ARC-PA 5th Edition Standards: Committee Minutes and Resources

scott's thoughts Aug 10, 2022

In my previous blog entry, I shared my templates about forming committees to gather the large amount of data required by 5th Edition Standards for your SSR and how that data should flow from committee to committee. Now I would like to address the importance of tracking the decisions made within those committee meetings.

At an on-site visit, the reviewers will expect to see such minutes, and within the context of those minutes,  they will expect to identify action plans, modifications, or areas needing improvement in the faculty minutes. This is something that sometimes breaks down because the minutes may not necessarily be up to par. The essence of the minutes may not capture the information the reviewers are looking for. I’ve seen a program that actually was determined to be inadequate in terms of critical analysis, based on the fact that they didn’t have minutes.

To ensure that your faculty’s committee minutes maintain the expected standard requires...

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ARC-PA 5th Edition Standards: The Assessment Workload

scott's thoughts Aug 03, 2022

In this blog entry, we look at how we can engage our faculties in the data assessment process. Our PA programs already operate with limited personnel resources. Now we must ask our faculty to participate in assessment in addition to other duties. 

ACA-PA 5th Edition Standards require that PA programs gather and analyze a robust amount of data. It’s a given, an understood part of the workload. Yet, many individual faculty members view comprehensive assessment as one more responsibility added beyond their purpose of teaching students.

Implementing a fully compliant assessment system, as defined by ARC-PA, requires operational committees. Yet, faculty often struggle just with acclimating to the academic environment. Being able to assimilate into teaching can be a challenge. We must train faculty, so they understand how to work with these principals.

Analyzing and tabulating data sets requires advanced strategic planning and workforce to achieve. One of the things that we see...

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ARC-PA 5th Edition Standards: Four Key Elements of Data Analysis

scott's thoughts Jul 27, 2022

In our previous blog, we outlined the five challenges facing PA programs as they strive to meet ARC-PA’s 5th Edition Standards. Of the five, the most important when it comes to meeting requirements is that the commission expects all action plans and modifications in the SSR to tie directly to a data source and be documented in program minutes. You must be able to support an evidential connection. 

Data analysis carries the burden of sounding must harder, scarier, and more troublesome than it actually is. No compilation and analysis of numbers are as difficult as the one left unattended until the last minute. The biggest mistake we can make is to procrastinate or ignore the fundamental elements of data analysis until they truly are problems. In that light, we recommend following these four tenets to keep data analysis under control:

  1. COLLECTION. Data collection should be regular and ongoing. Keeping a database of the data as it becomes available is usually a matter of...
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Are Pharmacy Students Responsible for their Own Basic Study Skills?

scott's thoughts Jul 26, 2022

One of our major focuses at Massey & Martin, LLC is the Student Success & Remediation, in which we guide Pharmacy Program administrators in assessing incoming students, offering those at risk of academic difficulty a chance to engage in prematriculation and, if necessary, organized remediation programs their didactic year of Pharmacy education. 

We see the current approach to student remediation in most Pharmacy programs following a recurring, and largely unhelpful, pattern:

  1. Pharmacy students are admitted to the Pharmacy program
  2. Some of those students begin struggling academically
  3. Students are provided opportunity for remediation (i.e., retake a test)
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, hoping for student success

Yet often this method fails because core problems are not addressed; a student with no time-management skills will not develop them merely because a re-test is offered. In such a case, one is simply hoping that a few extra days for this beleaguered student to squeeze in...

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Deciding who needs a Student Skills Development Program

scott's thoughts Jul 26, 2022

In our last blog, we introduced the concept of the Student Skills Development Program. In effect, this is your Pharmacy program’s chance to jump in ahead of academic difficulties that some of your students may encounter during their didactic year. Once incorporated, such a program will increase the probability of your students thriving academically and successfully graduating.

A Student Skills Development Program begins with the admissions process. Perhaps your Pharmacy program wants to admit students who don’t quite “fit the mold.” They may have a lower GPA, a history of academic difficulty, or a spotty academic record. Perhaps your program wants to admit a student who meets the program’s mission, is racially diverse, or comes from a lower social-economic geographic area. If these students appear to be at risk before ever admitting them, what can your program do?

