Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

Experiential Education

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) - Experiential Education

The curriculum's Pharmacy Practice Experiences include IPPEs, Simulations, and APPEs, each designed to provide a structured, learning process for the students to eventually be able to demonstrate the PLOs upon graduation. They are designed as a continuum of developing the student's abilities (knowledge, skills, and attitudes/values) that evolves as the student progresses through the curriculum. With IPPEs and Simulations integrated across the PY1-3, and APPE's, students will have significant, structured time across each year to integrate, apply, reinforce and reflect on their practice abilities.

The overall goals of the Experiential Program are to: (1) Develop entry level pharmacists to practice at most major pharmacy sites; and (2) Prepare students to achieve the various competencies detailed in the Program Learning Outcomes

Please feel free to contact the Office of Experiential Education to obtain further information:

Office of Experiential Education

Eric Kobayashi, Pharm.D.
Director, Experiential Education
West Coast University School of Pharmacy

Joann Hong, Pharm.D.
Director, Experiential Education
West Coast University School of Pharmacy
Phone: 323.454.5028 

Information for Students

IPPE Overview

The IPPE program is designed as a three-week full-time experience over a 2-block schedule at the end of fall semesters and at the beginning of spring semesters. This schedule will be for the first three professional years (PY1 –PY3). Each student will complete his or her required IPPE in one of these blocks. In the other block during the same year, students not in practice sites will complete Community Outreach activities(PY1) or Patient Simulation/IPE (PY2 & 3).


1 Community Pharmacy Practice 120 3
2 Institutional Pharmacy Practice 120 3
3 Selective Elective Pharmacy Practice 120 3
  TOTAL 360  


Students will be required to complete a number of internet-based reflection exercises throughout the 15 day experience. Students will be encouraged to share experiences from their practice site. Exercises will be designed to allow students to self-reflect on their own experiences, encourage discussion among students about what their IPPE means for them, and assist peers to make their own IPPE experience more rewarding. Reflection exercises will be monitored and moderated by the OEE.

APPE Overview

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs) begin in the summer semester after the PY3. Students must satisfactorily complete all didactic course requirements as well as IPPEs prior to the start of APPE. During the PY4, each student must complete four required rotations in specified areas of community practice, institutional practice, ambulatory care, and acute care medicine as well as two elective rotations, examples of which include: Academic Teaching, Long Term Care, Hospice, Home Infusion, Regulatory Affairs/Associations, Pharmaceutical Industry, Nuclear Pharmacy, Drug Information, Global Pharmacy, Institutional Pharmacy Management, as well as advanced clinical electives in geriatric, pediatrics, critical care, emergency medicine, infectious disease/HIV, cardiology, GI/Nutrition, psychiatry, and oncology.

The APPE calendar has been aligned with the other California Schools/Colleges of Pharmacy, to ensure ease of placement and integration with APPE students from neighboring schools. There are a total of eight APPE time slots during the calendar year, which will provide each student one “off” rotation. The eighth block will be used for remediation purposes to allow students to make up any failed APPEs prior to graduation. Each APPE is a six-week long intensive, hands-on experience designed to prepare the student for the practice of pharmacy. The APPE curricular components are designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained in didactic courses and IPPEs to advanced pharmacy practice experiences.


1 Advanced Community Practice 240 6
2 Advanced Institutional Practice 240 6
3 Ambulatory Care 240 6
4 Acute Care 240 6
5 Elective 240 6
6 Elective 240 6
  TOTAL 1440  


Student Expectations when participating in the Experiential Education Program
The School of pharmacy expects its students to:

  • Always remember they represent West Coast University School of Pharmacy when visiting clinical practice sites and as such are expected to demonstrate professional and ethical behavior at all times.
  • Always be respectful and courteous to patients, other healthcare providers and all those you come into contact with as WCU-SOP representatives.
  • Be proactive about the opportunities to learn with their professional practice experiences, this will require students to actively participate and effectively communicate.
  • Always interpret the guidance and feedback from a preceptor as an opportunity to learn.
  • Actively engage in communications with physicians, patients, and other healthcare professionals, but only under the direct supervision and authorization of their Preceptor.
  • Never be afraid to admit they do not know the answer to a question or request, nor be afraid to ask for assistance when needed.
  • Never question the advice or directions given by a Preceptor in front of patients, or other healthcare providers.
  • Discuss any differences or conflicts with their preceptor in a timely fashion.

