Center for Health Professions Education

You already know St. Louis College of Pharmacy is a national leader in pharmacy education. We’re also a leader in teaching pharmacy practitioners the best ways to teach students, helping train and develop curriculums for pharmacy colleges across the country. We’ve recently launched a multifaceted research initiative to extend our leadership that calls, in part, for the creation of a new Center of Health Professions Education.

The proposed center will provide an official home for programs that we’ve run informally for years, such as our work in pedagogical, or educational, research. Our faculty members already sift through education trends and research teaching methods and their effect on student pharmacist performance. Our new center will coordinate and house these efforts, providing focus as well as context.

The center also will focus on research that assesses student learning outcomes. Again, this is work we’ve already begun. In fact, we’re counting on its results to kick off a new integrated professional curriculum in 2014 in which we’ll incorporate more liberal arts instruction into our professional health and science coursework. Our new Center of Health Professions Education will help us to both consolidate and organize our research in this area.Professor workshop

The center also will serve as a clearinghouse for existing research related to the scholarship of teaching and learning. STLCOP’s current research projects in the health professions education area include:

  • Assessment of Students’ Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Abilities Across a Six-year Doctor of Pharmacy Program: A Pilot Test. This study tested an annual assessment program measuring the development of critical thinking and problem-solving abilities in our students. Primary investigator: Brenda Gleason.
  • Team-based Teaching of Physiology to Pharmacy Students. Research conducted through this project found that a feature of the team-based learning approach—specifically, the team readiness assurance test (tRAT)—was more effective when combined with individual readiness tests (iRAT) in team-taught physiology courses. Primary investigator: Chaya Gopalan.
  • Assessing Thinking and Decision-making Outcomes Through Multiple Choice Questions in a Four-course Therapeutics Sequence. Our investigator evaluated the thinking and decision making abilities practiced through multiple choice questions on exams in the therapeutics course sequence. Primary investigator: Alexandria Garavaglia Wilson.
  • The Evolving Landscape of the Pre-professional Pharmacy Curriculum. We looked at a trend in this study in which U.S. pharmacy schools are increasing prerequisites for entry into their Doctor of Pharmacy programs. Primary investigator: Brenda Gleason.
  • Assessment of Students’ Abilities Across the Academic Program. In this ongoing project, we measure the development and level of achievement of academic abilities in our students to suggest improvements to our courses and overall curriculum. Primary investigator: Brenda Gleason.
  • Inter-professional Perceptions and Perspectives of Fifth-year Pharmacy Students: Do They Change After Collaborative Practice Opportunities? We are researching how pharmacy students view their peers in other health science programs, and whether their views change with exposure to other health science program students. Primary investigator: Erika Michalski.
  • Survey: Reflecting on the Current Writing Program. We studied how faculty members approach and view student writing in this survey. Primary investigator: Susan Mueller.