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Applying to unaccredited schools?


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I have a question about some of the programs that aren't yet ARC-PA approved, like UoP, or have provisional or probationary accreditation.

 

How does that work? There's no guarantee that they'll get accredited, and what happens if you graduate from one of these programs and they lose/never get accreditation? What limitations does that impose?

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Any program that is accepting applicants has to at LEAST be in provisional status.  Unaccredited programs (i.e those trying to start programs) can't interview/accept students until they have provisional status.

 

That said - if you are accepted and attend a program with provisional/probational accreditation you are allowed to sit for PANCE even if they haven't been put into accredited status (usually this is achieved before the first cohort graduates).  Or if you are currently attending a program and they lose accreditation you are still allowed to sit for PANCE.  That's the important part.  As long as you graduate and pass PANCE, what happens to your program 10 years down the road has nothing to do with you.

 

I'm not sure of the logistics of it, though.  If you are in your first semester and they lose accreditation completely do they get to finish your cohort through the system?  Do they try and get you into another program (presumably with ARC-PA permission)?  The goal of the accreditation reviews is to make sure schools are up to standards - never to leave students hanging in the cold with debt and no degree.  Very rarely are the probational programs in BIG trouble.  All of the issues I've heard of are clerical in nature and easily resolved by their follow up review.

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Keep in mind both "provisional" and "probation" are in and of themselves accreditation statuses; they are not the same as a program which has not yet been accredited or a program that has lost accreditation.

 

Once programs receive the accredited-provisional status, they keep that for x number of years, and if they perform well on their review they get an accredited-continuing status, so provisional is not quite what you may think it means. The only real risk here is the program is likely new, and you may end up being somewhat of a Guinna pig as the curriculum is developed and the kinks worked out, and you can't benefit from feedback from previous students.

 

The probation can be more concerning, as it indicates deficiencies have been found, but that does not necessarily mean the worst. As noted above that can be anything from administrative issues and scarcity of clinical sites to more serious things which may more directly impact your experience. If an issue is serious, some programs placed on probation voluntarily withdraw their accreditation, which can leave applicants in the lurch, though current students are usually allowed to finish the program.Sometimes students are placed elsewhere in the most serious case I have heard about.

 

That said, my experience is not from a firsthand student perspective in regards to accreditation, so I agree with U Go Long - if you want more clarity reach out to ARC-PA.

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Does anyone have any personal experience with this?

My program had provisional accreditation when I was accepted. A month before going on rotations, we heard the news that they were withdrawing their application for accreditation (and placed on probation) due to issues with the data acquired from previous cohorts while on rotations and board certification of preceptors. All cohorts are able to complete the program like planned and sit for the PANCE. There was no real effect from it as a student - other than anger due to a lack of communication. 

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  • 2 months later...

Does anyone have any personal experience with this?

I applied to a developing program who held interviews and acceptances PRIOR to having accreditation. During the interview process the adcom was very confident that we would receive accreditation in the next ARC-PA meeting. Fast forward 3 months later and we receive an email that we have been granted accreditation-provisional so that qualifies us to sit for the PANCE.

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