Characterization of use of the pharmacy curriculum outcomes assessment across accredited colleges of pharmacy

Document Type


Publication Date



Objective. To characterize use of the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment (PCOA) in terms of timing, manner of delivery, and application of the results by accredited colleges of pharmacy. Methods. Accredited pharmacy programs were surveyed regarding PCOA administration, perceived benefits, and practical application of score reports. Survey items were comprised of new items developed from a literature review and items from prior studies. The survey addressed five domains: program demographics, administration, student preparation, use of results, and recommendations to improve the utility of the PCOA. Results. Responses were received from 126 of 139 (91%) surveyed programs. The majority of respondent programs administered PCOA in one session on a single campus. Most indicated PCOA results had limited use for individual student assessment. Almost half reported that results were or could be useful in curriculum review and benchmarking. Considerable variability existed in the preparation and incentives for PCOA performance. Differences in some results were found based on prior PCOA experience and between new vs older programs. Open-ended responses provided suggestions to enhance the application and utility of PCOA. Conclusion. The intended uses of PCOA results, such as for student assessment, curricular review, and programmatic benchmarking, are not being implemented across the academy. Streamlining examination logistics, providing additional examination-related data, and clarifying the purpose of the examination to faculty members and students may increase the utility of PCOA results.

This document is currently not available here.