The School of Pharmacy at the Lebanese American University (LAU) mapped its newly implemented curriculum to the curricular content suggestions in Appendix B of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Standards, and to the Educational Outcomes of the Center for Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education (CAPE).
A dynamic approach of curricular evaluation was undertaken in a form of continuous quality improvement that is driven by the School’s mission. In order to ensure a common vision of the curriculum and achieve a comprehensive mapping of curricular content, all School faculty members were engaged in the mapping process through tools preparation and/or mapping the course they teach and/or coordinate. For every course, a subcommittee that included the course coordinator, course faculty, and a Curriculum Committee member was formed in order to map the corresponding course content and submit its findings to the Curriculum Committee. Regular meetings were held between Curriculum Committee members and various subcommittees. During these meetings, respective CAPE Supplemental Educational Outcomes and curricular content in Appendix B were shared and concepts of ability based outcomes, domains, competencies, dimensions, and metrics were discussed.
Courses that were related or complementing each other in content were mapped collectively after being grouped into six streams: Pharmacy Practice; Social, Behavioral, and Administrative Sciences; Basic Biomedical Sciences; Pharmaceutical Sciences; Pharmacotherapeutics; and Library Educational Resources. Maps were developed to include courses within a stream along with their respective CAPE Supplemental Educational Outcomes and the curricular content in Appendix B. A total of six maps were generated. When detailed CAPE educational outcomes were not available for a course or a sequence of courses, a taskforce was assigned to develop such tools. Metrics adopted in mapping the competencies were labeled as “Meet”, “Do Not Meet”, or “Partially Meet”. Mapped courses were categorized for their competencies under the three levels of: “Introduce, Reinforce, and Apply”.
In order to ensure a comprehensive curricular review and that competencies are met at multiple levels of “Introduce, Reinforce, and Apply”, courses within a series were first mapped vertically (one course mapped across multiple competencies) then horizontally (one competency mapped across multiple courses). After each stream was mapped, a report was generated and included recommendations and follow up tables detailing the required actions for recommendations of mapping implementation and responsible party. The mapping process clearly indicated at which level(s) of the curriculum a competency was delivered and also identified curricular gaps and content overlap. The final mapping report was reviewed at a faculty retreat whereby recommendations were generated and a plan of action for implementation was developed.
The plan is to repeat the mapping cycle for every stream once every 3 years, unless changes in the ACPE Standards or CAPE educational outcomes, or curriculum assessment outcomes warrant earlier evaluation.