Increasing inclusion and diversity to encompass students from all backgrounds requires a...

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Implementing a Student Skills Development Program

scott's thoughts Jul 26, 2022

In our previous blog, we discussed the value of using data to determine which Pharmacy students are “at-risk” for struggling in their education, along with the idea of pre-matriculation education modules to help even the playing field for those students. It is immediately apparent, however, that while this is a beneficial step for students who have been flagged as being “at risk,” it might also miss a number of students who will quite simply have difficulties because Pharmacy education is difficult. 

The truth is that experiencing growing pains upon entering Pharmacy education is not uncommon, even for students with exceedingly high GPAs. Students experience difficulty when adjusting to the vast amount of information required to learn in Pharmacy education, to the rigors of the didactic year, which may be quite different than their previous education, or merely to the stress of graduate-level studies.

Setting aside the various other reasons students may...

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How do we teach metacognition?

scott's thoughts Jul 26, 2022

We have discussed previously the usefulness of metacognition in graduate-level teaching and learning. By practicing metacognition, we become aware of the amazing amount of work our minds do. We then use our particular skills to successfully employ high-level learning when we can and seek assistance or innovation when we cannot.

To introduce metacognition to students we employ three critical steps:

  • We show students that their ability to learn is mutable;
  • We teach planning and goal-setting; and
  • We give students ample opportunities to practice monitoring their own learning and adapting that practice as necessary.

We introduce these three steps, then reinforce them to students repeatedly over the course of their Pharmacy education through the Student Success Coaching Model through:

The Student Success Model incorporates three basic methods of facilitating metacognition:

  1. Robust study skills taught at the beginning of the program and sprinkled throughout. One of the...
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The Five Major Challenges of ARC-PA 5th Edition Standards

scott's thoughts Jul 20, 2022

These are exciting times, and PA education is rapidly changing and pivoting. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the ARC-PA’s 5th Edition Standards, which set the expectations for PA programs and the requirements for their operation. Understanding and complying with these Standards can make the difference between a successful commission action and an adverse decision leading to probation for the program.

We developed the following chart from information gathered from the ARC-PA commission’s website. In reviewing it, we can see that in the years from 2015 through 2020, citations have dramatically increased under the C-Standards, particularly Standards C1.01 (The program must implement an ongoing program self-assessment process that is designed to document program effectiveness and foster program improvement); and C2.01 (The program must prepare a Self-Study Report as part of the application for continuing accreditation that accurately and succinctly documents the...

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Advanced Assessment Methods for Your PA Program's Data

scott's thoughts Jul 13, 2022

I am pleased that you are joining me in this new segment of my series, in which I’ll be guiding you through some advanced assessment methods for your PA program’s data.

The situation at hand is this: PA programs must implement a comprehensive assessment process to ensure compliance with 5th Edition Standards and ensure annual completion of all components of Appendix 14. In our “5th Edition Standards” blog series and webinar, we carefully unpack the various sections of Appendix 14 for you to better understand what the commission wants and how you can manage the intimidating amount of data you are required to collect to respond to their requirements.

Data collection is usually considered a chore. Teaching responsibilities, scholarship, and service already stretch faculty thin. I have been in PA education for 32 years and I know what it is like to have teaching responsibilities among others, and then you have assessment on top of it all. Finding time for...

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Advanced Assessment Methods: Additional Ways to Look at Data

scott's thoughts Jul 06, 2022

As I continue this blog series on advanced assessment methods for your PA program’s data, I have been emphasizing different ways we can look at sets of data so that we can extrapolate correlations from them. In today’s blog, I will share two more assessments I find valuable: stratification and the heat map. The beauty of these processes is that – assuming there is reliable data within - they are extremely easy to read and understand. 

Let us look at the application for these.  

Stratification allows us to differentiate several levels of scoring across a data set. Below, we have the stratification of a program’s previous two cohorts when it came to their PANCE score ranges. Green obviously is good; red is not good. There were eight failures. We can see that PACKRAT I, Summ I, Summ II, and Packrat II, EORE and EOCE test scores across the board are worse for those students who failed. But those twenty-three students that were strong, over 500,...

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