A structured mentoring program to develop junior faculty into successful co-coordinators of a large multi-instructor pathophysiology course

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Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning


Background and purpose To develop and implement a system for junior clinical faculty to become successful course coordinators with the use of a mentoring program and ensure that student performance and satisfaction are maintained at a high level. Educational activity and setting For five years, first-time faculty discussion group leaders in a required large (>225 students) multi-instructor pathophysiology course opted into a structured mentoring program for course coordination in the subsequent year. Program categories included course material development, exam and quiz management, discussion group management, and communication among students, faculty, and staff. Findings Mentors’ previous coordination experience ranged from a few years to over a decade. Faculty participants included three second-year faculty. Each participant successfully undertook a full co-coordinator role the following year. Subsequently, each then became a lead mentor the following year for new participants. Exam quality/reliability statistics were sustained at a high level, course evaluations and student performance improved throughout the program, and all mentor/mentee reflections demonstrated a positive and impactful experience. Discussion and summary Course coordination can be a small percentage of clinical faculty workload, yet is a significant time commitment. Pharmacy resident certificate or new faculty academy programs often do not include course coordination, which is a vital, higher level function/role. Structured mentoring early in professional career of junior faculty aids in the assumption of pedagogical leadership roles, while also developing mentoring skills of mid-level faculty.

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