PA Program Policies
Program Policies for Students
- The program policy is that students are not required to work in the CBU PA Program.
- The program policy is that students are never required to provide or solicit clinical rotation sites. All rotation sites must be vetted by program faculty and staff. Students may provide contact information to program faculty and staff regarding potential rotation sites but are not permitted to participate in any rotations prior to completion of the program site vetting process and an official assignment of the rotation to the student.
- PA students are not permitted to function as or substitute for program instructional faculty or clinical/administrative staff. Students with prior knowledge or expertise in a given academic or clinical area may assist faculty in didactic and laboratory sessions to share their knowledge and skills but may not function as a primary instructor of record for any component of the curriculum.
PA program policy, if more stringent than University policy, supersedes University policy.
All completed courses will be graded on a letter grade basis. Listed below are the grade options, the scale used and the quality points awarded per credit hour. Passing grades are considered a “P” or a “C” and better.
|B+||87.00% to 89.99%||3.5|
|B||80.00% to 86.99%||3.0|
|C+||77.00% to 79.99%||2.5|
|C||70.00 to < 76.99%||2|
|FA||Failure secondary to excessive absences||0|
|FN||Failure secondary to not attending||0|
|I||Incomplete (until removed)||0|
Normal progression occurs over 29 continuous months; Spring I, Summer I, Fall I, Spring II, Summer II, Fall II, Spring III, and Summer III (Session 1 only). Students must successfully pass all courses in a didactic phase semester to matriculate to the next semester (earns a “P” or a “C” or better).
Students must successfully complete the didactic phase before matriculating to the clinical year. To progress to the clinical phase of the program, students must successfully pass all parts of the Didactic Comprehensive Evaluation course.
Withdrawal Policy and Procedure
The PA program follows the Christian Brothers University Withdrawal Policy. Information about withdrawing from the university can be found in the Business Office section of the MyCBU website.
A candidate for the degree of Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies must meet the following requirements:
- All required program courses have been completed with a grade of “C” or better or a “P”
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better has been achieved
- A 70% or higher on all components of the Summative Assessment has been achieved
The University may have additional requirements such as the discharge of all financial obligations. Failure to do so may result in the withholding of final grades and/or official transcript and/or the degree to which the student would otherwise be entitled.
It is the student’s responsibility to complete all degree/certificate requirements and to know the university’s requirements for graduation.
Program Learning Outcomes
The CBU PA Program has adopted a version of the Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) model for its program learning outcomes. As such, the functions and tasks graduates are expected to perform are:
- Gather a medical history and perform a physical examination
- Document a patient encounter in a medical record
- Provide an oral presentation of a patient encounter
- Formulate differential and primary diagnoses
- Create an appropriate treatment plan, to include referrals, pharmacotherapeutics, support care, follow-up, screenings, labs, imaging and orders
- Appropriately select and prescribe pharmacologic agents in the treatment and prevention of disease
- Provide patient counseling, to include preventive and therapeutic measures
- Appropriately order and properly interpret common diagnostic and screening laboratory tests
- Appropriately order and provide initial interpretation of common radiological images
- Provide initial emergent, life-saving/stabilizing care such as Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support
- Form clinical questions and retrieve evidence to advance patient care
- Give or receive a patient handover to transition care responsibility
- Collaborate as a member of an inter-professional team
- Obtain informed consent for tests and/or procedures
- Perform general procedures of a physician assistant
- Identify system failures and contribute to a culture of safety and improvement
Remediation is the process used to resolve a student’s inability to demonstrate a competency on an examination and provides an opportunity for the student to demonstrate mastery of the failed content. A score of less than 70% on any part of an examination will require remediation. Failure to make the appropriate contacts or remediate after a failed component of a course will be considered an academic deficiency and can result in dismissal from the program.
Goals of Remediation: To assist the student in mastering the area of study in which they have demonstrated a deficiency. Students will be reassessed to determine impact of remediation.
Guidelines for Remediation: The didactic and clinical phases of the program have distinct policies based on differences in the examination and evaluation processes (see below).
All failed (<70%) didactic phase examinations must be remediated. Once a failing grade is achieved, the instructor of record for the course will contact the student within two (2) business days to address the method for remediation of the deficient content. Remediations must be completed within two (2) weeks of the contact with the instructor. The type of remediation is at the discretion of the instructor and may include items such as a re‐test over the material, student review, or student revision of areas of deficiency. Required remediation must be measurable and documented.
Over the course of the first semester of didactic education, a student will be allowed a maximum of 4 remediations. The student will be referred for a Proactive Intervention after the second and third remediations. A student receiving a fourth remediation will be referred for an SPC.
In the subsequent 3 semesters of didactic education, the student will be allowed a maximum of 3 remediations. Remediations in semesters 2,3, and 4 of didactic education are cumulative. After receiving a second remediation, the student will be referred for a Proactive Intervention. A student receiving a third remediation will be referred for an SPC.
A 70% will be recorded for any successfully remediated assessment.
In addition to the above remediation opportunities, students will have one (1) opportunity to remediate the Didactic Comprehensive Evaluation (see DCE section).
End of Rotation (EOR) Exam #1 Failure: If a student fails one (1) EOR exam, he/she will be allowed to complete a remediation assignment and—if successful—re‐sit the EOR exam. Only one exam can be remediated for any single rotation.
Student Achieves Success on Retake EOR Exam
- If a student passes the retake EOR exam, they will earn a 70% for the examination.
Student Fails Retake EOR Exam
- If a student fails the retake EOR exam, the student fails the course. Failure of a rotation will require the student to repeat the rotation in its entirety at the end of the clinical phase. All students who fail a course should set up a meeting with their advisor to discuss interventions to avoid a second course failure.
