President's Teaching Scholars Program

2014 Research Projects


Joel C. Marrs, PharmD, BCPS (AQ Cardiology), CLS

Assistant Professor

University of Colorado

Anschutz Medical Campus

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS)

Department of Clinical Pharmacy

Mail Stop C238

12850 E. Montview Blvd., V20-2128

Aurora, CO 80045



Quality Assessment of the Colorado Pharmacy Residency Teaching Certificate (CPRTC) Program

a. What is the central question, issue, or problem you plan to explore in your proposed work?

An increasing number of graduates from colleges and schools of pharmacy are completing post-graduate residency training.  Across the United States there are a number of teaching certificate programs at various schools, but there is no set standard for curriculum components from American Society of Health-system Pharmacists (ASHP ), the pharmacy residency accrediting body.  ASHP states that one of the practice skills that should be taught during residency is how to deliver effective education.  The University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy as offered the Colorado Pharmacy Residency Teaching Certificate (CPRTC) Program for the past 3 years.  Up to this point there has only been qualitative assessment of the program as it relates to residents satisfaction with the overall focus and activities of the program.  There is a need to quantitatively assess the CPRTC program in the areas of perceived benefit, confidence in teaching abilities, and career planning as it relates to seeking faculty positions post-completion of the program.   A pre and post survey in the core areas of perceived benefit, confidence in teaching abilities and interest in seeking faculty positions will allow for better assessment of the quality and impact of the CPRTC program.

b. Why is your central question, issue, or problem important to you and to others who might benefit from or build on your findings?

There is an increasing shortage of faculty members at schools and colleges of pharmacy across the United States.  In 2008, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) published the findings of a task for on pharmacy faculty workforce and estimated that 1200 new faculty will be needed over the next 10 years at colleges/schools of pharmacy in the United States. 1  McNatty, et al.  surveyed pharmacy residents who completed residencies from 2003-2006 and reported that 2/3 of pharmacy residents were interested in getting more teaching experience during residency.2  Teaching certificate programs are a means to increase the amount of teaching activities pharmacy residents are exposed to during residency training.  In addition they are a potential means to increase pharmacy resident’s confidence in their teaching abilities and interest in pursuing a career in academia.    

The actual benefit of teaching certificate programs has been under assessed in the literature and therefore a need to evaluate the impact and quality of the CPRTC program is needed.  If the program is able to show an improvement in the perceived benefit of the program, confidence in teaching abilities, and interest in seeking faculty positions then this could impact other residency programs in the United States by encouraging them to develop similar programs.

c. How do you plan to conduct your investigation? What sources of evidence do you plan to examine? What methods might you employ to gather and make sense of this evidence? What literature have you reviewed on your topic?

The objective of this prospective study is to evaluate the impact of the CPRTC program on pharmacy residents as it pertains to their perceived benefit of the program, confidence in their teaching abilities, and there future career plans relative to academia in pre and post assessment.

Previous studies have evaluated the impact of residency teaching certificate programs on residents abilities within a single residency program and have shown improvements in residents confidence in their teaching abilities.3-4  In addition one study has evaluated pharmacy residents perceived value of a teaching certificate program and showed that 90% of individuals felt the experience helped them in their current position.5  No published evaluation has specifically looked at a state wide program like CPRTC to determine the impact and value a teaching certificate across numerous residency program participants.

The CPRTC program includes 8 two hour workshops throughout the academic year on a variety of topics (e.g., developing teaching outcomes and objectives, active learning techniques, teaching philosophy development).  In addition residents are required to complete 8 hours of facilitation in the PharmD curriculum and give a 1 hour presentation within the PharmD curriculum or at their residency practice site. 

Lastly, residents are required to submit a teaching portfolio which includes a teaching philosophy statement, list of teaching activities they are involved in during the year, peer and self-evaluations on didactic and facilitating activities and a self-reflection statement on their teaching experience during the academic year. 

The pre and post survey assessment will consistent of numerous questions in the three core areas of perceived benefit of the CPRTC program, confidence in their teaching abilities, and future career plans relative to academia.  For questions on perceived benefit and confidence in teaching abilities a Likert scale (agree, partially agree, unsure, partially disagree, or disagree) will be used.  For future career plans a scale of yes, no, unsure will be utilized.  An assessment of the type of residency (first or second year) and/or fellowship will be collected as well.

