Factors Associated With Cultures of Assessment at US Schools and Colleges of Pharmacy

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Introduction: Pharmacy education has standards for assessment that must be met, prompting many programs to develop cultures of assessment. This study assesses the extent to which assessment personnel perceive that a culture of assessment has been established within their schools/colleges of pharmacy (S/COPs) and determines whether a relationship exists between assessment structure and the perceived strength of the culture of assessment. Methods: An electronic survey was administered to assessment personnel at 134 S/COPs. Respondents were asked about changes within the past five years pertaining to assessment personnel/committees and factors prompting these changes. They were also asked to rate items related to support for institutional assessment (SIA scale) and faculty engagement with assessment (FEA scale). The reliability of each scale was estimated using Cronbach alpha and bivariate correlations were conducted to estimate the relationships among the two scales and other survey items. Results: The S/COP response rate was 84% (113/134). Most (58%) noted the formation or re-structuring of the assessment office, with 26% creating one or more new assessment positions. The most common source of change was new accreditation standards (55%) followed by a new leadership position created in assessment (40%). Cronbach alpha for the SIA scale was 0.79 and 0.84 for the FEA scale. Program size was strongly negatively correlated with school age (rs = −0.58) and the FEA scale (r = −0.21). Conclusions: There was a strong relationship between SIA and FEA. Future studies are warranted to determine the interdependency of support for assessment and faculty engagement with assessment.