Information for Preceptors

Criteria for Preceptor Selection/Retention
The Preceptor should:

  1. Be a licensed pharmacist in good standing with the State Board of Pharmacy in the state in which they are practicing.
  2. Treat all patients ethically and with compassion.
  3. Demonstrate personal accountability for their clinical decisions and subsequent effect on patient outcomes.
  4. Utilize current clinical research and literature as a part of evidence-based clinical decision making.
  5. Have the appropriate professional training, experience and competence commensurate with their position.
  6. Demonstrate a commitment to their community professionally through participation and engagement.
  7. Engage in continuous professional development.
  8. Engage in the education of patients/caregivers, other healthcare providers, and student practitioners.
  9. Demonstrate efforts to collaborate interprofessionally with other healthcare professionals through effective communication and mutual respect.
  10. Serve as a mentor and role model for the student and be willing to provide quality learning experiences that emphasize continuity of care and optimization of patient health outcomes.
  11. Encourage self-directed learning, assess student performance, and provide ongoing constructive feedback
  12. Identify an acceptable replacement to supervise the student in the event of an absence.
  13. Communicate with the student in a timely manner regarding expectations, outcomes and evaluations.

Criteria for Practice Site Selection/Retention
The practice site should:

  1. Meet all State and Federal legal and professional standard.
  2. Ensure that patient privacy and confidentiality are protected in compliance with HIPAA requirements.
  3. Portray a professional, ethical standard that is compassionate in its delivery of patient care.
  4. Have as its primary focus the provision of patient centered care and/or the achievement of positive health outcomes.
  5. Have a diverse patient population that can adequately support the learning outcomes of the experience.
  6. Have adequately developed technological capabilities as well as appropriate learning resources required to support an evidence-based practice-model.
  7. Have an administrative structure that is supportive and provides adequate staff time to support the learning outcomes of the experience.
  8. Be able to provide direct patient care responsibilities under the supervision of preceptor.
  9. Be able to provide communication opportunities for the student with patients and other members of healthcare team.
  10. Provide the student with access to all appropriate patient specific information.
  11. Support and engage in public health and wellness programs, and provide patient care services catering to the diversity of its patient population (only setting where applicable).

Preceptor Expectations
The School of Pharmacy expects its preceptors to:

  • Accept the responsibility and the challenge of guiding and training the student pharmacist in areas consistent with course learning objectives
  • Show a willingness to devote adequate time for proper instruction
  • Serve as a role model for the student pharmacist and exhibit exemplary professional ideals as reflected through appearance, attitudes, and accomplishments in practice
  • Assure that adequate practice opportunities are made available to the student pharmacist and that appropriate mentoring and supervision is provided
  • Follow the program outline to provide the student pharmacist with a consistent practice experience, and assess their performance relative to the course learning objectives
  • Set clear expectations for the student pharmacist regarding appearance, conduct, attitude, scheduling of hours, assignments and projects to complete, as well as general policies and procedures of practice
  • Work with the student pharmacist to identify his or her strengths and weaknesses
  • Routinely and frequently provide formative feedback to the student pharmacist on their performance
  • Provide a fair and constructive evaluation of the student pharmacist's ability (knowledge, skills and attitude/values) to perform designated activities
  • Complete evaluations in a timely manner at the mid and endpoint of each experience
  • Provide the student pharmacist access to professional references
  • Communicate any problems regarding the experience or significant behavioral deficiencies of the student pharmacist to the Office of Experiential Education

Preceptor Recourses and Benefits

  • WCU library access, including access to drug information resources and clinical research portals
  • After precepting students for two consecutive years, submission of an application, and review by the OEE, preceptors will be offered an adjunct faculty appointment and provided the title of Adjunct Assistant, Associate Professor, or Professor, commensurate to their practice experience.
  • To assist in program management, the Office of Experiential Education utilizes the Experiential Learning Management System (ELMS), RXPreceptor:

Download WCU Preceptor Site Profile

Download WCU Preceptor Application Form

Pharmacy Education at WCU-SOP would not be complete without the wisdom and expertise provided by our preceptors. The true success of WCU-SOP can only be fully realized when we consider the selfless contribution of our preceptors who appreciate the value of giving back to the profession they care so much about.

For additional information about being a preceptor for WCU-SOP, please contact us at:
West Coast University | School of Pharmacy
Office of Experiential Education
590 N. Vermont Ave Los Angeles CA 90004
Telephone Number: (323) 284-4799
eFax Number: (213) 377-5489

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