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The CIPhER Teaching & Learning Certificate (TLC) program, sponsored by the Center for Innovative Pharmacy Education and Research (CIPhER) at the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy, is designed to prepare early career pharmacists and educators in identifying, adapting and applying effective evidence-based teaching strategies and skills in a variety of settings including didactic, experiential and patient or community health education.  Each participant must identify an experienced mentor at their practice site.

  • Target Audiences – The TLC program is designed for pharmacy residents, fellows, preceptors and early career faculty.
  • Learning Outcomes

    1. TLC requirements are based upon those discussed in ASHP and ACCP White Papers[1] and other recommendations concerning preceptor development and scholarship of teaching and learning course work. Theory to Practice. Make thoughtful and reasoned selections among educational methods and technologies based on available evidence, theory and educational context
    2. Curriculum Development. Analyze educational needs and develop an appropriate educational intervention to address them
    3. Educational Community. Foster the development of an educational community within a given environment
    4. Assessment and Evaluation. Describe and apply the principles of assessment of individual learners and how they are evaluated from a learning perspective and/or a research outcome perspective.
    5. Life-long Learner. Apply principles of self-directed learning and reflection to drive one’s own long-term educational goals
    [1] Wright EA, et al. Teaching and learning curriculum programs: recommendations for postgraduate pharmacy experiences in education. Am J Health-Syst Pharm 2014;71 and Havrda DE, et al. Guidelines for resident teaching experiences. Pharmacotherapy 2013;33
  • Program dates – The program begins on August 17, 2020 and ends on May 14, 2021.
  • Fee – The fee for TLC is $249 for non-UNC partner institutions and free for UNC partner institutions.  If you are unsure whether you are a partner institution, please contact
    For UNC partner institutions: To have the registration fee waived, contact to receive a coupon code prior to registration.  Include the name of the participant, institution name and contact information (email, phone number and address) in your request.  Requests will be answered within 2 business days.
    Cancellation policy: Individuals who register for the program and cancel prior to July 1, 2020 will receive a full refund less a cancellation fee of $100. No refund will be provided to individuals who cancel on or after July 1, 2020. Cancellations MUST be in writing and should be submitted to
  • Program requirements – Much of the program is self-paced.  Successful completion of the program will require approximately a 45 hour commitment (about 5-6 hours per month).  Activities will include development of an individual learning plan, attendance at one virtual colloquia during the academic year, selection of and at least two meetings with a teaching mentor of your choice, completion of teaching activities, participation in participant-led topic discussions and other a la carte teaching activities.
  • Questions? Contact Susan Charamut, TLC Program Manager and CIPhER Center Administrator at or 919-962-5382.

CIPhER Teaching & Learning Certificate (TLC) Program FAQs

What is a partner institution?

A partner institution is one that regularly precepts UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy students or has a formal agreement such as the PharmAlliance.

What topics are covered in the colloquium in August?

The colloquium at the beginning of the TLC program held in August, is intended to provide participants with “Foundations of Teaching and Learning.” By the end of the colloquium, they will be able to discuss the basic psychological underpinnings of learning and memory, describe the components of instructions design (objectives, assessments, learning activities and feedback) and explain the linkage behind instruction design and how humans learn. The hope is that the colloquium will encourage participants to begin thinking in terms of evidence-based teaching and learning and be able to apply evidence-based techniques and methodologies in their current teaching/practice experience. Also during the colloquium, the syllabus and program requirements will be reviewed and discussed and participants will have an opportunity to ask questions.

What is the timing of the colloquium in August?

The colloquium will be held virtually on August 17, 2020 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Participants are expected to attend, however, accommodations will be made for participants in geographically diverse locations.

Do participants submit assignments throughout the year or just at the end of the program?

Assignments are due each month on the last Friday of the month (see Appendix A for an example of program scheduled assignments). One assignment is required each month to stay on pace for completion. The intention of requiring regular submissions is to help keep participants engaged throughout the year.

What are examples of self-directed learning activities?

Appendix B provides an example of the list of learning activities. The required self-directed learning activities include developing an individual learning plan, meeting with a mentor and completing a self-reflection, developing a teaching philosophy and completing a teaching reflection which is adaptable to their current teaching/practice setting. All of the A La Carte activities can be adapted to fit into their current teaching/practice experience. The goal is to have custom experience based on your professional goals and activities you normally engage in. The TLC program is a work-based educational activity (versus didactic instruction based activity).

What are the requirements of the teaching activity?

