1 Nontraditional PharmD Program Credit-by-Challenge Summary of Administrative Guidelines Developed by the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee Revised September 20, 2010 Preface The Nontraditional PharmD (NTPD) Program Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee is made up of full-time and adjoint faculty at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy. It is chaired by the Academic and Experiential Program Coordinator, Nontraditional PharmD program, and coordinated by the Coordinator, Nontraditional PharmD program. The Panel was charged by the School of Pharmacy faculty with: Establishing outcomes-based guidelines for credit-by-challenge of experiential coursework in the NTPD program; Reviewing individual challenges for credit for experiential coursework; Making recommendations for credit-by-challenge to the Director, Nontraditional PharmD program. Panel members recognize and affirm the value of advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPE) rotations in the professional development of NTPD program degree students. They recognize that structured, individualized training under the guidance of experienced clinical preceptors can be valuable, even to students with substantial experience in similar practice areas. However, in an outcomes-based degree program such as the NTPD program, practice competency is determined by mastery of the APPE outcomes. Many NTPD students have extensive practice experience, and have achieved mastery of the outcomes for one or more APPEs during their pharmacy practice careers. The design of the NTPD program, a program for licensed pharmacists, facilitates this achievement, since students apply knowledge gained from didactic courses to the management of patients under their care. When expertise gained in this manner meets or exceeds the expectations for traditional PharmD students completing six-week APPEs, the potential to challenge out of experiential courses exists. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee will meet on a regular basis to discuss the policies and procedures relevant to the credit-by-challenge process. Meeting minutes will capture the topics discussed and the resulting outcomes. A copy of the meeting minutes will be saved in the NTPD office. It is within this context that the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee offers the Credit-by-Challenge Administrative Guidelines. The process is summarized below. Detail is provided in the full document.
2 Summary Students wishing to challenge an APPE for academic credit will prepare a portfolio that describes and documents how they accomplished the outcomes for that specific rotation. Outcome statements for most APPEs were adapted from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy s 1998 CAPE Educational Outcomes. These were developed by the Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education. Outcome statements for remaining APPE rotation categories were adapted from APPE documents, developed by faculty members and are available on request. Documentation provided in support of challenges for credit should be representative of the student s practice experience, rather than all-inclusive. The Academic and Experiential Program Coordinator, Nontraditional PharmD program, trained credit-by-challenge advisors, and members of the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee are available to counsel students regarding the best application of their professional experiences to the credit-by-challenge process. They will provide guidance in portfolio preparation, as needed. Challenges may be requested for either full or half credit. Each credit-by-challenge submission requires payment of a nonrefundable challenge fee. Current fees can be found on our website. Successful challenge eliminates rotation tuition payment for awarded credits and saves the student up to 200 hours in time requirements. Challenge submissions are reviewed by at least two qualified full time or adjoint faculty members, or by other reviewers who have applicable experience. An appeals process exists for disputed decisions. The Credit-by-Challenge Administrative Guidelines are not policies. Exceptions may be made to individual guidelines with the approval of a majority of the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee members. These guidelines will apply until revised by the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee members. They will be reviewed annually. Some valuable professional experiences are not described by the outcomes that are provided. For consideration of such experiences, students may submit a letter of intent to the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee briefly describing the proposed challenge, without fee payment. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee will determine whether the experience merits full submission Priority will be given to submissions from students who have completed all didactic courses. Every effort has been made to make this system fair, equitable, and broadly applicable to a wide range of pharmacy practice experiences. Your constructive feedback is encouraged. Please direct feedback to Shaun Berning, PharmD, Director, Nontraditional PharmD program.
