PCOA Implementation: Five strategies

Apr 6, 2017 | Trends and Analysis

Now that the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment (PCOA) is required for all schools of pharmacy, pharmacy schools are exploring how to adjust their curriculum and prepare their students for this mandatory benchmark.
We have been having conversations with pharmacy educators and administrators for the better part of a year now regarding the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment (PCOA). Beginning in 2015 schools had to transition their planning because PCOA became mandatory for all colleges and schools of pharmacy. Because of the voluntary nature of the examination (before 2015), not all students took the exam seriously, thus making results less than fully reliable. Further, the planning for implementation on top of an already full curriculum was difficult.

The PCOA is designed to give pharmacy educators a snapshot of what their students know in 28 separate content domains within the pharmacy curriculum. Some schools have chosen to have their students take the exam early in the curriculum, well before students complete or are near completion of the didactic portion of the curriculum.

Given the importance of PCOA in helping pharmacy schools to assess whether their curriculum and program and course objectives are meeting the content standards defined by PCOA, we decided to dig a little deeper into how schools are addressing this. We learned some things, and we invite folks to give us feedback as to how things are going for them. What we can do is help schools remediate and respond to any content deficits identified so that their students can enter the experiential portion of their training as prepared as possible.

To review our findings please click here for a copy of PCOA Implementation Strategies. Please let us know how your school is incorporating the PCOA into your overall curriculum.

Related Topics: Assessment // PCOA // Pharmacy