Descriptive analyses (mean values and standard deviations) of perceived benefit and confidence in teaching ability parameters will be calculated.  Nonparametric, ordinal data will be analyzed with the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test comparing responses pre and post program.  Categorical data will be analyzed with the Chi Square Test.  Resident survey data will be de-identified to include no resident or fellow names.

Recruitment:   Residents or fellows will be sent via email (SurveyMonkey) the baseline survey 1 week prior to the first teaching workshop in August 2013 and give the opportunity to participate in the survey if they so choose.  Then all participants in the CPRTC program will be sent via email (SurveyMonkey) the post program survey in June 2014 and be given the opportunity to complete the survey if they so choose.

Subject Population:  In 2012-2013 47 residents or fellows completed the CPRTC program.   It is estimated that 40-50 residents will complete the program in 2013-2014.

d. How might you make your work available to others in ways that facilitate scholarly critique and review, and that contribute to thought and practice beyond the local?

The study protocol will be submitted to COMIRB for expedited approval.  Results of the study will be submitted as a poster presentation at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual meeting where I would have the opportunity to share the results with the national academic pharmacy community.  A final manuscript will be prepared and submitted for publication in an education-based, peer-reviewed journal such as the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.

e. Include a literature review of the theory and effective teaching practice of the subject of your inquiry in order to locate your research in the literature preceding it.

1.  Beardsley R, Matzke GR, Rospond R, et al.  Factors influencing the pharmacy faculty workforce.   Am J Pharm Educ. 2008 April 15; 72(2): 34.

2.  McNatty D, Cox CD, Seifert CF.  Assessment of teaching experience completed during accredited pharmacy residency programs.  Am J Pharm Educ. 2007 October 15; 71(5): 88.

3.  Romanelli F, Smith KM, Brandt B. Teaching residents how to teach: A scholarship of teaching and learning certificate program (STLCP) for pharmacy residents. Am J Pharm Educ 2005; 69(2) article 20.

4.  Castellani V, Haber SL, Ellis SC.  Evaluation of a teaching certificate program for pharmacy residents.  Am J Health-Syst Pharm 2003;60:1037-1041.

5.  Gettig JP, Sheehan AH.  Perceived value of a pharmacy resident teaching certificate program.  Am J Pharm Educ. 2008 October 15;72(5):104.

6.  Oregon Pharmacy Teaching Certificate (OPTC) Program:  A Two Year Experience.  Marrs JC, Bearden DT, Cawley P, Marcus K.  American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting.  July 18-22, 2009, Boston, MA

7.  Portland Pharmacy Residency Teaching Certificate (PPRTC) Program.  Marrs JC, Fugisaki B, Marcus K, Singh H, Stein SM.  Abst #S124 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting.  July 20-23, 2008, Chicago, IL

f. What is your record of innovation in teaching and/or the assessment of learning?

I have been a faculty member for 6 years and have taught, directed, coordinated, developed and revised several professional pharmacy courses.  I have directed two pharmacy residency teaching certificate programs which include the Oregon Pharmacy Teaching Certificate (OPTC) program from 2006-2009 and the Colorado Pharmacy Residency Teaching Certificate (CPRTC) program from 2010 to present. 

I have previously evaluated and presented on the impact of residents perceived benefit, confidence in teaching abilities and interest in pursuing academic positions while directing the OPTC program.6-7  My previous experience with evaluating the OPTC program in regards to residents perceived benefits and confidence in their teaching abilities has prepared me to evaluate the CPRTC program.  I am involved in teaching numerous courses in the University of Colorado SSPPS curriculum as well as precepting both first and second year residents from the University of Colorado and Denver Health. 

I served on the curriculum committee for 3 years while on faculty at Oregon State University College of Pharmacy from 2006-2009.  I have been a member of the curriculum committee here at University of Colorado since joining the faculty 3 years ago and have been able to contribute to the committee’s charge of curricular renewal.

g. Are you able to attend the required meetings as specified in the sections titled, “What are the Benefits?” and “What commitments are expected of participants?”


h. Please provide the name and email address for your coach/mentor. Are you willing to set each coach/mentor meeting twice each semester?

Yes. Coach/mentor:   Joseph Saseen, PharmD, BCPS  (

i. If your project is selected, are you willing to serve as a coach/mentor in PTLC in a future year?