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PA school accreditation status


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I am currently 8 months into school (I finish didactic at the end of the year) and found out today that my program will no longer be accredited starting next year. My program director and faculty said they will work with my cohort to have us transfer to an accredited program in good standing; however, it is not a guarantee that they are able to accommodate all of us. We are eligible to take the PANCE but not graduating from an accredited institution will prevent me from working as a PA in California which is my ultimate goal. Not knowing for sure that I will be transferring to an institution is very concerning and makes me question whether or not I want to continue with the PA profession. Has anyone finished their didactic year and successfully transfer to another institution to finish their clinicals? If I were to reapply this cycle, would decent grades in PA school give me an advantage over applicants? I am pretty bummed out by the news but all I can do now is weigh my options. The best case scenario is that I successfully transfer to another institution in good academic standing. The worst case scenario is losing out on another 8 months of time + $40k in tuition/living costs. I appreciate any advice given to me.

Edited by catloverPA
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Other schools have gone under, most notably Alderson-Broaddus in West Virginia. PA programs within the general area picked up at least some of the students. I also think that, if you're PANCE-eligible, you are PA-C eligible and could practice. 

At any rate, you have more information to gather and today is only Day zero. I suspect you will hear more in the coming days and weeks. Don't give up the ship just yet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You paid a lot of money for a service and the University failed to provide that service 

Think about it like this ... you paid 140K to renovate a kitchen and the tile is falling off, electric dont work, leaking pipe in the wall, and they scratched half your cabinets. 

I would inform the program that you would like a refund since you cannot practice where you want and that you are in consultation with legal counsel. 

I would make sure the transfer to another program is not working out, AND that your understanding of California law is exact. And if nothing else is working I would then approach that legal counsel with your classmates and see if you are owed damages for not receiving what was paid for. 

Maybe you have a family member or friend that has navigated legal counsel before. It is possible that the lawyer would only have a fee if you win the case, so not feel like this is a non option as you have student level income. Also, Universities may have language to protect themselves in situation like this. Unknown if you signed something upfront saying you accept risks that program could lose accreditation etc.  Though this issue is a unique one to professional schools .... and pretty unique to PA school in my limited experience.

BTW feel free to share the PA program name. Maybe an alumni or local person will see this message and be able to offer some assistance or pressure.

Let me also add ... before someone posts the obligatory "accreditation standards are too complicated". Rather the problem is we are letting too many broke College/Universities start PA programs that do not have the bandwidth to run a program of this gravity and complexity. The days of 4 core faculty at entry level PA wage running a program are over. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey, kind of in a similar situation except just got accepted into a program with accreditation probation. they weren’t allowed to seat a class last year, but they got permission from ARC-PA to seat a class this august. review is intended for March of 2025. they said if accreditation is withdrawn, we will have the opportunity to transfer (but they said transfers are hard and unlikely) and if not, will be deferred for upcoming years/must apply to a new program. does anyone have any insight on this? it would be a shame to go through the first few months like stated above and not be able to finish. ANY ADVICE ON WHAT I SHOULD DO?!!!?!?

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5 hours ago, futuresuPAhuman said:

Hey, kind of in a similar situation except just got accepted into a program with accreditation probation. they weren’t allowed to seat a class last year, but they got permission from ARC-PA to seat a class this august. review is intended for March of 2025. they said if accreditation is withdrawn, we will have the opportunity to transfer (but they said transfers are hard and unlikely) and if not, will be deferred for upcoming years/must apply to a new program. does anyone have any insight on this? it would be a shame to go through the first few months like stated above and not be able to finish. ANY ADVICE ON WHAT I SHOULD DO?!!!?!?

New programs are provisional and sometimes existing programs go into probation. In both cases, if you're seated with a new class, you usually get the right to finish and take the PANCE.

In your case, it sounds like the school you are considering may have already been on probation, got punished by having to skip a class, and now are getting a second chance with a hard end date of their review in March. The next review could be a tough one; from what I have seen, the ACR-PA standards have definitely gotten more involved. Given that and your school's apparent history, I'd say there is a nonzero chance you might not be allowed to finish.

So, if you have another option, I'd probably take it.

Edited by UGoLong
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5 hours ago, futuresuPAhuman said:

Hey, kind of in a similar situation except just got accepted into a program with accreditation probation. they weren’t allowed to seat a class last year, but they got permission from ARC-PA to seat a class this august.

This means there is an upward trend.

How much of an endowment and reputation are backing this PA program? If they're the only program in a state at a state school, OR they're a large school with a lot of health profession programs, you're likely to see the university not let them fail. If they're a private school with few or no other health professions programs... caveat emptor.

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