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College of Pharmacy

Students Show Strong Performance on PCOA

Posted on: June 8, 2020


Several third-year pharmacy students from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy flexed their brain power on the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment (PCOA) exam this year. Six students - Olivia Alewine, Stephan Bowe, Allison Mueller, Mason Park, Austin Roe and Jeremy Weeks - earned scores in the 95th percentile or higher on this year’s exam.

Each third-year student must take the PCOA, administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), which also administers the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX), which is required by graduates to become a licensed pharmacist.

The PCOA is an important assessment tool for both individual students and the program as a whole.

Julie Sease, Pharm.D.  Senior Associate Dean

“Assuming students try their very best on the PCOA, it gives them an idea about their personal areas of strength and weakness prior to their final year of pharmacy school,” says Julie Sease, Pharm.D., senior associate dean. “As a College, we also assess these results carefully looking for trends which might inform important curricular changes. In these ways, the PCOA is an important assessment tool for both individual students and the program as a whole.”

The 225-question assessment focuses on four key areas, including basic biomedical sciences; pharmaceutical sciences; social, behavioral and administrative sciences; and clinical sciences.

Alewine encourages students taking the PCOA next year to give it their best on test day. “The PCOA was important to me because it not only reflected my knowledge but was a reflection of the many hours of hard work the professors at the college of pharmacy have poured into my educational experience,” she says. “Our faculty is truly the best and prepared me well for this test!”


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