriculum and Instruction Committee (C&I) is in the spotlight. The C&I committee is made up of four faculty and three students.

Mission

Curricular Philosophy

It is the philosophy of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee (C&I) at the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy to create and maintain a curriculum that teaches the most relevant and up-to-date information in the pharmaceutical, social and administrative, and clinical sciences to train generalist pharmacists who can successfully practice in any area of pharmacy.

Goals and objectives

The committee has recently undergone a formal process of evaluating objectives, goals, outcomes, and measures for the next few years.

Highlights for the coming year include:

  • Develop a plan for curricular review by the end of spring 2014.

  • Request input from faculty and preceptors about what they might need in terms of money for teaching (such as teaching technology or money for travel to learn about new teaching methodologies).

  • In conjunction with the Assessment Committee, C&I plans to use data collected to come up with recommendations for curricular improvement by the end of this academic year.

Accomplishments

Changes made as a result of the committee’s work

  • Clinical Pharmacokinetics was moved from the spring to the fall semester after students and faculty agreed the change might improve student performance in the class.

  • Better integration of basic and clinical sciences: the C&I committee made tremendous progress in getting faculty to sit down and talk about what is currently taught and getting feedback on possible gaps in the curriculum. This academic year, the faculty have attempted to teach subjects (i.e. cardiology or endocrinology) around similar times so that students might be learning about the drugs in Medicinal Chemistry or Pharmacology and then discussing journal articles or practice guidelines related to diseases those drugs treat in Drug Literature Evaluation or Therapeutics.

Challenges

Over the past few years, UW School of Pharmacy faculty have been assessing Student Learning Outcomes in their courses. These outcomes have been “mapped” to curricular standards from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The C&I committee still needs to take all of these data and provide the faculty with some suggestions for curricular change. A major challenge is making changes to a curriculum that is not broken. UW graduates are well prepared to practice pharmacy upon graduation, so sometimes it is challenging to recommend curricular improvements. (If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it).

Another large project that is still looming in the future for the committee is evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of transitioning to a required three-year pre-pharmacy curriculum.

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