In response to national trends for preceptor development, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy conceived, developed, and implemented the Academy of Preceptors to foster preceptor development. The Academy's goals are to recognize preceptor excellence, improve experiential course delivery, develop preceptors' educational skills, and facilitate networking among preceptors.In 2004, the Academy's initial focus was development of live continuing education programs for preceptor development. A CD-ROM format also was developed for those who could not attend live sessions. Preceptors were asked to suggest additional topics of interest for future programs.In this paper, we describe our progress toward the goals, the School's benefits from the Academy, and the implications for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).Preceptors provide 30% of pharmacy curricula; thus, the need for their training and ongoing professional development has been increasingly emphasized within experiential education. Priorities are to train preceptors to become better educators and motivate these practitioners to improve pharmacy education by sharing their valuable expertise with students.
Keywords: advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE); experiential education; introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE); preceptor development.