EOR Exam #2 Failure:
- If a student fails an EOR exam for a subsequent rotation, the student will be referred for proactive intervention. After successfully completing the remediation assignment, he/she will be allowed to retake the EOR exam.
Student Achieves Success on Retake EOR Exam
- The student will resume clinical rotations as scheduled.
Student Fails Retake EOR Exam
- The student will be referred to the SPC. At any point in the program, two course failures will result in recommendation for dismissal from the program by the SPC.
EOR Exam #3 Failure:
- If a student (who has successfully remediated and retaken two previous EOR exams) fails a third EOR exam, the student will sit out for five weeks for assessment of knowledge deficiencies and remediation. During this time, they will meet with the SPC. The student will retake the failed EOR exam at the next EOR cycle. If they pass, the student will resume clinical rotations but at a delayed schedule. If they fail the repeat EOR exam, without having any previous course failures, they will fail the course and repeat the rotation. If they fail the repeat EOR exam, with previous course failures, then they will meet with the SPC which will result in recommendation for dismissal from the program.
EOR Exam #4 Failure:
- Regardless of previous EOR course passes/failures, the student will be referred to the SPC for dismissal from the program.
In addition to the above remediation opportunities, students will have one (1) opportunity to remediate the Summative Assessment. Failure of this remediation may result in recommendation for dismissal from the program by the SPC.
The student can appeal a dismissal decision per university policy. See the Grievance Policy procedure outlined in the University Student Handbook (The Compass).
Reasons for deceleration may include:
- Failure to maintain a cumulative GPA above 3.0 at the end of two consecutive semesters
- First-time course failure
- A lapse in professionalism
- Family or personal hardship
Decelerated students will be required to sign a contract that that can include stipulations surrounding the deceleration and the return from deceleration. Students should consider all factors that can be influenced by deceleration, including financial aid implications, when requesting or accepting an offer of deceleration. This policy does not excuse the student from completing the University requirements affected by deceleration, such as University policy on withdrawal from courses or withdrawal from the University. The Dean of the School of Sciences and the Vice President for Academics and Student Life have final approval of the deceleration. Any decelerated student who has not attended CBU for one (1) academic year or longer will be placed under the degree requirements and academic regulations listed in the Academic Catalog, The Compass, and the Program’s Handbook of the year of reentry. Any decelerated student will be placed on Academic Probation during the first semester back.
Reasons students can be subject to dismissal from the program:
- A second course or rotation failure
- Professional misconduct
- Code of conduct violation or infraction
- Failure to inform the program of a code of conduct violation or infraction
- Academic Failure
- Failure to pass all parts of the Comprehensive Didactic Examination after two (2) attempts
- Failure to pass all parts of the Summative Assessment after two (2) attempts
Students may appeal to the Vice President of Academics to remain in the program after they have been dismissed. A student dismissed from the program can reapply for admission through CASPA; however, admission is not guaranteed. Any student readmitted who has not attended CBU for one (1) academic year or longer will be placed under the degree requirements and academic regulations listed in the Academic Catalog, The Compass, and the Program’s Handbook of the year of reentry. Any readmitted student will be placed on Academic Probation during the first semester back.
Completion Deadlines and Requirements
Students must successfully complete all PA Program courses (110 credits) to earn a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree. The program must be completed within five (5) years from day of matriculation.
A Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree will be conferred at graduation.
Student Employment Policy
The PA program does not prohibit students from being employed while in the program; however, due to the intensity and time demands associated with the program, students are strongly discouraged from working while in the program.
Classes will occasionally meet in the evening, early morning, and weekends as is necessary. Students should make themselves available to attend all classes as scheduled.
The program will strive to make as few changes as possible to the established schedule, but cannot guarantee there will be no changes, as some contributing variable factors are not within control of the program. A tentative schedule will be provided at the beginning of each semester.
During the clinical phase, students will be expected to commit 40 hours or more a week to rotations, depending on the expectations of the clinical site. Days, hours, shifts, and geographical location will vary, depending on the type of rotation and the clinical site. Students are expected to conform to the schedule set forth by the clinical site and preceptor. Students are never to ask a clinical site or preceptor to alter or accommodate a schedule on their behalf, but a clinical site or preceptor could ask a student to change their schedule to accommodate needs of the site or preceptor.
The program understands students may need to meet financial obligations and trusts the decisions made by its students to prioritize as needed. Students will take responsibility for decisions made that can affect their educational achievements and their future career as a PA.
Policies and procedures for processing faculty and student allegations of harassment can be found in the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (PDF). Information for faculty can also be found in the Faculty Handbook (available to faculty members after they are hired).
Sexual Assault Policy (Title IX)
Sexual assault policies and procedures and/or Title IX information can be found in the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (PDF), on the University website, which also includes Title IX information, in section 7.4 of the CBU Personnel Handbook (PDF), and in the Student Handbook (The Compass). Information for faculty can also be found in the Faculty Handbook (available to faculty members after they are hired).
Policies and procedures for processing student grievances can be found in the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (PDF), Student Handbook (The Compass), and CBU Academic Catalog. Policies and procedures for processing student disability grievances can be found in the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (PDF), Student Handbook (The Compass), and Faculty Handbook (available to faculty members after they are hired).
Institutional policies and procedures for processing faculty grievances can be found in the Faculty Handbook (available to faculty members after they are hired).
Grade Appeals Policy
The grade appeals policy can be found in the Faculty Handbook (available to faculty members after they are hired), Student Handbook (The Compass), and CBU Academic Catalog.