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Important Updates Regarding PharmCAS and COVID-19

  • 1.  Important Updates Regarding PharmCAS and COVID-19

    Posted 03-30-2020 15:08

    Hello colleagues,

    As we continue to adapt to the rapidly changing impact of COVID-19 on our families, schools and communities, the health and safety of our members and staff remain our top priority. AACP has several operational and programmatic updates to help you navigate this challenging time at your institutions. Related updates for applicants will be posted on the PharmCAS COVID-19 webpage.

    IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON PHARMACY ADMISSIONS – Due 4/6
    Please arrange for one person at your institution to complete a brief form by Monday, April 6.
    https://fs16.formsite.com/AACP/COVID19PharmCAS/index.html

    AACP will use this form to capture how pharmacy admission policies have been affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic, including pass/fail policies for course prerequisites. Unless otherwise noted, school-specific responses will be shared with members, as well as with applicants and pre-health advisors. If your institution has multiple campuses or pathways, submit a single response for your institution, as currently recognized by ACPE.

    NEW 2019-2020 DEADLINE DATE
    July 1, 2020 has been added as a new deadline date option for the 2019-2020 PharmCAS cycle to better accommodate applicants and schools during the crisis. Previously, the final PharmCAS deadline was June 1, 2020. Here is a breakdown of the modified cycle dates:

    • July 1: Final regular application deadline
    • July 1: Last day for applicants to create a new PharmCAS account
    • July 7: Document submission deadline for 2019-2020 (with the exception of PCAT scores)
    • July 10: Application and Spring Academic Update close for 2019-2020
    • September 1: Final date PharmCAS will match PCAT scores to applicants in 2019-2020
    • September 30: Final admission decisions due from schools for 2019-2020

    This new deadline option will be available soon in the PharmCAS School Directory. If you wish to extend your 2019-2020 deadline, please email CAS@aacp.org.

    UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS
    PharmCAS will soon begin to accept unofficial (student-issued) transcripts from applicants in the current 2019-2020 cycle who are unable to obtain official transcripts due to campus closures and delays in the registrar's office. More information about the upload process for unofficial transcripts will be shared with schools and applicants as soon as it is available. Once the process is live, Liaison will verify unofficial transcripts and calculate GPAs, as if transcripts were official. Schools will also be able to view an applicant's unofficial (and official) transcripts in WebAdMIT as PDFs. Applicants who upload unofficial transcripts will be advised that official transcripts may be required by the college/school at a later date.

    PCAT
    As of March 17, Pearson is suspending test delivery at all U.S. and Canada-based Pearson VUE-owned test centers until April 16. As a result, the PCAT testing dates on April 2 and 3, 2020 have been cancelled. PharmCAS will be able to match July 2020 PCAT scores to applicant files in both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 cycles, based on the applicant's account. Please direct all PharmCAS applicants to send official PCAT scores to School Code 104. If the school plans to modify its PCAT requirement for remaining applicants in the current 2019-2020 cycle, please see the ACPE section below for guidance. Schools will have an opportunity to share their 2020-2021 PCAT policies when the new PharmCAS School Directory form opens in May.

    NEW 2020-2021 APPLICATION QUESTIONS ON COVID-19
    The following COVID-19 question block will be added to the 2020-2021 PharmCAS application. The goal is to allow schools to assess the COVID-19 impact to see the applicants' distance traveled, understand their academic barriers, and possibly help evaluate their writing skills. The questions are optional.

    1. Did your school move to offering only online curriculum during the COVID-19 crisis?
      • Y/N
    1. Did you have an opportunity to receive a letter grade for any of your courses taken during the COVID-19 crisis?
      • Y/N
    1. Please describe how COVID-19 has impacted your pathway to pharmacy school? (2500 characters) Prompts that may help you get started but shouldn't limit your responses are below:
      • Academic: Were you able to interact with your professors? Did you have to leave an academic program stateside or abroad? Did your school require you to move to Pass/Fail systems? Did your original PCAT exam get cancelled, delayed? Other academic barriers?
      • Professional: Did you hold a job? Did have to go out and seek new job opportunities? Did you lose a job? Other financial or professional barriers that you faced?
      • Personal: Did you have to move out of a house or dorm? Did you have to cancel travel plans? Did you modify your planned experiences related to healthcare or volunteer opportunities? Did you seek out volunteer opportunities that arose from the crisis? Did help family members that were affected?

    ACPE GUIDANCE FOR ADMISSIONS
    Jan Engle, Executive Director of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), has shared the following admissions guidance for schools. For additional clarity, please contact ACPE directly.

