T 33: Utilization of National Webinars to Reach Students for Educational Opportunities: A Two Year Analysis
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Biogen
MCPHS University United States
To assess the reach of national webinars held in Fall 2014 and 2015 by the MCPHS University Biopharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program aimed at improving awareness of Post-PharmD fellowship opportunities within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries.
Webinar flyers were sent to all ACPE-accredited pharmacy schools and distributed at fellowship recruitment events in 2014 and 2015. Registration forms captured academic affiliation and anticipated graduation year. Geographical reach was matched to APhA-ASP regions and compared between years.
Co-Authors: Christina Fang, Sarah Stelzleni, Amy Monpara
In 2014, 373 participants registered for the 2 webinars in the fall. Students in their final professional year (anticipated graduation: 2015), represented the largest portion of registrants (46%, n=171); the remainder of registrants were on track to graduate in 2016 (24%, n=90), 2017 (16%, n=58), 2018 (12%, n=46), 2019 (0.5%, n=2), or had already graduated (2%, n=6). Students from schools in all regions of the country registered: Southeast (20%, n=75), Mid-Atlantic (17%, n=62), Great Lakes (16%, n=58), Southwest (16%, n=60), Northeast (15%, n=57), South Central (13%, n=50), North Central (3%, n=10), Northwest (<0.5%, n=1). 62 individual pharmacy schools were represented. Of all registrants, 200 (53.6%) attended the live webinars.
In 2015, 597 participants registered for 2 webinars in the fall. Once again, students in their final professional year (anticipated graduation: 2016) represented the largest portion of registrants (58%, n=346); the remainder of registrants were on track to graduate in 2017 (21%, n=125), 2018 (13%, n=76), 2019 (6%, n=38), or had already graduated or were earlier in their education. Once again, students from schools in all regions of the country registered. The majority of registrants attended schools in the Mid-Atlantic (29%, n=171) followed by the Northeast (22%, n=133), Southeast (15%, n=92), Great Lakes (14%, n=81), Southwest (10%, n=60), North Central, (4%, n=24), South Central (4%, n=24), and Northwest (2%, n=12). 94individual pharmacy schools were represented. Of all registrants, 360 (60.3%) attended the live webinars.
Total registrants increased by 224 (160% increase) from 2014 to 2015. For both years, as expected, students in their final professional year made up the largest portion of registrants. All regions were represented in both years reviewed, however the majority regions changed from 2014 to 2015.
The use of printed and electronic informational flyers to inform students of the webinars and postgraduate opportunities both increased registration and encouraged the participation of many students from a large number of pharmacy schools across the nation in 2014 and 2015. Webinar registration increased by 160% from 2014 to 2015. Students in their last professional year of pharmacy school (P4), actively pursuing postgraduate opportunities, comprised the highest number of registrants in both 2014 and 2015.
Following the 2014 webinars, it was shown that webinars have the potential to be an effective tool in increasing students’ knowledge regarding postgraduate fellowship opportunities. However, a notable concern of this initiative was the modest live attendance rate of the webinars. In 2014 approximately half of all registrants attended at least one of the live webinars. Despite the improvement in conversion of registrants to live webinar attendance observed from 2014 to 2015, additional strategies to bolster live webinar retention should be explored to maximize the educational impact of this initiative for future iterations.
Based on the impact and reach of these educational webinars the MCPHS University Biopharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program Recruitment and Communications Committee will continue to utilize national webinars in upcoming years as a marketing tool targeting PharmD students exploring postgraduate opportunities.