Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences today launched a $1,650,000 project to transform 5,850-square-feet of unused space on its Albany Campus into three state-of-the-art active learning classrooms. The project is expected to be finished by spring 2017.
Once completed, the classrooms, which have lain dormant since 2006 when ACPHS purchased the two-story building at 84 Holland Avenue, will become technology-enhanced environments. Classrooms will hold up to 70 students per room, and tables will seat 6-8 students, fostering dynamic, small group interaction and teamwork.
The project is being funded by a $335,838 grant from the New York State Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program, as well as contributions from Rite Aid Pharmacy, The Kinney Drugs Foundation and Envision Architects, PC. Additional funds are being raised from corporate and community partners, alumni, as well as friends of the college.
“We need to educate this generation of students to be communicators and problem-solvers in a complex healthcare environment,” said ACPHS President Dr. Greg Dewey. "This requires that we move from the traditional lecture format to more active learning methods. These classrooms allow us to engage the students in ways we never did in the past.
“Employers also want new hires comfortable working in collaborative environments and able to constantly renew their abilities within the workplace,” he continued. “That sets the stage for classrooms that foster peer-to-peer communication and help students become actively engaged in their own learning.”
Added Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Angela Dominelli, Ph.D.: “The millennial generation prefers a multimodal approach to teaching and learning – processes where they can mix it up every 15 minutes, or so, and do something more interactive,” she explained. “They like to use the technologies in front of them and do group work, collaborative learning and problem solving, as opposed to sitting in rows and listening to a 50-minute lecture. This new approach to learning not only engages them to think about how they remember and apply knowledge once they graduate, but also influences the way that instructors and students ultimately interact with one another.”
The active learning classrooms are one of four components of the college’s $6 million “Beyond Practice Ready” campaign, which is designed to prepare graduates to not only learn core pharmacy skills, but also be adaptable to a changing workforce landscape. Launched last December, the Campaign also includes the opening/operation of two student-operated pharmacies ($3 million), the development of new continuing education and certificate programs ($1 million) and, renovation of the pharmacy practice skills laboratory ($500,000).
About Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Founded in 1881, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is a private, independent institution with a long tradition of academic and research excellence. The College is committed to educating the next generation of leaders in the health care professions and translating scientific discoveries into therapies that benefit humankind. In addition to its doctor of pharmacy program, ACPHS offers five bachelor’s programs and five graduate programs in the health sciences. The College has campuses in Albany, NY, and Colchester, VT.