Consideration of Aggressive and Strategic Approaches to Address Declining Enrollment in US Pharmacy Schools

Am J Pharm Educ. 2019 Aug;83(6):6959. doi: 10.5688/ajpe6959.


Members from Cohort 13 of the Academic Leadership Fellows Program (ALFP) 2016-2017 were challenged to present a debate on the topic: "In Turbulent Times, Pharmacy Education Leaders Must Take Aggressive Action to Prevent Further Declines in Enrollment" at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy INfluence 2017 meeting in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. This paper is the result of thoughtful insights emerging from this debate. We present a discussion of the question of whether pharmacy education leaders must take aggressive action or strategic approaches to prevent further declines in enrollment. There are many thoughts regarding current declines in enrollment. Some educators contend that a more aggressive approach is needed while others argue that, while aggressive actions might lead to short-term gains, a more viable approach involves strategic actions targeting the underlying causes for decreasing enrollment. This paper explores themes of enrollment challenges, current and future workforce needs, and financial issues for both pharmacy programs and students. In summation, both aggressive actions and a strategic, sustainable approach are urgently needed to address declining enrollment.

Keywords: debate; declining enrollment; pharmacist provider; recruitment; strategic planning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Education, Pharmacy / trends*
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Pharmaceutical Services / trends
  • Pharmacy / trends
  • Schools, Pharmacy / trends*
  • Students, Pharmacy
  • United States