• Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Students’ Opinions of the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment Exam (PCOA) at one College of Pharmacy

      Warholak, Terri; Zvavamwe, Simbarashe; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Specific Aims: Compare student’s opinions and get an overall understanding of which classes the student’s feel the College of Pharmacy can emphasize to better prepare them in their didactic course work. Subjects: Pharmacy students of the University of Arizona class of 2019 at the Tucson campus in Arizona. Methods: Students who had recently taken the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment Exam (PCOA) at one College of Pharmacy self-assessed their knowledge in each of the core subjects; pharmacology, management, statistics, medicinal chemistry, and clinical pharmacology, covered by the PCOA exam using a questionnaire. The questionnaires were administered during a regularly scheduled class and collected after completion. Data were analyzed using excel spreadsheets and nonparametric procedures for nominal and ordinal level data. Main Results: The response rate was 75%. The average age and Grade Point Average (GPA) of study respondents was 23 (SD= 8.354) and 3.28 (SD=0.9608) respectively. Out of the 5 core areas, medicinal chemistry was rated as the toughest section on the PCOA exam. Furthermore, more than 60% of the students indicated that they struggled with at least 2 classes from the core areas. Overall, many students agreed the level of difficulty on the exam was appropriate, helped identify the topics to review and the review session provided by the school was not adequate to help them excel on the exam. Conclusions The results suggest the PCOA exam helped identify the core classes in the curriculum that each student needs to review. Despite a great portion of the students struggling with at least 2 or more classes, the PCOA can be used as a tool to help both students and faculty members identify weaknesses.