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Accreditation - provisional status

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Provisional means it is a new program.  Basically a school jumps through all of the hoops to start  new program, ARC decides they have everything in working order, and the offer provisional status.  This allows a school to accept applications, interview, and begin the first cohort.  Typically the school has another review 1 year in or so.  This means if you are accepted, you will be able to sit for PANCE (you can read the ARC-PA site for the fancy details).


I believe after the first cohort graduates the school can receive full accreditation.  


It doesn't really effect much, it just means it is a new program with no history of success (or failure).  If a previously fully accredited program has issues at one of their reviews they are considered on probation.  Those are the ones I would look into to determine WHY.


I applied to a few provisional programs last cycle and my advice is to just make sure that it seems like they have done their research and are prepared.  If they pulled staff and directors from other PA programs, they probably know what they are doing.  I had no concerns about the ones I saw.  But beware, they may be working some kinks out in their curriculum and not have the repertoire built for clinical sites.

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So what has to happen to a program that would make a student not able to sit for the PANCE? Are there any programs that have shut down?


I think it would have to be extreme. I think ARC tries to avoid punishing students for the faults of programs. As long as you enter/complete a program that is accredited (provisional or otherwise) and hold up your end of the deal (grades, rotations, etc) you qualify to sit. And if a program did close I believe I was told once they would try to make accommodations to help you enter another program to finish your classes/rotations. (Probably the only time a program would accept transfer students).

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