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My Attempt at a Summary for Accreditation Status: (Can anyone help?)


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I am trying to help some other students out and address some questions about the accreditation status of PA programs and wanted to try to summarize (and quote) some of Arc-PAs information about accreditation status. I guess my only confusion is about Accreditation-Withdrawn, Accreditation-Probation, and somewhat Accreditation-Withheld. I think a lot of my trouble lies within the ability for a school to choose to withdraw within 20 days. Does anyone have a good source that explains accreditation a bit more or things to look out for? Below is what I have typed up for accreditation. Please let me know if anything I have stated is not accurate! Thanks in advance for all the help.

-Provisional: Generally this is for schools who have not enrolled students or had a matriculating class and have not yet made it into the Accreditation-Continued category. These programs may only remain accreditation-provisional for five years after the first class graduates and continue to be in the category “until the program achieves accreditation-continued after its third review, closes or withdraws from the accreditation process, or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards” ” (ARC-PA, 2017). Essentially, you will see Accreditation-provisional for some of the newer PA programs.

- Continued: This is just continued accreditation through ARC-PA. Programs become Accreditation-continued when they already accreditation-continued and continue to comply with standards, Accreditation-probational programs who have shown they comply with Standards, or Accreditation-Provisional programs demonstrates compliance with the Standards after completion of the provisional review process” (ARC-PA, 2017). A program that is Accreditation-Continued will stay under this accreditation status unless they withdraw it or are found not complying with standards.

- Clinical Postgraduate Program: accredited postgraduate programs as the name states.

  -Probation: This is a temporary accreditation status that may only last two years. (Note this does not mean the program cannot regain its accreditation. If they comply with Standards etc. they may be able to gain Accreditation-Continued status. Simply put Probation cannot last longer than two years.) This may be due to not meeting standards or “when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened. Once placed on probation, a program that fails to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having its accreditation withdrawn” ” (ARC-PA, 2017). This means if the school does not fix the issues causing the accreditation change, they may risk losing accreditation.

-Administrative Probation: Similar to the above accreditation status but this deals with failure to comply with administrative requirements, (“pay fees or submit required reports”). Repercussions are the same as for Accreditation-Probation if the program does not comply.

-Withheld: This of for programs who are attempting to gain provisional statuses, but do not apply with Standards. The program “may voluntarily withdraw from the accreditation process within the 30-day appeal timeframe” (ARC-PA, 2017). I understand this as a measure for new programs which are not yet accredited at all.

-Withdrawn: This is granted when “an established program is determined no longer to be in compliance with the Standards and is no longer capable of providing an acceptable educational experience for its students, or when the program has failed to comply with ARC-PA accreditation requirements, actions or procedures. The program may voluntarily withdraw from the accreditation process within the 30-day appeal timeframe” (ARC-PA, 2017). This

-Voluntary Inactive Status: this is noted as a status that “may be granted to programs that temporarily suspend instruction and cease to matriculate students. The conditions of this status are determined program circumstances necessitating this status” (ARC-PA, 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

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Provisional = new, won't be accredited until after the first class graduates.  Fine choice if you do your research.  If you go to one you can sit for PANCE as long as you graduate regardless of the provisional/accredited status.

Accredited = in good standing.  

Probation = do your research as to WHY.  Some are minor clerical errors, others can be huge red flags.  Also can graduate from a program with this status.

withdrawn/withheld = don't even bother.  I've never seen a program listed as withheld; if they haven't reached provisional, then they can't accept students.  Programs attempting to get provisional accreditation that think they won't get it basically jump ship and fix what they need to and try again instead of getting the withheld designation.  Just avoid them until they are provisional.

Bottom line, that's all you need to know.  Don't get bogged down in details.

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8 hours ago, MT2PA said:

Provisional = new, won't be accredited until after the first class graduates.  Fine choice if you do your research.  If you go to one you can sit for PANCE as long as you graduate regardless of the provisional/accredited status.

Accredited = in good standing.  

