Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A 10-Year Study of the Academic Progress of Students Identified as Low Performers after Their First Semester of Pharmacy School

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A 10-Year Study of the Academic Progress of Students Identified as Low Performers after Their First Semester of Pharmacy School

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Students, faculty members, and administrators anticipate that each student admitted to a school or college of pharmacy will successfully meet program requirements and graduate on time. Standard 17 (Admissions) of the 2016 Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Standards directs schools to make public their on-time graduation rates as an indicator of program quality. (1) As the number and size of pharmacy training programs continues to increase while the number of applicants decreases, concerns about the decreasing number of qualified applicants arise. (2) Programs struggling to meet enrollment targets with a shrinking applicant pool may be compelled to consider prospects who do not meet historical standards. In addition, Rupp argues that when academic standards are relaxed, faculty members are often asked to exert more effort to support struggling students. (3) This may lead to tensions between those focused on Standard 17, which requires schools to select only qualified students, and Standard 18, which requires faculty members to identify students predicted to fail early enough to provide effective assistance.

Several articles highlight attempts by programs to identify predictive and causative factors associated with poor student performance. Culbertson determined that examination scores in pharmacotherapy courses did not predict performance in advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). (4) Kinder and Knecht found that students who did not earn passing grades in introductory modules outperformed students in subsequent therapeutic modules. (5) Schlesselmann and Coleman suggested that prepharmacy grade point average and verbal Scholastic Aptitude Test scores are useful in predicting poor academic performance defined as failure to graduate on time, cumulative grade point average (GPA) less than 2.7 for the first three years of pharmacy school, or a grade of C+ or below on any APPE. (6) Allen and Diaz determined that prepharmacy predictors of success on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) included no unsatisfactory grades, cumulative GPA, and science and math GPA. On-time graduation rates, cumulative GPA, and no unsatisfactory grades in the prepharmacy or doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program also correlated with NAPLEX performance. (7) Chisholm-Burns et al found significant correlations between pre-NAPLEX performance and Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) scores, race/ethnicity, and pharmacy school GPA. (8) Alston and colleagues studied prepharmacy and first semester performance to identify variables that could be used to identify students most at risk to fail to graduate on time. Students with a first semester GPA below 3.0 were 17.6 times more likely to fail, and students with a second semester GPA below 3.0 were 35.8 times more likely to fail. Prepharmacy variables paled in comparison. (9) Rupp highlighted the differences between administrative and faculty incentives with respect to student retention and challenged members of the academy to reconcile them. (3)

To effectively evaluate the impact of student remediation efforts at a school of pharmacy, it is essential to understand the historical academic trajectory of low performing students at the institution. Without the baseline data, future studies on the effect of a specific remediation would be difficult to analyze accurately. Thus, this study aimed to examine whether pharmacy students at Wingate University School of Pharmacy (WUSOP) characterized as low performers at the conclusion of their first semester remained low performers throughout their academic career. This study can then be used to inform future study on the effect of a remediation program to determine whether student performance improved from the historical baseline as a result of an intervention. While results may not be generalizable outside WUSOP, the methodology may be useful for schools seeking to create a baseline to analyze performance of their own remediation efforts. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.