Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Influencing Admissions Decisions

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Influencing Admissions Decisions

Article excerpt

A recent editorial in Academic Medicine focused on the integrity in the admissions process at colleges of medicine. (1) At the core of the issue stands the very real potential that deans will face intense political or economic pressure in making admissions decisions. The author stressed the importance of adhering to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standards MS-4 and MS-7, which state that "The final responsibility for selecting students to be admitted for medical study must reside with a duly constituted faculty committee." LCME regards meeting this standard as critical for qualifying for accreditation.

The American Council on Pharmaceutical Education Accreditation (ACPE) Standards and Guidelines address admissions decisions for colleges of pharmacy. Whereas LCME standards state the foundational importance of having the committee completely responsible for admissions decisions, ACPE Standard 17 states that "the dean and a duly constituted committee of the college or school must share the final responsibility for enrollment and selection of students." ACPE standards do not further define the composition of the admissions committee, the role of the dean in the selection process, or the relative weight that either party exerts in the process.

Colleges of pharmacy have applied numerous approaches to the admissions selection process. The decision process is likely influenced by the committee's composition and by the leadership provided to the committee. Some committees are comprised solely of faculty members, while others include practitioners and/or students. Faculty members on admissions committees may be elected at large or may be appointed by the dean. The chair of the committee may be elected by the committee or appointed by an administrator of the college, or may be a college administrator, such as an associate dean. This creativity and variety testify to a continuing commitment to evolve processes that ensure the best admissions decisions.

At some institutions, the dean's role in admissions may be openly active. For instance, the dean may serve as a committee member. …

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