3 I. Assessment Methods Credit-by-Challenge Administrative Guidelines Developed by the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee Revised September 20, 2010 A. Challenges will be submitted in the form of portfolios [either full or abbreviated format; see below] that include descriptions of how the student has achieved each required outcomes in their practice of pharmacy, and objective documentation to support the descriptions. Telephone, teleconference, video, or (at the choice of the student) in-person structured interviews may be required at the discretion of the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee or portfolio reviewers. B. Objective outcomes for APPEs will be used by students to self-evaluate their professional experiences and to prepare challenges for academic credit; and by the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee members to evaluate challenges. C. Outcomes for patient acute care [general or critical care] medicine, ambulatory care, medical subspecialties, community pharmacy, and administration are adopted from the 1998 and 2004 CAPE (AACP Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education) outcomes. These outcomes are comprehensive, and describe the competencies expected in graduates of pharmacy programs in the United States. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee has designated the outcomes to be addressed within specific rotation categories. See our outcome allocation table. D. Outcomes for the drug information, education, research, industry and other elective rotations are adapted from outcomes developed for traditionally performed rotations in the on-campus program. They are available on request from the NTPD office. E. Under unusual circumstances, students may apply two challenges in one practice category that represent sufficiently different and valuable practice experiences for development of general clinical pharmacy practitioners. For example, students with extensive ambulatory care experience may be permitted to challenge for ambulatory care credit in two disease state management categories, such as anticoagulation management and cardiovascular risk management. It is recommended that students obtain approval from the Coordinator, Nontraditional PharmD program prior to preparing such submissions. F. Learning objectives provided for patient care APPEs are broadly described, and can be applied to many patient-care situations. Students challenging for credit in any patient care practice area are expected to apply the generic guidelines to the specific practice situations of their challenge area. G. Challenge portfolios, like all graded assessments within the NTPD program, must be the degree student s own work, and are accomplished under the provisions of the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy Student Ethics and Conduct Code. Penalties for inappropriate collaboration, assistance, plagiarism or other breaches of the Ethics and Conduct Code may include, but are not limited to: rejection of the challenge submission with forfeiture of the challenge fee, reduction of credit awarded, requirement that a full or partial APPE in the practice area be prospectively performed, requirement that the student be examined in the practice area by a panel of preceptors, and/or loss of the challenge privilege for other APPEs.
4 II. Full Portfolio Challenge Submissions Credit-by-challenge submissions will normally be in the form of a full portfolio [notebook, dossier]. In the portfolio, the student addresses how they have accomplished each of the required outcomes, in an essay format, and includes detailed case examples and/or other documentation to support the essay descriptions. Brief excerpts of successful challenges may be provided to the degree student as examples of the required format. A. Case-based documentation is encouraged for support of patient-care experiences; however, the format of documentation is not restricted to case-examples. A wide variety of documentation formats is acceptable. The evaluative focus will be on the strength of the evidence rather than the format of the documentation. B. The same case examples may be used to support accomplishment of one or several CAPE outcomes within a single challenge portfolio. Note, however, that case examples or other documentation used to support one challenge may not be used to support a second challenge [ double dipping ]. C. Organization and professional presentation of submitted materials may be considered in assessment. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee and/or portfolio reviewers may reject challenge submissions that do not comply with the required format or are found unacceptable because of extensive grammatical, spelling, organizational, structural or other deficiencies. Portfolio pages should be numbered and submitted in bound form [e.g. ring notebook, spiral or other binding available from copy stores] to prevent loss or disruption of materials during the review process. III. Abbreviated Challenge Submissions The abbreviated submission format is an alternative to preparation of a full portfolio for students with specific credentials. It applies to professional situations where accomplishment requires a degree of competency that is recognized by the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee as exceeding the competencies required of degree students performing the on-campus standard of prospective 6-week APPEs in specific practice areas and under the guidance of an experienced preceptor. The abbreviated submission process requires only submission of the abbreviated challenge worksheet outlining the basis of the challenge in any of the qualifying categories and the documentation specified within each category. Criteria for submission of a challenge in abbreviated format: A. Serving as preceptor for pharmacy students 1. Knowledge and professional competency, rather than level of teaching skills, are evaluated within this category. 2. Formal precepting of BS students, PharmD students, residents or fellows qualifies students for consideration of abbreviated submission. 3. Students must have served as direct preceptor of students or residents, but need not have been the primary preceptor. Students should have been responsible for or involved in assessment of the student or resident. 4. Students must have precepted students for a minimum of 2 full APPEs, as defined by
