AACP Member Advocacy: Teaching

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AACP Member Advocacy: Teaching  

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy is committed to ensuring our member institutions and individual faculty are well prepared to offer the most innovative and creative approaches to educating our next generation of pharmacists, researchers and educators. The organization’s mission is to improve the quality of pharmacy education. We also are committed to ensuring that prospective students understand the opportunities and benefits of seeking an education at a college or school of pharmacy and that they have all the resources, including financial, to make their interest a reality. To create this supportive environment AACP members create and share information that improves the quality of and increases the access to pharmacy education all focused toward the academic success of our professional and graduate program students and our faculty.


Ensuring the Quality of Professional and Graduate Education

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy is committed to improving the quality of pharmacy education. The individual members of AACP serve as the catalysts for this quality improvement commitment by sharing their personal and institutional approaches to education in intra-association activities. Through volunteer activities of our faculty, including seeking and maintaining accreditation, addressing educational outcomes, assessing programs and curriculum, and engaging in institutional research, the contemporary pharmacy education of professional and graduate students is enriched and advanced. These activities support the teaching component of the three-pronged mission of higher education: teaching, research and service. AACP regularly engages in public policy discussions related to teaching in order to allow for continued success of our members and innovation in pharmacy education that best meets the needs of the public, patients and students.   


The U.S. Department of Education is authorized to recognize accrediting agencies. The Department of Education receives its authority for such oversight of educational quality under the Higher Education Act (20 USC 1990 et seq.)

“No accrediting agency or association may be determined by the Secretary to be a reliable authority as to the quality of education or training offered for the purposes of this chapter or for other Federal purposes, unless the agency or association meets criteria established by the Secretary pursuant to this section.” 42 USC 1990(b)

The U.S. Department of Education is assisted in its accrediting agency recognition by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI).

The NACIQI advises the Secretary of Education on matters related to accreditation and to the eligibility and certification process for institutions of higher education.”

A college or school of pharmacy or the institution in which it resides is required to be accredited by a regional/institutional accrediting agency as well as the professional program accrediting agency for pharmacy. The professional program accrediting agency for colleges and schools of pharmacy is the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

“The mission of ACPE is to assure and advance quality in pharmacy education. ACPE is an autonomous and independent agency whose Board of Directors is appointed by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) (three appointments each), and the American Council on Education (one appointment).” Accreditation Standards and Guidelines for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree 2011 

Educational Outcomes

AACP member institutions independently establish their measures of student progression and academic achievement. These measures, while developed independently, must reflect the educational standards established by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

CAPE Outcomes

Collectively the pharmacy academy works to harmonize independent approaches to educational outcomes through the outcomes developed through the Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education. The CAPE Outcomes establish three primary areas of focus for the professional curriculum.

Each area of focus seeks to develop a professional degree program that provides the student the knowledge, skills and abilities to competently provide: pharmaceutical care, systems management, and public health.


One universal educational outcome is the pass-rate of the North Atlantic Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX). Passing this national licensure exam is one of the requirements for licensure to practice pharmacy in a given State. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy is responsible for development and administering the NAPLEX.

Curricular and Programmatic Assessment

AACP is a leader in supporting its members in improving the quality of pharmacy education through curricular and program assessment tools. These resources are created by pharmacy faculty yet their overall concepts and approaches are universal in their application by other types of institutions of higher education.

Pharmacy Education Assessment and Accreditation Services (PEAAS)

Pharmacy Education Assessment and Accreditation Services (PEAAS) is a members-only, searchable Web-based portal to access different assessment and accreditation tools that colleges and schools of pharmacy can share with other colleges and schools.

Assessment and Accreditation Management System

The Academy recognizes program assessment and accreditation as vital components of all colleges and schools of pharmacy. To assist our members in fulfilling their assessment and accreditation goals, AACP is pleased to announce the launch of the Assessment and Accreditation Management System (AAMS). Designed in partnership with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, this new electronic resource provides desktop control for deans and others responsible for assessment strategies and accreditation self-study management.”

AACP Institutional Research

AACP's institutional research department gathers, analyzes and summarizes data related to the colleges and schools of pharmacy accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Information is provided on pharmacy's professional and graduate programs, student populations and degrees conferred; faculty demographics and compensation; and school financial data. Student pharmacists, faculty and administrators; higher education organizations; and the federal government use these data to study trends and make decisions with regard to pharmaceutical education.

Federal Support for Education Quality

The federal government’s interest in improving the quality of post-secondary education, including professional education, is recognized by the continued funding of the Fund to Improve Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE). The FIPSE grant program, authorized under 20 USC 1388, is a competitive grant program with an annual grant cycle.

Ensuring access through information and assistance

Whether a prospective or current student, the AACP Student Center will help uncover pharmacy education and career information, including school-specific admission requirements, a list of degree programs, career opportunities, job outlook, research and award programs, financial aid and much more.

