Campbell revising Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum to reignite innovative spirit

BUIES CREEK — The last time the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum committee was charged with building a new curriculum, the year was 1985 and it was the only program in the School of Pharmacy at Campbell University. It was unlike anything else in the state, offering a progressive PharmD-only curriculum. Thirty years later, a team of eight faculty and three student pharmacists are at the drawing board revisiting curriculum requirements to continue the legacy of innovation for Campbell pharmacists.
“There are many driving factors behind this curriculum change,” said Timothy Bloom, PhD, vice-chair of pharmaceutical sciences who is co-chair of the curriculum committee with Melanie Pound, PharmD ’01, associate professor of pharmacy practice. “We are creating a curriculum through the lens of the recently updated ACPE standards, CAPE outcomes, and areas of the NAPLEX our students are tested on. We are also getting feedback from outside sources like future employers, current employers of our graduates, and peer institutions.”
The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) has recently released new standards for pharmacy education that will be effective for all pharmacy degree programs beginning July 2016. These standards focus on the creation of a pharmacy graduate who is practice-ready and fully functional on a health care team. The Doctor of Pharmacy program also abides by the Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education (CAPE) education outcomes, updated in 2013.
The committee has selected three tenets to frame the revised curriculum: knowledge and skills, integration, and continuous application. These tenets will ensure that the curriculum focuses on what students know and can do, that the curriculum is cohesive and comprehensive throughout the four-year program, and that students are continuously exposed to content that enhances connections among topics in the pharmacy realm.
After selecting the tenets, the faculty members within the Doctor of Pharmacy program were asked to define the optimal characteristics of a Campbell pharmacy graduate. Those characteristics were sorted into three broad areas: interpersonal skills, content knowledge and skills, and professionalism. These characteristics should be demonstrated prior to entering the program, developed throughout the program, and cultivated in the pharmacy profession upon graduation.
The tenets and broad graduate characteristics will provide the framework of the new curriculum. With faculty approval, this framework affirms and commits CPHS to moving forward with the curricular revision process. Specific curriculum models are being created and reviewed but will require approval through appropriate college and university channels. The new curriculum revisions could be implemented as early as August 2016.