5 the School of Pharmacy in which the students were enrolled in the practice area[s] for which the student is seeking credit-by-challenge. APPEs must be at least four weeks in length and must have served as the primary preceptor for students or residents for a total of 8 weeks in the specific practice area[s] to qualify. Students who precept students on partial APPEs, or APPEs which are less than 4 weeks in duration, must have precepted students or residents for a total of at least 10 weeks in the specific practice area[s]. 5. Serving as preceptor qualifies the student to use the abbreviated submission process for a maximum of two challenges, in the practice area[s] for which the student s precepting experience applies. 6. Students or residents learning experiences with one preceptor during one APPE may include extensive experience and dedicated time in more than one practice area, depending on the breadth of the preceptor s practice responsibilities. For example, a preceptor may be responsible for both a critical care and general medicine service, or critical care and nutrition support, or obstetrics and neonatal care services. Precepting experience may be applied to abbreviated submissions for both practice areas, providing that the time dedicated to precepting in both practice areas meets the stated criteria. Supporting documentation (see section 8) should explicitly address the time spent precepting students in both practice areas. 7. Precepting must have occurred within 6 years from the student s date of enrollment (acceptance of admission offer) in the NTPD program. Precepting experiences that fall within the time guidelines but for which time elapsed suggests that the experiences no longer reflect competence in current standard of care in that practice area may be rejected by the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee. Alternately, evidence of sustained experience in the practice area may be required at the discretion of the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee reserves the right to alter the usual 6 year limit on a case-by-case basis. 8. Recommended documentation of precepting experiences should include a letter of support provided by the experiential programs section of the specified School of Pharmacy or the institution where the precepting occurred. 9. Note that possession of a preceptor s license, without formal precepting of assigned students, does not qualify students for abbreviated submission. 10. Serving as State Board approved intern or extern preceptor, or taking responsibility for pharmacy students in their first 3 professional years on brief or intermittent practice experiences [such as shadowing, one afternoon per week, etc] does not meet the criteria for abbreviated challenge submission. Documentation of such experiences, however, provides strong support for full portfolio submissions. B. Completion of a residency and/or fellowship 1. Completion of each specialty residency or fellowship qualifies the student for one abbreviated credit-by-challenge submission in a related practice area. 2. The specialty residency or fellowship must normally have been completed within 7 years of the date of enrollment in the NTPD program. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee reserves the right to alter the time limits on a case-by-case basis. 3. This guideline applies to both ASHP-accredited and nonashp-accredited residencies
6 and fellowships. In the case of non-accredited residencies or fellowships, the duration of the training experience, the identity and credentials of the training director, and a detailed description of the practice outcomes, responsibilities, experiences, and/or projects of the training experience must be included. 4. Preferred documentation is a copy of the residency or fellowship completion certificate. Other acceptable forms of documentation include verification of residency completion from the residency director, institution, or accrediting organization. C. Board Certification 1. Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties certification in Pharmacotherapy qualifies the student for an abbreviated challenge submission for an acute care [general or critical care] medicine or ambulatory care APPE. 2. Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties certification in a specialty area other than Pharmacotherapy qualifies the student for abbreviated challenge submission for an APPE in that specific or closely related specialty area. 3. Each BPS Board certification qualifies the student for abbreviated submission for one related APPE. 4. Required documentation for abbreviated challenge submission based on BPS certification is a copy of a current BPS certification form. Lapsed certification may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Additional documentation may be required at the discretion of the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee for lapsed BPS certification. An official copy of the final examination grade from the board issuing the certification may be submitted as required documentation as well. 5. Other certifications not recognized by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. D. Additional Degrees 1. Students who have earned business-related degrees, such as Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Masters in Health and Epidemiology, or Masters in Health Administration are recognized to have administrative knowledge and experience htat exceeds that required of students completing a 6-week administrative APPE rotation. Evidence of completion of such degree programs qualifies the student for abbreviated credit-by-challenge submission. Required documentation includes a copy of the official transcript mailed from the institution where the student received the degree or a copy of the student s diploma. 2. Students who have earned a research-related degree such as a PhD qualify for an abbreviated challenge submission for a research APPE. Required documentation is a copy of the official transcript mailed from the institution where the student received the degree or a copy of the student s diploma. Other APPEs related to the student s advanced degree[s] may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 3. Other degrees will be considered on a case-by-case basis. E. Management Experience 1. Students who have held administrative positions within healthcare (e.g. Pharmacy Director, Assistant or Associate Director, Clinical Coordinator, or Pharmacy Manager) for a period of at least six months are recognized to have administrative knowledge and experience that exceeds that required of students completing a 6 week administrative
