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Description:

Contributor:Katrina Mintz
Administrative/Academic Title:Associate Dean for Assessment & Assocate Professor of Pharmacy
Institution:McWhorter School of Pharmacy Samford University
Other Contributors:
Title:Note-Worthy Practice – Standard 3 – Samford
Tool/Process Description:
McWhorter School of Pharmacy employs a comprehensive assessment plan that targets metrics and thresholds, and is embedded in an assessment system that is based on American Association for Higher Education’s (AAHE) principles of good practice for assessment. The Assessment system at McWhorter School of Pharmacy is founded on the belief that assessment is not an end in itself, but a vehicle for program improvement. That system includes six elements of sound assessment 1) preparation of the curriculum based on strong alignments among student learning outcomes and professional standards, 2) identification and administration of key assessments within clearly defined transition points, 3) collection, 4) analysis and 5) dissemination of data supported by faculty, staff and external stakeholder engagement, and 6) use of data for program and school improvement. The elements of the Assessment Plan are identified in an Assessment Inventory which provides the faculty governance structure with a reference guide to data availability and explicitly stated collection and dissemination timelines. This document provides faculty with a description and status of the tool, validity and reliability testing results, and contact information for the data steward or data storage. A process for reviewing each assessment tool was implemented in 2013. This process provides a standard mechanism for evaluating assessment tools utilized by the school. A data collection and dissemination timeline provides faculty with an explicit expectation for data report delivery, allowing committee chairs to align their charges with standards and strategic plan objectives, and to request the most appropriate data for discussion. The school implemented an electronic form required for submission after each meeting where data is presented and used for critical decision making. This form provides structure for committees and stakeholders when determining areas of strength and areas for improvement linked directly to data relevant to the topic. A biannual Use of Data Report is disseminated to all faculty, staff and external stakeholders to promote development of a culture of evidence within the school. Because we believe that assessment functions best when it is ongoing rather than episodic, the assessment tools employed in the Assessment Plan are reviewed annually to ensure they include summative and formative as well as direct and indirect methods. This reflects the faculty, staff and administration belief that learning is multidimensional, integrated and best evaluated as performance over time. The school recently established an office of assessment with a full-time administrator to coordinate efforts for quality improvement. The mission of the office of assessment is to provide support for faculty, staff and stakeholder engagement with the Assessment Plan and to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of the assessment system as a whole. This provision serves as evidence of the school’s commitment to quality assessment of student learning outcomes, curriculum and instructional excellence, as well as governance and positive relationships with the university. Through this robust assessment plan, embedded in a comprehensive assessment system driven by engaged faculty, staff and stakeholders, the McWhorter School of Pharmacy recognizes and responds to its responsibility to the public and the pharmacy profession.

Tool/Process Details:

Length of use:1-3 years
Requirements:
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Difficulty:4
Cost:Free
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