ACPHS Begins $1.65M Active Learning Classroom Renovation Project at 84 Holland Ave.
ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 28, 2016) — With high technology and small class sizes recognized as integral to developing students' critical thinking, problem solving, communication and clinical practice skills, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) today launched a $1.65 million project to transform 5,850-square-feet of unused space at 84 Holland Ave. into state-of-the-art active learning classrooms.
Once completed this spring, the classrooms, which have lain dormant since 2006 when ACPHS purchased the two-story building from the State Liquor Authority, will become technology-enhanced environments. Classrooms will hold less than 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 a classroom that fosters peer-to-peer communication and helps 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).
For more information, visit acphs.edu/beyond-practice-ready.