    If changes are made to admissions policies, they should be vetted through the normal process at the college or school (e.g., approval by admissions committee with subsequent faculty approval or however the school would normally handle). The ACPE standards state that, "Admission criteria, policies, and procedures are not compromised regardless of the size or quality of the applicant pool." ACPE encourages schools to carefully think about any policies that are waived or modified to ensure they do not compromise the quality of the students admitted, which could lead to progression issues later. It also does not want to see so many accommodations made such that the student is set up for failure because they didn't have the proper background to succeed.

    Below are examples of admission policies that might be changed, if approved by the school's admissions committee or faculty, and the related considerations for ACPE.

    • Accept online or pass/fail coursework for admission prerequisites.
      • Schools could choose to have different policies per course type (e.g., lab versus non-lab courses).
    • Accept a course prerequisite substitution (e.g., sociology, rather than psychology).
      • Course substitution is only acceptable if the content in the original course is not needed in the pharmacy curriculum.
    • Waive one or more course prerequisites, if applicant cannot complete prior to enrollment.
      • While ACPE does not stipulate the maximum number of courses that could be waived, it indicated it would be important for a school to be able to justify why courses were being waived and how that course material would be made up, since, theoretically, the content was previously required and considered necessary for the Pharm.D. curriculum.
    • Allow an accepted applicant to complete a missing course prerequisite at a later date (e.g., during the summer term between the P1 and P2 years).
      • Delay in the completion of a course prerequisite is only acceptable if the content is not needed for a P1 course or the material is incorporated into a pharmacy course instead.
    • Conduct an interview by phone
      • Interviews can be done by phone (standard 16.7), if internet connectivity is an issue.
      • Telephonic interviewing would be recommended over conditionally accepting an applicant before an interview.
    • Waive the PCAT requirement.
      • If approved by the school's admissions committee or faculty, the PCAT requirement can be waived for remaining applicants in the 2019-2020 cycle.

     

    VIRTUAL RECRUITMENT EVENTS
    Rosie Walker, AACP's director of recruitment and diversity, is exploring options to expand AACP's online recruitment events in light of the crisis and will share updates as they become available. If you have recommendations or ideas in the meantime, please email us at pharm4me@aacp.org. Additionally, if you will host virtual events for pre-pharmacy students in the coming weeks, share them via the form below, so we can promote them on Pharm4Me. https://fs16.formsite.com/AACP/ShareEvents/index.html


    Katie O. Bruce
     Director of Application Services and Student Programs
     American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

    Libby J. Ross, MA
     Senior Director for Student Affairs
     American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

    cas@aacp.org



  • 2.  RE: Important Updates Regarding PharmCAS and COVID-19

    Posted 03-31-2020 10:14

    Hi Katie,

     

    Can you send me a pdf copy of the COVID-19 survey?  I'll most likely be the one submitting it for our school but will need assistance and want to email to our committee.

     

    Thank you,

    Patricia

     






  • 3.  RE: Important Updates Regarding PharmCAS and COVID-19

    Posted 03-31-2020 12:28
      |   view attached
    Hi Patricia and colleagues,

    Sure thing! Please find attached a PDF version of the form. We appreciate your assistance in compiling this important information.

    Additionally, any requests for the new July 1 deadline will be processed as soon as the new date is available in the PharmCAS School Directory. You will receive an email confirmation once the deadline has been updated in all appropriate locations.

    Thanks,
    Katie

    ------------------------------
    Katie Owings Bruce
    Director of Application Services and Student Programs
    American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
    703-739-2330 x1026
    kbruce@aacp.org
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)

    pdf
    COVID19AACPForm.pdf   256K 1 version


  • 4.  RE: Important Updates Regarding PharmCAS and COVID-19

    Posted 04-03-2020 11:46

    Hello colleagues,

    A friendly reminder to please arrange for one person at your institution to complete a brief form by Monday, April 6, if not done already: https://fs16.formsite.com/AACP/COVID19PharmCAS/index.html

    AACP will use this form to capture how pharmacy admission policies have been affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic, including pass/fail policies for course prerequisites. Unless otherwise noted, school-specific responses will be shared with members, as well as with applicants and pre-health advisors. If your institution has multiple campuses or pathways, submit a single response for your institution, as currently recognized by ACPE.

    Additionally, any requests for the new July 1 deadline will be processed as soon as the new date is available in the PharmCAS School Directory. You will receive an email confirmation once the deadline has been updated in all appropriate locations.

    Thanks,
    Katie



    ------------------------------
    Katie Owings Bruce
    Director of Application Services and Student Programs
    American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
    703-739-2330 x1026
    kbruce@aacp.org
    ------------------------------