Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Report of the 2014-2015 AACP Standing Committee on Advocacy: Access, Affordability and Accountability: Academic Pharmacy's Approaches and Challenges in Addressing Issues of Higher Education Policy

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Report of the 2014-2015 AACP Standing Committee on Advocacy: Access, Affordability and Accountability: Academic Pharmacy's Approaches and Challenges in Addressing Issues of Higher Education Policy

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

According to the bylaws of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the Advocacy Committee: "will advise the Board of Directors on the formation of positions on matters of public policy and on strategies to advance those positions to the public and private sectors on behalf of academic pharmacy."

PRESIDENTIAL CHARGE

President Pat A. Chase presented the committee with the following charge:

With the pending reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, this is an excellent time to review how academic pharmacy is:

* Ensuring people have access to pharmacy education;

* Engaged in keeping it affordable; and

* Increasing both institutional, faculty and student accountability.

The 2014-15 Advocacy Committee will examine the topics of access, affordability, and accountability in pharmacy education and their alignment with these same issues across higher education.

Access. With attention to, but not limited to underrepresented minorities, describe best-practices at AACP member institutions that focus on individual access to both professional and graduate pharmacy programs. Topics for consideration include: state and federal diversity programs.

Affordability. With attention to, but not limited to tuition and cost of attendance, describe best practices of how AACP member institutions ensure the value of a professional or graduate degree. This description should discuss the return on investment of a pharmacy degree. Topics for consideration include: innovation in higher education; competency-based education; facilitated learning; distance education; interprofessional education.

Accountability. With attention to, but not limited to accreditation, describe best practices of how AACP member institutions hold themselves, their faculty and their students accountable for the creation and execution of a high-quality educational experience. Topics for consideration include: student assessment; faculty and program evaluation; regarding accreditation-evaluating institutional quality; the value of the peer review aspect of both regional and specialty accreditation.

PROCESS

During the AACP annual meeting, staff shared the Presidential charge with members and sought the participation of content-experts related to the three priority areas. Interested participants received a follow-up email asking them to verify both their interest and their expertise by sharing scholarly work with the Chair and staff. Staff also reviewed the member profile of the interested participant for inclusion of content-expertise.

In October 2014 these content-experts met during a face-to-face meeting of all standing committee participants. During this meeting the Chair and staff reviewed the committee charge and led the group through in a wideranging discussion of that charge. Committee members self-selected one of the three priority issues in which they would contribute their knowledge and expertise. Committee members with the same interest joined together into a priority issue workgroup. Using a draft report outline, committee members determined who would be responsible for specific portions of the report, what that portion would include, and a timeline for committee work.

The committee workgroups worked toward completion of their specified report portions sharing information and resources via email and phone calls. The committee as a whole held monthly conference calls to provide status updates, seek input from the entire group related to challenges, and review and modify accountabilities as needed. The outcome is a final committee report published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, the highlights of which are presented at the AACP 2015 annual meeting.

The committee continued the work of recent Advocacy Committees in applying concepts and frameworks from implementation science to improve AACP's advocacy efforts. …

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