OXFORD, Miss. — The 2021-2022 academic year will be an important one for the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. The return to full on-campus activities will be welcomed by all students, faculty and staff. This year will also see the LandshaRx curriculum implemented in full.
The curriculum was introduced in 2018, but 2021 will see all classes of student pharmacists learning from LandshaRx. Students at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson will be going through the curriculum in a face-to-face class setting for the first time after a year of virtual learning.
“This is the first year where we are teaching entirely LandshaRx curriculum,” said Sarah Campbell, instructional design and training specialist. “There is no legacy curriculum, so this is the real deal.”
Collaboration is a central feature of the curriculum. Faculty from different departments within the school work with each other to enhance their courses. Kristopher Harrell, associate dean for academic affairs, said this approach benefits students both in their learning and careers.
“Having faculty collaboration built into the infrastructure of our LandshaRx curriculum is most remarkable because the different disciplines and perspectives generate additional layers to student learning,” Harrell said. “The interdisciplinary teaching approach also serves as an excellent model for what our student pharmacists will encounter in optimal patient care — practice and experiences that are interprofessional and team-based.”
This collaboration extends outside the school as well. Thanks to LandshaRx, student pharmacists work alongside their peers within other schools, such as the School of Law and the School of Nursing. This fall, four students will also begin courses in a brand-new Master of Business Administration-Pharm.D. dual degree program.
The curriculum places a focus on the needs of students, and was built to train them to be exceptional pharmacists. Students helped shape the curriculum, and are working to improve it for future students. Students have means to provide immediate formal and informal feedback, and each class has a representative who actively participates on the curriculum committee where a comprehensive review of courses is conducted.
Student pharmacists even picked the name, which Ole Miss sports fans will recognize. Campbell said this is an example of how the curriculum was made with students in mind.
“That shows what this curriculum means,” Campbell said. “It is student and learning-centered, and it belongs to the students.”
Campbell pointed out that the curriculum does an excellent job of scaling up. Students start by learning about disease states and drug therapies, and will be ready to make the transition from student to pharmacist in their fourth year.
“By the fourth year you’re ready to be the drug expert for the hospital or pharmacy that you’re assigned to,” Campbell said.
LandshaRx has been a success for students and faculty thus far, while overcoming obstacles that universities all over the world have faced. Harrell said that the shark branding has been a fitting example of perseverance.
“We’ve had to face challenges such as COVID-19,” Harrell said, “Like a shark, though, we keep propelling forward despite whatever we’ve come against.”