Probation = do your research as to WHY.  Some are minor clerical errors, others can be huge red flags.  Also can graduate from a program with this status.

withdrawn/withheld = don't even bother.  I've never seen a program listed as withheld; if they haven't reached provisional, then they can't accept students.  Programs attempting to get provisional accreditation that think they won't get it basically jump ship and fix what they need to and try again instead of getting the withheld designation.  Just avoid them until they are provisional.

Bottom line, that's all you need to know.  Don't get bogged down in details.

Thanks for the help! I certainly have my own sense more or less of where and where I would not feel comfortable applying but wanted actually to get bogged down in the details of the matter. I can say I would not apply to a withheld/withdrawn program, and I would need to have a good reason and knowledge of why a school was Accreditation-Probation before attending. My issue is if a school is Accreditation-Probation and loses its accreditation, or voluntarily gives it up, and you are packed up and ready to go, or halfway through your time at the program and in that case you are somewhat SOL for lack of a better term. (Or am I on the wrong track?) This is not saying that all schools that are Accreditation-Probation loose accreditation whatsoever (that is not true). I just personally find it to be a significant risk if you are not even in the program yet, so I agree it is worth the research to see why the status was granted.

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http://www.arc-pa.org/frequently-asked-questions/student-questions/

 

Per ARC-PA.  Programs on probation are accredited.  If you enter an accredited program (provisional, probational, or otherwise) you will be allowed to sit for PANCE, even if they lose accreditation while you are attending.  

It doesn't happen often but if a program is losing accreditation they usually can no longer accept any new cohort but must teach out the cohorts that are already enrolled.  This does not leave the students "SOL" as they can still sit for PANCE.  However as a student, I'd be concerned about WHY they are losing accreditation and if I'm getting the education I pay for.  

ARC-PA is not in the business of leaving PA students out on the street with thousands of dollars wasted.  If the program is accredited when you matriculate, someone somewhere has a plan to get you graduated and certified, assuming you are still putting in the work you need to.

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From what I understand, it is true that a  program is required to "teach out" students if it loses accreditation. This happened not too long ago at Mountain State University when the whole university lost accreditation.

But from a practical standpoint, there is nothing to keep the faculty in place. Why would they want to stick around a dead end job at a dying program? It certainly won't be good for their professional reputation. If all the faculty bails out, what will the "teach out" look like?

This is the major risk of going to a probationary school. 

Here are why schools are on probation - most problems are not trivial:

http://www.arc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Accreditation-Actions-2015S-to-2017July-Prob-only.pdf

 

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9 hours ago, GeorgeA said:

From what I understand, it is true that a  program is required to "teach out" students if it loses accreditation. This happened not too long ago at Mountain State University when the whole university lost accreditation.

But from a practical standpoint, there is nothing to keep the faculty in place. Why would they want to stick around a dead end job at a dying program? It certainly won't be good for their professional reputation. If all the faculty bails out, what will the "teach out" look like?

This is the major risk of going to a probationary school. 

Here are why schools are on probation - most problems are not trivial:

http://www.arc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Accreditation-Actions-2015S-to-2017July-Prob-only.pdf

 

If it's not the faculty's fault that the program is losing accreditation (i.e. either personal charges or something that they can be solely responsible for (like not ACTUALLY teaching...literally not providing lectures or materials)) I can't see how it would look bad that they teach out.  They've already worked for a program that is on probation so it's not like they are avoiding a black mark on their resume or anything.  

So the program failed to provide adequate clinical rotations and is on probation, losing accreditation, faculty must teach out.  How does it look bad for them that they are fulfilling their commitment to the students by continuing to teach and provide the best education they can despite the fault of the bureaucracy of the program?  I certainly don't think their reputation is ruined.  Likewise, something like that certainly wouldn't prohibit them from finding clinical positions - it's not like they are losing their personal professional licenses.

Most programs on probation will regain full accreditation.  Frankly, in reading that list, they seem more like programs need to do a better job of documenting and reporting than anything.  If that many programs just flat out weren't providing rotations in key areas I think there would be a much bigger uproar.

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