UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Staying on top
Quacquarelli Symonds, a British company specializing in higher education analysis, ranks the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy among the top three pharmacy schools in the world. Eshelman’s continuing education program employs Learning Stream as the connection between its learners and in-person, live online, and asynchronous instruction.
Flexing its muscle
Several thousand learners take hundreds of classes annually through the Eshelman CE program. Like all vibrant continuing ed initiatives, it is always looking for inventive ways to reach more potential students. Austin Companion, who spearheaded the project, says Learning Stream helped him to do that. “We need to be innovative at the same time being smart with our resources,” Austin says.
Meeting learners where they are
Older pharmacists still want to learn new techniques and hear new ideas. But they tend to prefer showing up in person, in a classroom, to network with their fellow students and to interact face-to-face with instructors. Younger pharmacists and pharmacy technicians often prefer a just-in-time approach: They want to access learning content when they need it, and at a time that best suits them.
Learning Stream serves different delivery styles. It can integrate with Canvas, which is UNC’s chosen learning management system for asynchronous learning. Learning Stream also can work with online meeting platforms, delivering key meeting information and reminders. Just like it always has done, Learning Stream also can handle the registration, communication, and CE tracking for in-person classes. Further, the platform can manage registrations for hybrid learning approaches.
More time equals more offerings
Learning Stream helped to streamline a lot of the core tasks associated with Eshelman Pharmacy’s registration and attendance management. For example, the platform has automated the process of sharing continuing pharmacy education credits with the national clearinghouse for such data. Austin Companion says all the time-saving improvements have enabled his program to grow. “I’ve been able to expand my bandwidth so we can do more programs,” he says. “We’re up probably ten to fifteen percent in terms of the number of programs without any additional resources needed.”
A big priority for Eshelman Pharmacy expanding its reach to more pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the state. Many pharmacy school alums say they covet more interaction well after graduation. “The idea is to get more of what we do inside the school to external people because we’ve had that request from a lot from our alumni the last few years,” Austin says. Part of increasing that post-grad interaction is making it easier for pharmacy professors to share new learning content. Learning Stream plays a role in that by giving professors the access they need to their enrollees before and after a class.
As the Eshelman Pharmacy lifelong learning program continues to expand, it can depend on Learning Stream to grow with it, and to help adapt to the school’s priorities short term and well into the future.
We're up probably ten to fifteen percent in terms of the number of programs.