7 APPE. This experience qualifies the student for abbreviated submission status for an administrative APPE. Required documentation is a letter of support provided by the employer. Other administrative experience within healthcare may be considered on a case-by-case basis. IV. General Guidelines A. Students may be granted credit for a maximum of four APPEs. Four is considered a true maximum, and should in no way be represented as the norm; most students will not have sufficient applicable breadth and depth of pharmacy practice experience to successfully challenge four APPEs. In order to challenge the maximum of four APPEs, the student must be able to successfully challenge at least one of the three mandatory APPE areas: acute care medicine, ambulatory care, or drug information. B. There is no limit to the number of challenges that each student may submit, although non-refundable challenge fees are charged for each submission. C. Each student must perform at least two APPEs as a live rotation. At least one of each student s performed APPEs must be a direct patient-care APPE under the preceptorship of an experienced pharmacist preceptor. This is required in order to permit opportunity for direct assessment of the student s comprehensive clinical skills, and to broaden the scope of assessment methods that can be applied. D. The three mandatory APPEs of acute care medicine [general medicine or critical care], ambulatory care, and drug information are not excluded from challenges for credit. These APPEs should be viewed as mandatory areas of achievement; the outcome goals of these experiences, like any other APPE, can be achieved either by challenge, by performance, or by a combination of these methods. E. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee will assign credit for a challenge submission in half-credit increments only, that is, students may receive no credit, half-credit or full credit for a challenge submission. A challenge submitted in request for half-credit may not be upgraded by the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee to receive full credit, even if the reviewers judge the work to meet the outcomes for full credit. F. A challenge assigned full credit is noted on the student s academic transcript as P for a passing grade of 5 academic credits. G. A challenge assigned half-credit is noted on the student s academic transcript as P for a passing grade of 2.5 academic credits. The student will successfully complete a 100 hour APPE rotation in the same rotation category of the challenge which received half-credit in order to fulfill NTPD program APPE requirements. H. A challenge assigned no credit is noted on the student s academic transcript as F for a failing grade of 5 academic credits. The student will successfully complete a 200 hour APPE rotation in the same rotation category of the challenge which received no credit in order to fulfill NTPD program APPE requirements. I. The statute of limitations on experience qualifying for credit-bychallenge by either abbreviated or full submissions will normally be defined as a maximum of 6 years from the date of enrollment (official acceptance of admission offer) in the NTPD program. However, distant experiences in direct patient care that are not supported by documentation of sustained competency may not be accepted by the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee, despite meeting the 6 year time limit. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee is committed to verifying that students meet
8 contemporary standards of performance for pharmacy practice, especially for direct patient care experiences. The educational needs of the learner may be better served by performing a full or partial APPE in patient care areas for which their experience is distant. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee reserves the right to require performance of full or partial APPEs and/or to require other documentation of current knowledge in a specific pharmacy practice area. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee also reserves the right to increase or decrease the 7-year guideline on a case-by-case basis. J. Experiences qualifying for credit-by-challenge may be obtained up to the time of the submission of the challenge. As part of an appeal process or in response to inquiries from the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee, experiences that occurred after the submission date are acceptable, as long as experiences obtained after the submission of the challenge are clearly distinguished to the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee. Documentation of additional experiences may sometimes be required by the reviewers or NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee for approval of a challenge. The intended focus is on the quality, breadth, and current applicability of the professional experience, rather than on the time at which it occurred. K. Students may apply for consideration of credit-by-challenge at any time after official acceptance into the NTPD program, and up to the time of completion of all requirements for graduation. It is strongly recommended, however, that challenges representing areas of practice addressed by the NTPD curriculum be submitted after the degree student has completed the relevant coursework, so that knowledge and perspective will be reflected in the challenge submission. L. Students may access the criteria for credit-by-challenge at any time, including before they have applied for admission to the NTPD program; criteria will be published on the NTPD program web site, and supplied on request to interested parties. Challenge by credit guidelines in effect at the date of submission apply to the submission. A three-month overlap period will apply from the date of implementation of guideline updates; challenges submitted during the overlap period may comply with either the newly implemented version or previous version of the guidelines. M. Self-assessment of accomplishments is considered central to the credit-by-challenge process, although supportive documentation by other health care professionals is very strongly encouraged as a form of outside validation of the student s self assessments. N. NTPD students challenging APPEs for credit are required to meet, but not exceed the expectations for students performing prospective APPEs, under the guidance of an experienced preceptor. O. The format of challenge submissions is defined by the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee. Each allocated outcome must be addressed individually by a narrative description and supportive documentation. Additional information on format is available through the NTPD office. P. Students will be registered for each challenge at the time that each challenge submission is received. Students should NOT register online for any APPE which they challenge. The academic semester of the credit-by-challenge is determined by the date of receipt of the challenge. Challenge fee bills are generated by the Bursar following registration. If a challenge submission is rejected prior to being sent for review, the registration and fees will be canceled. The Panel reserves the right to refuse further submissions for any challenge that has been rejected twice without qualifying for review.