The teaching reflection can be adapted based on the participant’s current setting and include activities such as providing a continuing education program for pharmacists, large didactic class, small group discussion, patient education class, individual patient counseling/intervention, group of non-pharmacist health care providers (in service for physicians, seminar to faculty) or mentoring an individual student for 1 month (including precepting or other mentoring activity). Submission for this learning activity includes a lesson plan or other outline, self-reflection and peer observations and/or evaluations, if applicable. The goal of the teaching reflection is to demonstrate how you used evidence to design the instruction.

We are not connected to a school of pharmacy, and are therefore, unable to provide formal lectures to students. Will they be able to adapt their experiences for this program?

The TLC program is designed to allow participants to adapt their assignments to their current teaching/practice environments. Each activity allows individual flexibility. The first activity is development of an individual learning plan to allow for flexibility in terms of professional goals, activities to achieve those goals and time/place of the activity.

What are some examples of the monthly topic discussions?

TLC program director provides broad topics for the topic discussion which can be adapted by the group facilitators (participants). Some examples of the topics are: retrieval practice, spacing and feedback: implications to classroom instruction, precepting and patient education; motivating learners without using grades or motivating patients; activating prior knowledge, elaboration and scaffolding: implication to classroom instruction, precepting and patient education; what is the evidence behind effective patient education; three evidence-based strategies for better precepting; should advanced pharmacy experiences (APPE) be graded or pass/fail (debate format); should continuing education require pharmacists to complete preceptor training (debate format); and expertise development: what differentiates a P4 from a PGY1 form PGY2. The topics may change year to year since we take into consideration participants’ current jobs (resident, pharmacist, faculty), hot topics in pharmacy or medical education and all avenues of education (classroom, precepting, patient).

What are the requirements of the faculty/preceptors at our site in support of our residents completion of the program?

In order for the TLC participant to be successful in the program, the program directors need to be aware of the requirements and allow flexibility to ensure completion of the requirements. We also require each person to have a mentor – someone to help them develop a learning plan, reflect on their teaching and to be a source of support.

What makes a good mentor and what is their role?

Each participant will select a mentor (which may or may not be their program director). The mentors will complete most of the heavy lifting in that they will meet with the participant at least twice during the academic year, review and provide feedback on their individual learning plan, teaching reflection, teaching philosophy and other assignments as determined by the participant. Participants are encouraged to find a mentor in their institution which should be someone who is committed to the role of mentoring, accepting of the beginning teacher, skilled at providing support, effective in interpersonal contexts and models continuous learning. We will try to help any participant find a mentor, but ultimately, we want the participant to do most of the work in finding one.

Example of the Program Schedule (Subject to change)

Dates Activity
  • TLC Colloquia, August 17, 2020, 1-4 PM (Participants are expected to attend, however, accommodations will be made for participants in geographically diverse locations.)
  • Submit a completed Program Director agreement (8/14/20)
  • Submit a completed Mentor agreement (8/31/20)
  • Submit a completed participation agreement (8/31/20)
September 25

Individual Learning Plan with Mentor Feedback due

October 30

Submit a completion of 1 A La Carte learning activity OR mandatory activities

November 27

Submit a completion of 1 A La Carte learning activity OR mandatory activities


Teaching philosophy due

January 29

Submissions of revisions or updates to the Individual Learning Plan with Mentor Feedback

February 26

Submit a completion of 1 A La Carte learning activity OR mandatory activities

March 26

Submit a completion of 1 A La Carte learning activity OR mandatory activities

April 23

Submit a completion of 1 A La Carte learning activity OR mandatory activities

May 28

Final project due

Example of the list of learning activities (Subject to change)

Mandatory Activities

  1. Participate in a virtual colloquia
  2. Teaching Reflection
  3. Lead 1 topic discussion
  4. Attend 2 of 8 Topic Discussions
  5. Teaching Philosophy
  6. Individual Learning Plan
  7. Mentor meetings (a minimum of 2)

A La Carte Activities

  1. Teaching Reflection (mandatory must be submitted before an A La Carte)
  2. Developing enduring educational resources for a course or the TLC program
  3. Oversee a PharmD or graduate student’s research project
  4. Attend a Topic Discussion above the 4 mandatory
  5. Create an Educator’s (Teaching) portfolio
  6. Critically review an educational research manuscript
  7. Critique a curricular change
  8. Design a pharmacy education research study
  9. Write a scholarly (non-research) position or review paper of publication quality
  10. Attend a faculty development presentation
  11. Attend and participate in a school or hospital-based service related to teaching (e.g., course stream meeting, curriculum committee meeting, POD discussion, etc.)
  12. Learner developed outcome (To be negotiated)
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