Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Report of the 2016-2017 Student Affairs Standing Committee

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Report of the 2016-2017 Student Affairs Standing Committee

Article excerpt


According to the Bylaws of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the AACP President shall appoint a Student Affairs Standing Committee, which "shall be concerned with issues regarding admissions, recruitment and student affairs related policies and practices and will assist with the development of the Association's relevant research agenda." (1) In his Presidentelect address to the AACP House of Delegates, President Joseph T. DiPiro outlined one of the most pressing issues for academic pharmacy today: how can we assure sufficient numbers of high quality students coming into our Pharm.D. and graduate programs? (2) DiPiro went on to state that recruitment is "an issue of utmost importance to all of the profession, not only colleges and schools of pharmacy. This is about enriching the applicant pipeline." President DiPiro described Priority 1 of the AACP Strategic Plan, Enriching the Applicant Pipeline, and how it relates to the charge of the Student Affairs Standing Committee. "AACP will partner with stakeholders to increase the Pharm.D. applicant pipeline to ensure there will be an appropriate number and quality of pharmacists to meet society's needs." (3) DiPiro suggested that academic pharmacy's efforts need to combat myths about job availability in pharmacy to attract a talented and qualified applicant pool. In addition, participation by colleges and schools of pharmacy are an essential component of the national recruitment efforts. (2)

President DiPiro also recognized the connection of current student wellness with the potential to negatively impact the applicant pool and charged the Student Affairs Standing Committee to examine student wellness and how it relates to the applicant pool.

President DiPiro charged the 2016-2017 Student Affairs Standing Committee to:

1. Provide recommendations to the Board as part of a national awareness campaign to enhance the visibility of the pharmacy profession and pharmacy education to potential students and other stakeholders.

* How can colleges and schools contribute to a national campaign?

* How can college and school champions be identified?

2. Prepare a document that describes methods that colleges and schools of pharmacy use to promote student wellness and help students manage stress.

The committee met in person to discuss the charges in October 2016. Prior to the meeting, the committee conducted a literature review on the topics of recruitment to the health professions and student wellness, and used best practices to determine recommendations. The committee discussed the connection between students stress and recruitment. Pharmacy student stress has the potential to not only impact a student's academic performance in the Pharm.D. curriculum but also negatively impact pharmacy recruitment. Current pharmacy students are often utilized in the pharmacy school admissions process, most notably during the on-site interview. Candidates value the opportunity to learn more about the student-life experience at the college or school of pharmacy including leadership opportunities, student organizations, and culture. Significant pharmacy student stress has the potential to negatively impact the perceived culture of the program and deter candidates from attending the college or school, and potentially even deter them from entering the pharmacy profession.

Furthermore, significant pharmacy student stress can negatively impact pharmacy recruitment at the academy level. Family and friends are common support mechanisms for individuals experiencing a stressful life event. Family and friends often serve as unofficial recruiters of the pharmacy profession by sharing stories about their son/daughter, other family member, or friend. Therefore, their perception of the student life experience, specifically as it relates to perceived stress and quality of life, can significantly impact the public perception of the student pharmacist experience. …

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