9 V. Review Process A. Three copies of portfolio materials for full or abbreviated portfolio submissions must be submitted to the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee. The delivery address is: NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee C/O Nontraditional PharmD Office E. 19 th Avenue, Room P Mail Stop C238-P15, Research Complex 2 Aurora, CO B. The Academic and Experiential Program Coordinator, Nontraditional PharmD program or his/her delegate will assign two reviewers for each submission. If possible, at least one reviewer will be a member of the Assessment Panel. In the event that no member of the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee has appropriate expertise for evaluation of the practice area represented in the challenge, both reviewers may be non-members of the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee. Reviewers will work independently of each other. Each reviewer will make a written recommendation for granting zero, half, or full credit. They will provide brief justification for their recommendation. In the event that zero or half credit is recommended, constructive suggestions for the student are requested. Recommendations will be forwarded to the coordinator, and shared with other members of the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee. Any member of the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee may have access to portfolio submissions, at the member s request. In order to protect the reviewer s identity, the reviewer s name will not be revealed to the student who submitted the challenge or committee members unless the reviewer wishes to speak directly to the student or the committee. C. Abbreviated challenges require submission of the abbreviated challenge worksheet outlining the basis for abbreviated challenge, and provision of the required documentation. Since abbreviated submissions require only that the documentation meets the specified requirements outlined elsewhere in this document [see Abbreviated Submissions], they need not be sent for full review. Adequacy of documentation is established by the Director, Nontraditional PharmD program and/or Academic and Experiential Program Coordinator, Nontraditional PharmD program, in conjunction with the Director of Experiential Programs. D. Reviewers may make one request for additional supportive documentation from the student, and/or may contact the student to discuss their practice experiences, prior to determination of their credit recommendation. Reviewers are encouraged to provide guidance in the type and format of supplemental documentation that they request. This would normally apply to situations where limited portions of an otherwise acceptable submission were deficient. Reviewers may elect to contact the student directly, following discussion with the Academic and Experiential Program Coordinator, Nontraditional PharmD program, or to ask that the Academic and Experiential Program Coordinator, Nontraditional PharmD program contact the student with the reviewer s comments. E. When the recommendations of the two original reviewers concur, the recommendation is officially made from the Panel to the Director of Experiential Programs. F. If the two original reviewers make opposing recommendations, the portfolio will be promptly referred to a third reviewer. If the third reviewer s recommendation supports one of the two original reviewers recommendations, then all three reviews will be provided to the Subcommittee to determine a final grade. If the third reviewer s recommendation does not support either of the two original reviewers
10 recommendations, the portfolio will be submitted to a fourth reviewer. Then, the recommendations of all four reviewers will be provided to the Subcommittee to determine a final grade. G. Students who elect to resubmit a challenge in revised format or with supplemental material following credit award of zero or half academic credit may select one of two subsequent review routes. They may elect to have their submission re-reviewed by the same reviewer(s) who found fault with the original submission, or to have their entire submission sent to two new reviewers. Students awarded zero or half credit may also elect to have their submission submitted to two new reviewers without revision. New reviewers would not be permitted to request additional information from the student. The tie breaker guideline above applies to resubmissions. Challenges awarded zero or half academic credit following resubmission [second review] may not be resubmitted. H. Decision-making authority for granting credit for experiential challenges resides with the Director of Experiential Programs. He/she will notify the Director, Nontraditional PharmD program and/or Academic and Experiential Program Coordinator, Nontraditional PharmD program of his/her decision within one week of receipt of reviewer recommendations. The Director, Nontraditional PharmD program and/or the Academic and Experiential Program Coordinator, Nontraditional PharmD program will promptly notify the Registrar, Bursar, and student of the decision, in writing. Results will be issued by the Director, Nontraditional PharmD program, in order to preserve objectivity of the Director of Experiential Programs for the appeals process. I. The NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee reserves the power to prescribe a plan of action to assist the student in successfully completing an experiential challenge or APPE rotation. Any decision made by the NTPD Credit-by-Challenge Subcommittee in the case of an individual student shall not set a precedent for subsequent decisions for other students. J. Submissions for credit-by-challenge, the recommendations of reviewers, and all official paperwork related to the submission and/or appeals process will remain part of the student s permanent School of Pharmacy records. Students shall have access to any materials in their School of Pharmacy records, within the guidelines of the School of Pharmacy Office of Student Services. VI. Appeals process The Director of Experiential Programs will coordinate the appeals process for students contesting credit decision[s]. In order to maintain objectivity in the appeals process, the Director of Experiential Programs will not be assigned as first-line reviewer for any challenge. All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Director of Experiential Programs, and must be postmarked within four weeks of the date of receipt of the denial document. Denial documents will be sent by certified mail. Appeals will be referred to the School of Pharmacy Scholastic Advancement and Appeals Committee, and will follow the procedures outlined in the School of Pharmacy Bulletin. The decision of the Scholastic Advancement and Appeals Committee is final. VII. Fees A. A non-refundable evaluation fee will apply for each APPE for which the student applies for credit-by-challenge. B. Challenge fees are stabled by the Director, Nontraditional PharmD program with the approval of the Dean, and may be adjusted yearly. New challenge fee rates will go into
11 effect with the summer semester unless otherwise announced.
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