Surveying the Current Landscape of Assessment Structures and Resources in US Schools and Colleges of Pharmacy

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Introduction: Expectations for assessment in higher education have increased in recent decades, prompting institutions to invest additional resources in this area. This study aimed to determine the resources, structure, and perception of assessment resources in United States schools and colleges of pharmacy (S/COPs). Methods: Assessment personnel in S/COPs were surveyed electronically. Information collected included S/COP demographics, composition of assessment positions, experience and training of assessment personnel, and structure and responsibilities of committees engaged in assessment. Respondents’ perception of their S/COPs having sufficient assessment personnel, recent changes in assessment, and the factors that prompted assessment changes were also surveyed. Results: Respondents included individuals from 113 S/COPs (84% response rate). Most S/COPs had 1–2 assessment positions and 1–2 assessment-related committees. The most common assessment position titles were assistant/associate dean, director, coordinator/specialist, and administrative assistant. Dean-level administrators typically had worked in assessment the longest, whereas directors were more likely to have formal assessment training. Most respondents (75%) agreed they had sufficient assessment personnel to meet the 2007 Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education Standards. Nearly two-thirds of respondents agreed they had sufficient personnel to meet the 2016 Standards and support their current assessment plan/process. Most S/COPs had a formal assessment committee (93%) and an average of two committees overseeing assessment. Conclusion: Most S/COPs reported having sufficient resources to support assessment activities. Although there were some consistent themes, there does not appear to be a single model for structuring assessment resources or committees. Effectiveness of various assessment structures represents an area for future research.