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Part II-Accepted into a program that is on probation

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Here is the continuation of the story.....

Few days back, I had posted a topic about getting an interview from a school on probation.

Well, I got accepted. This was the first time I was applying. I am feeling happy but lost.

As I had previously mentioned, I did not apply to many colleges this cycle. Only 5, as I had 2 more pre-requisites to finish and have not taken my GRE.

I got one rejection so far and one acceptance( from a school on probation) and yet to hear from the others(3 left).

Before the probation issue, I really did like this school. It was close to home-2 hours away. I am married with family responsibilities; hence it seemed feasible to come back home on weekends and plus a lot of other factors that I found favorable at that time. On the interview day, they mentioned about the probation saying that they are doing everything they can to fix the problem. Some paperwork/document issue was the cause behind the probation and nothing related to education. Their first time pass rate( 5 years)-91% and total pass rate( 5 years)-96%.

Here are my stats:

Overall  gpa - 3.8

Overall science gpa - 3.73

HCE- almost 4000 and still counting(working as MA)

Lastly, I have to mention my age- 40 years old( which I find negative)

I will surely pay my deposit  but my question is-

If I do not get any more interviews this cycle, should I take this opportunity or apply for next cycle to better programs? Am I killing the goose in my hand?


This what I got from the ARC-PA website

  1. Report due for standards related to:

    • the sponsoring institution addressing appropriate security and personal safety measures for PA students when instruction occurs at supervised clinical practice experience (SCPE) sites,

    • student files including documentation that the student has met requirements for program completion,

    • instructional objectives in didactic courses that guide student acquisition of required competencies,

    • the program curriculum including instruction in human sexuality,

    • SCPEs in preventive, emergent, acute and chronic patient encounters that enable students to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for entry into clinical PA practice,

    • SCPEs allowing students to meet program expectations and acquire competencies with patients seeking medical care across the life span, womens health, care requiring surgical management, and care for behavioral and mental health conditions,

    • SCPEs with preceptors practicing in pediatrics,

    • implementing an ongoing self-assessment process that documents

      program effectiveness and fosters program improvement,

    • applying the results of ongoing self-assessment to the curriculum and other dimensions of the program,

    • a self-study report that documents results of critical analysis from ongoing self-assessment, faculty evaluation of the curricular and administrative aspects of the program, modifications that occurred as a result of self-assessment and self-identified program strengths and areas in need of improvement,

    • maintaining and documenting effective processes for ongoing evaluation of sites and preceptors used for SCPEs to ensure that sites and preceptors meet program expectations for learning




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If the reasons behind the probation truly are paperwork-related, the program is still on probation by the time you matriculate, and you don't hear back from any other schools that you feel more strongly about...

then I would definitely attend the program if I were in your shoes. The fact that you will be attending an accredited program (probation or not) pretty-much guarantees that you will be able to sit for the PANCE as long as you put the work in. Since you said that you really liked the school and found the distance beneficial, I wouldn't let the probation status scare you away (again, as long as they're still on probation by the time classes start).

Congrats on achieving this amazing milestone! This is a great accomplishment--don't forget that. :)

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The above Lady's advice is good. 

While no school want's to be on probation, it is a good learning experience and most come out the other end a much stronger program. As long as the program articulated a good plan for addressing each of the items cited I would not worry too much.

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Looks like most of the problems are documentation related (i.e not a huge deal as long as they have a good plan to fix it).

Big red flag for me would be the ones that start 'SPCE...' as they sound like they could potentially be not providing adequate clinical rotations.  Perhaps it's just that they aren't documenting something well or correctly but it's concerning enough to look into.  

Documentation errors are easily fixed by the program.  If they have trouble finding adequate rotations, however, that is not necessarily as easily resolved.  You can't make preceptors or sites appear out of nowhere.

If they can address these concerns (that you SHOULD bring up if they don't), then attend.  Applying a second year is never a guarantee.  Weigh your pros and cons and risks/benefits.  Only you can really decide this one.

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