Fostering assessment through collaboration with the CIC-PAC

This is the first in a series of posts on the MinneSOTL blog profiling various types of collaborations supporting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).


The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is the academic counterpart of the Big Ten Athletic Conference. Formed by university presidents as a place for academic collaboration to occur, the CIC is home to projects ranging from leadership development to traumatic brain injury research.Big Ten Photo

In 2006, the Deans of the Colleges and Schools of Pharmacy in the Big 10 convened those responsible for assessment within their schools.  The group later formalized their collaboration with a charter and the title, CIC-PAC (Pharmacy Assessment Collaborative).  After experiencing a number of early successes in sharing experiences and also examining data across the schools, the group published a paper on “Building a Multi-Institutional Community of Practice to Foster Assessment.”

Projects and Publications from the CIC-PAC

In the 10 years the CIC-PAC has been working in the area of pharmacy assessment, they have contributed to pharmacy education in the form of publications, presentations, and various other work products. A few are profiled here.

Assessment of Professionalism
After individually struggling with understanding professionalism, the schools joined together to create a new instrument, building off of the literature.  A seven school study helped to validate the new instrument and was recognized with by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy with the Rufus A. Lyman Award for the best publication in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education in 2012.

Career Placement of Graduates
As the job market has changed, the CIC-PAC has sought to better understand the placement of our graduates.  The schools have developed and a common exit survey, which is administered across all schools, allowing trends in placement to be tracked and examined.  Initial data was published here.

Assessment and Accreditation
When the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education was revising the standards for professional programs in pharmacy, the CIC-PAC put forward 3 goals and 7 recommendations to strengthen assessment in the new standards.  Drawing together our expertise and speaking as one, unified voice has been an important goal for the group.

Student Success
Members of the CIC-PAC are currently working to create a dashboard of relevant metrics to understand quality in our programs.  As part of this work, they have been seeking to identify and examine elements of student success.  They are currently partnering with U of M graduate student, Ben Aronson, in measuring the professional engagement of student pharmacists, as well as a Purdue graduate student developing a measure of well-being.

Stay tuned to MinneSOTL to learn more about the work being doing by this exciting, progressive collaboration!

An Overview of the CIC-PAC

Purpose: The stated mission of the CIC-PAC is “Evolving and shaping assessment practices for excellence in evidence-based pharmacy education.”

People: There are ten Big 10 Pharmacy Schools and all are members of the CIC-PAC: Purdue University, The Ohio State University, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, University of Wisconsin, University of Maryland, Rutgers University.

The representatives from the University of Minnesota are Dr. Kristin Janke, Dr. Tim Stratton, and Dr. Jordan Orzoff.

Process: Coordination of the group rotates among the schools on an annual basis.  The group has a strategic plan.  Priorities are decided among members and work teams formed. For each project, members of the CIC-PAC determine their interest in participating. Work is coordinated through monthly teleconferences with member institutions contributing resources, data, and expertise where needed. The group also comes together twice a year at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Annual Meeting each summer and at the Big 10 conference center each winter.

SOTL Collaboratoin Series Graphic


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