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Hello all, I'm new to this forum. Have been looking around and doing some research on PA programs in California. I looked at the SJV website and it says the program is on probation.


Direct quote from website below:


"Programmatic Accreditation

At its March 2012 meeting, Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) voted to place the San Joaquin Valley College Physician Assistant program on Probation until its next comprehensive review in March 2014. Accreditation - Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened. Once placed on probation, programs that still fail 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manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn. Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s). "


I am interested in starting fall 2013 if accepted, but a little apprehensive since if the school does not pass the review in March 2014, am I basically screwed?? What are your thoughts on this??

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Dear Mochimd;

I would be more than happy to respond to any questions I can answer, if you email me at LesH@sjvc.edu. The program submitted our corrective actions report July 2012. The report was reviewed and discussed at the ARC-PA September 2012 meeting. The ARC-PA response to the program report was as follows:

Dear Mr. Howard:

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) recently reviewed the letter and report dated July 7, 2012.

Disposition: Based on its evaluation the Commission accepts the response.


A term used in an official ARC-PA correspondence, most often following the review, by the commission, of a required report submitted by a program communicating that the report was received favorably, but which does not imply that the program is now compliant with the Standards. An additional report may be required.


To date, no additional information or report has been requested by the ARC-PA. New ARC-PA standards ask for "a program's plan in the event of closure". What is called a "teach out". SJVC like another institutions in the Western Association of Schools and Colleges/ACCJC are bound to finish training a cohort of enrolled students. PA students that fall in this category are (because they matriculated into a program that was accredited) eligible to sit for the PANCE. Hope this helps. Like I said email me with any further questions you may have. Thank you for considering SJVC. Good luck in your future PA-S endeavors.


Les Howard, PA

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Dear Mochimd,


There are different types of probation that can be placed on an institution. It is my understanding that the probation is Administrative and not Academic in nature and truthfully is not a huge issue. In my experience the purpose of an accreditation review or audit is not to shut down an institution, but to identify areas that may not be quite up to the standard and give an opportunity for improvement. The same process is applied to the healthcare clinics that I have worked in, during an audit deficiencies are noted and a corrective action plan has to be submitted by the required date and upon acceptance of the plan a follow up review is scheduled to make sure the plan was implemented. I am sure that SJVC will dot their "i's" and cross their "t's" for the upcoming review. I plan to attend in the fall of 2014 without hesitation.

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Having lived through the faculty getting their "corrective actions report" ready for the ARC-PA, I can attest to their drive to push this little program to succeed. One thing you will learn about the PD is he takes this program personal, it's not a job it's not a career, it's a passion for him. Took me 2 years to figure it out but I understand the meaning behind his 1st question to me in my interview "why should I let you in MY program". I wouldn't worry with accreditation, it will be there if you make it in and through, the faculty will make sure of that. If I had it to do all over I would not hesitate to go back to SJVC, it was my 1st choice 2 years ago and would be my 1st choice again if faced with it.

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  • 5 months later...

Well - although I am only just now looking into different PA programs - the fact that this one is an "Associate" does not deter me, nor even faze my consideration of it to be on the top of my list.


The reason I say this, is that from my own personal experience, I have found that an associates degree is not indicative of a "lesser" education when it comes to actual "practice" - and I am speaking to you as an Associate in Nursing.


Associate programs in the medical fields (such as Ultrasound/Nursing/PT) tend to focus on the most important practical "hands on" aspects of practice. As an example, in Nursing, we as "Associate Degree" Nurses are grilled and POUNDED with the immediate "hands on" applications. We learn to do all sorts of procedures at least 1 to 2 years ahead of Nurses with 4yr B.S. degrees!

I found it interesting that when I came out of school, I was "technically" more prepared to apply hands on nursing skills leaps and bounds ahead of every 3yr B.S. nursing student that I met in clinicals; and even in every case I came across after graduation with the 4th yr nursing students! I "hit the ground running" so to speak! What I do lack in a formal nursing education is all the "theory" that is usually given in the first 2 yrs of a B.S. degree - and those first 2yrs are an *absolute* for a nurse that wants to get an advanced degree of practice, and/or go into mgmt. But interestingly, the practice of a PA is based on the medical "physicians" tract of education, which is fundamentally a different approach from the Nursing tract of education; so an "Associates Degree" in PA I believe would be a different thing no matter which degree "designation" you end up with.


And all that said, unless there have been some new changes or something I'm not aware of in the arena of P.A. education, a "masters" versus an "associates" degree is not indicative of the quality of the education. I believe the reason the PA "world at large" wants the specifications to change completely to "masters", is because bacculaurate ppl usually possess a greater exposure to more varied "educational angles"; and it perhaps pushes them to develop greater communication or analytical abilities - such as the sciences of biologies, sociologies, and development of the "soft skills" as in communications.


But as far as an "Associates" in P.A. - its a great thing if you already have some exposure to the medical field and particularly if you hold an Associates in a para-medical field such as Ultrasound, PT - and especially Nursing.


On the other hand - when it comes to doing a Masters OR an Associates in Physican Assistance - if you already have a four year degree in something else outside of any medicals - I would definately invest some time shadowing some medical professionals in offices and hospitals (nurses/PAs/AAs) to see and understand exactly what you will be facing in the day to day realities of working in various medical settings.


Because it most certainly is- to say the least - demanding...


But regardless of the designation of the degree - in the end you are going to be doing the same thing in clinical applications as anyone else in PA practice - so don't get too hung up on the specification of "Masters" versus "Associate". As an "Associate Degree" Nurse - I do all the same things that any B.S. Nurse does, and I get paid the same too.


A patient that is in need, distress, or pain, and needs your help - isn't going to ask you if you are a PA with a "Masters" or an "Associates"...


...and in the end it comes down to your hard work in the pursuit of your own education, a few solid years of hands on experience - and an overall commitment to excellence in P.A. practice.

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Even though it's an Associate's not a Master's?


I went to one where it was "just" a certificate. The AS was optional. As well as a MMS.


All PA programs are required to teach the same curriculum. The degree they grant has nothing to do with the quality of a program. There was a MMS option with my program that added 5 extra classes of busy work. IMHO, it added nothing to the competency of those who participated vs those who did not.



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Thanks for answering, I was just curious. I could care less what they call it, so long as they let me in, and I can kill the PANCE. They can call it anything!


You got the right attitude! Like Les would say "get in where you fit in." There are many ways to get the masters. I get mine in August.


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