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PA Program Academic Policies

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PA program policy, if more stringent than University policy, supersedes University policy.

Academic Performance

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.

GRADE SCALE QUALITY POINTS
A                         > 90.00% 4.0
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
P > 70% 0
F < 70% 0
FA Failure secondary to excessive absences 0
FN Failure secondary to not attending 0
I Incomplete (until removed) 0
NR Not recorded 0
AU Satisfactory Audit 0
UA Unsatisfactory Audit 0

Progression Standards

Normal progression occurs over 29 continuous months; 7.5 semesters; Spring I, Summer I, Fall I, Spring II, Summer II, Fall II, Spring III, and Summer Session 1. 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 who do not successfully pass a course may have the option to repeat the course. Repeating a course may result in deceleration, as some courses can only be offered once a year. Students should consider the financial impact of deceleration before accepting an offer to decelerate. Students can have a maximum of one (1) course or rotation repeat across the curriculum. The repeat course grade will be used for GPA calculations. A second failing grade across the curriculum or a second failing grade in the same course or rotation automatically dismisses a student from the program.

Students must successfully complete the academic year 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. Students who do not pass all parts of the Evaluation after two (2) attempts will be dismissed from the program and will not proceed to the clinical phase of the program. To graduate, students must pass all parts of the Summative Assessment. Students who do not pass all parts of the Summative after two (2) attempts will be dismissed from the program and will not graduate from the program.

Failure to maintain a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale at the end of any semester will result in Academic Probation. If a 3.0 is earned the subsequent semester and the cumulative GPA is at or above a 3.0, Academic Probation will be removed. If a 3.0 is earned the subsequent semester, but the cumulative GPA is still below a 3.0, Academic Probation will continue. If a 3.0 is not earned the subsequent semester, dismissal from the program will occur. A student with Probation Failure may appeal to the Vice President for Academics to remain in the program.

A student dismissed from the program can reapply for admission through CASPA; however, admission is not guaranteed. Any student readmitted or decelerated 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 CBU Academic Catalog of the year of reentry. Any readmitted or decelerated student will be placed on Academic Probation during the first semester back.

Students who fail to meet academic standards or need to take a leave of absence may be subject to deceleration. Some reasons for deceleration include a first course failure (grade below a “C”), lapse in professionalism, or a requested and approved leave of absence. Deceleration cannot be longer than one year. Students must graduate within five (5) years of starting the program.

Withdrawal Policy and Procedure

The PA program follows the Christian Brothers University Withdrawal Policy. Information about withdrawing from the university can be found on the Student Resources webpage.

Graduation Requirements

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:

  1. Gather a medical history and perform a physical examination
  2. Document a patient encounter in a medical record
  3. Provide an oral presentation of a patient encounter
  4. Formulate differential and primary diagnoses
  5. Create an appropriate treatment plan, to include referrals, pharmacotherapeutics, support care, follow-up, screenings, labs, imaging and orders
  6. Appropriately select and prescribe pharmacologic agents in the treatment and prevention of disease
  7. Provide patient counseling, to include preventive and therapeutic measures
  8. Appropriately order and properly interpret common diagnostic and screening laboratory tests
  9. Appropriately order and provide initial interpretation of common radiological images
  10. Provide initial emergent, life-saving/stabilizing care such as Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support
  11. Form clinical questions and retrieve evidence to advance patient care
  12. Give or receive a patient handover to transition care responsibility
  13. Collaborate as a member of an inter-professional team
  14. Obtain informed consent for tests and/or procedures
  15. Perform general procedures of a physician assistant
  16. Identify system failures and contribute to a culture of safety and improvement

Remediation

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.

Didactic Phase
All failed didactic phase examinations must be remediated. Over the course of the four (4) didactic phase semesters, a student will have the opportunity to remediate a maximum of two (2) failed examinations for a potential grade change. Only one exam can be remediated in any single course. Once notified of their failing grade, the student MUST contact the Instructor of Record (IOR) to address the method for remediation of the deficient content. Given the structure of the program, the remediation activity must be concluded within two weeks of the contact with the IOR. Remediation activity may include such items as a re-test over the material, a student review, and/or revision of missed material. Required remediation must be measurable and documented. If a student successfully remediates and requests a grade change, the student will earn a 70% for the remediated exam. Remediation of other activities and assignments within the didactic phase are at the discretion of the course director, however no grade change is permitted. Any student can request remediation, regardless of their grade.

Clinical Phase
Students have the opportunity to retake a maximum of two (2) failed EOR exams during the clinical year. The retest must take place within 7 days of the original EOR exam. The highest score a student can achieve for an EOR exam grade change is 70%. Failure of the retest will constitute failure of the rotation and necessitate repeating the rotation prior to graduation. Students may repeat only one (1) failed rotation. Failure of any additional rotations will result in dismissal from the program.

Deceleration

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 surround 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.

Dismissal

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.

Degree Awarded

A Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree will be conferred at graduation.


PA Resources and Links

NCCPA • AAPA •  PAEA • TAPA • ARC-PA CASPA • Pi Alpha