From the very start of an individual’s exploration of pharmacy as a career choice AACP provides information to sustain and fulfill that exploration. The AACP Student Center is a one-stop-shop for information related to college admission requirements, information about the variety of potential career paths and how to turn exploring into action. Individuals interested in applying to a college of pharmacy can readily gain a clear understanding of what it takes to be a successful applicant, matriculate and graduate at any of our U.S. colleges and schools of pharmacy.

Pharmacy School Admission Requirements

The Pharmacy School Admission Requirements (PSAR) is designed to provide the most up-to-date information about each pharmacy school, including specifics about admission requirements, selection factors and educational costs for students entering pharmacy school. This document is updated annually.

Pharmacy College Admission Test

This pharmacy college entrance examination is a partnership between AACP and Pearson Education Inc. This is not a mandatory examination and individual colleges and schools of pharmacy determine whether to require applicants to sit for the exam.

Pharmacy College Application Service

In an effort to simplify the application process for prospective student pharmacists and encourage more students to consider pharmacy as a career option, AACP launched PharmCAS, the Pharmacy College Application Service, in May 2003 for students interested in applying to schools and colleges of pharmacy for the fall 2004 entering class. This centralized service allows applicants to use a single Web-based application, one set of transcripts, PCAT scores, and set of references to apply to multiple Doctor of Pharmacy degree programs.

This comprehensive service:

  1. facilitates applications to pharmacy colleges and schools;
  2. provides admissions offices with a comprehensive set of tools, many of which allow
  3. school-specific definitions, for processing, reviewing, and analyzing applications;
  4. promotes the profession of pharmacy to interested applicants through links to relevant Web sites; and
  5. houses a rich database of applicant information. (PharmCAS Manual 2010-2011)

Student financial assistance

Professional and graduate degree students have access to federal financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. To be eligible for these programs students must be attending an institution accredited by a regional or institutional agency authorized by the Secretary of Education to provide that accreditation. The professional program accreditation awarded by ACPE allows institutions to participate in the federal financial assistance programs commonly referred to as the health professions education programs authorized under Title VII of the Public Health Service Act [42 USC 292 et seq.

The Title VII programs are administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

U.S. Department of Education houses information for financial aid officers, including the ability to sign up for regular updates regarding financial aid activities.

Partners in ensuring access

Our members’ and students’ active engagement in issues related to educational quality and access provide the rationale and the evidence-base for AACP higher education policy and advocacy agendas. To make a more impactful contribution to public policy discussions related to higher education issues AACP works collaboratively with other organizations on specific areas related to education quality and access presented above.

Federation of the Schools of the Health Professions

The health professions education organizations combine their advocacy in coalitions such as the Federation of the Schools of the Health Professions (FASHP). The primary focus of FASHP is the continued authorization of the Title VII and VIII health professions education programs authorized in the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 292 et seq.) and administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Increasingly the group is concerned with opportunities to incentivize health professions education institutions to approach professional education in an interprofessional manner with the outcome being health professionals competent to deliver patient-centered, team-based care.

Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition

The health professions organizations that comprise FASHP and several other professional and disease-specific organizations are members of the Health Professions and Nursing Education Coalition (HPNEC).

HPNEC members focus their advocacy around the annual federal appropriations process that sets the funding of the Title VII and VIII health professions education programs authorized under the Public Health Service Act [42 USC 292 et seq.].

The Title VII health professions programs include diversity programs that support the development of diverse health professions workforce through programs such as:

  1. Centers of Excellence
  2. Health Careers Opportunities Program
  3. Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students
  4. Faculty loan repayment and fellowships program
  5. Primary care programs that support administrative, curriculum, faculty and residency training opportunities at medical and dental colleges to strengthen the primary care workforce.

Community-based programs that support the provision of interprofessional health professions education through programs such as:

  1. Area Health Education Centers
  2. Geriatric Education Centers

Healthy People Curriculum Task Force

The integration of public health across the pharmacy curriculum is an educational outcome and accreditation expectation. Through participation in the Healthy People Curriculum Task Force, supported by the Association for Prevention Teaching Research, AACP members gain access to curricular resources focused on an interprofessional approach to clinical prevention and population health.

Student Aid Alliance

Nearly every student graduating from an institution of higher education incurs debt related to the cost of their education. Health professions students are no different. Increasing debt often influences initial career choice which may confound efforts to increase access to care in underserved areas where repaying educational debt may be compromised due to lower starting salaries. Therefore, AACP and a host of other organizations combine their advocacy through the Student Aid Alliance to ensure strong and continued federal support for the financial assistance programs administered through the U.S. Department of Education.

Last updated on: 10/26/2016 2:59 PM 

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