Delaware Valley University’s Physician Assistant program maintains a number of policies designed to guide faculty, staff, and student conduct, maximize student experience and chances for success in the program, and comply with all relevant policies and procedures, including those of the ARC-PA. Program policies are applied consistently to all students, principal faculty, staff, and the program director, regardless of location, though certain clinical sites may have policies superseding those of the program as outlined in the affiliation agreement. Students are made aware of clinical site policies prior to rotation placements.
A comprehensive listing in detail of Program and University policies can be found in the PA Program Policies Manual. An overview of select policies is provided below. Any prospective student with questions regarding these policies is welcome to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Enrolled students should direct questions toward their advisor.
General University Policies & Procedures
Security and Personal Safety Measures:
- Delaware Valley University’s campus is patrolled 24/7/365 by Public Safety (https://delval.edu/public-safety), who are accessible via email (email@example.com), phone (215-489-4444), or a number of emergency alarms located on campus. The University uses the Omnilert system to facilitate communication with students, faculty, and staff in the event of disaster, emergency, threats, or unfavorable conditions on campus, including inclement weather. An annual campus safety report is published on DelVal’s website (https://delval.edu/public-safety/annual-campus-security-report). In addition, all PA students are provided specific safety training and access to the bSafe app for use off-campus.
Grievances and Allegations of Harassment:
- The Physician Assistant Program will make every attempt to resolve student grievances about the Program, both academic and non-academic, internally. If a student experiences mistreatment of any kind or encounters situations where they feel uncomfortable or fearful, they should report it immediately to the Program Director and claims will be promptly investigated. Additional campus offices and personnel (i.e., public safety, student life, etc.) may be contacted to assist in the investigation and resolution of the matter.
- In the event a student has a complaint concerning the Institution, Delaware Valley University has processes and procedures in place to review and act on such issues. Specifically, students have the right to submit academic grievances, non-academic complaints referring to incidents of unprofessional behavior and violations of the Student Code of Conduct, Americans with Disabilities Act complaints, non-discrimination and harassment complaints, Title IX complaints, FERPA complaints, and criminal activity or disruptive behavior complaints. All policies and procedures for the reporting and processing of student grievances or allegations of harassment can be found at this link: https://delval.edu/about/why-delval/student-consumer-information.
- Faculty grievances and allegations of harassment are managed in accordance with policies set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and staff grievances and allegations of harassment are managed in accordance with policies set forth by Human Resources.
Academic Grievances and Appeals:
- Students should address any concerns with a grade received for an assignment, examination, or course directly with the appropriate faculty member or Course Director. If the concern cannot be resolved, the Program Director should be informed and will investigate the concern. Decisions regarding final grades are made by Program faculty. Once a final grade is recorded in the registrar’s office, it cannot be changed except to correct a clerical error made by the instructor or registrar. A student who would like to appeal a grade has to submit an appeal in writing to the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies within 30 working days of the action that promoted the appeal.
PA Program Instructional Policies:
DelVal’s PA Program is committed to providing high-quality education and graduating successful and well-prepared physician assistants. To that end, the following policies are in place regarding student instruction:
- Students enrolled in the Physician Assistant Program are not required to work for the PA Program or University in any capacity. Maintaining any employment during PA training is highly discouraged given the rigor, time and dedication required for student success.
- Students are not permitted to substitute for or function as administrative staff within the PA program.
- Students are not permitted to substitute for or function as instructional faculty, regardless of prior clinical background or educational experience.
- Students are not permitted, and cannot be required, to provide services at a clinical site outside of those typically associated with clinical training. Specifically, students must not substitute for administrative or clinical staff at a rotation site and may not receive compensation for any work done as part of their clinical training experience.
- All clinical sites used for Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences are carefully considered and chosen by Program faculty and staff. While students may recommend or request a particular clinical site or preceptor, they are never required to do so, and recommended sites are thoroughly vetted by the Program to ensure suitability for clinical training.
- All students must clearly identify themselves as Physician Assistant students while at clinical sites using Delaware Valley University-issued identification. Additional identification may be required by the clinical site. Students must introduce themselves in the clinical setting as a “Physician Assistant Student.”
Student Health, Safety, and Wellbeing Policies
Immunization and Health Screening:
- Required immunizations and health screenings for Delaware Valley University Physician Assistant Students are informed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for health professionals and state and local requirements. All students must submit evidence of a satisfactory physical examination, tuberculosis screening, and the following immunizations:
- Influenza (yearly)
- Hepatitis B
Any requests for valid exemptions to these requirements should be discussed with student health.
Exposure to Infectious Diseases and Environmental Hazards:
- While all students receive training related to bloodborne pathogens, infectious diseases, and occupational health and safety, there is inherent potential for students in health professions programs to be exposed to various infectious and environmental hazards. All students in DelVal’s PA Program are required to have active health insurance and receive supplemental needlestick/splash insurance through the Program. Students are instructed to receive initial evaluation and treatment for any occupational exposures in the course of their training at the nearest emergency department, urgent care, or other designated site to their clinical training location. Expenses related to medical treatment should be sent first to the student’s insurance company; excess costs will then be covered by the Program’s supplemental insurance. Additional procedures are outlined in the needlestick and splash claim form.
Provision of Medical and Mental Health Care:
- The Program encourages prompt attention to medical and mental health concerns that arise in the course of the PA Program. Faculty members (including the medical director and program director) are prohibited from providing medical care or advice to students except in truly emergent situations. Students may access medical and counseling services on-campus through Student Health Services and Counseling Services. Students may also register for Therapy Assistant Online. Public Safety should be contacted in the event of after-hours emergencies.
Policies and Procedures for Remediation, Dismissal, or Withdrawal
- Academic progress is monitored closely, and the Program demonstrates a commitment to early and effective remediation. When necessary, specific remediation plans will be developed collaboratively with faculty and the student based on individual needs, deficiencies, and overall performance. A variety of action plans will be considered. Dedicated time is set aside in each term of the Program to allow for effective remediation.
- Delaware Valley University’s PA Program does not offer deceleration. Students not meeting academic standards despite best efforts at remediation are dismissed from the program, and may apply for readmission.
- Students will be dismissed from the Program in the following scenarios:
- Failing to achieve a minimum grade of “B-“ in any course
- Students may repeat no more than one Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (SCPE) course due to failure of the rotation, in which case the student’s graduation will be delayed.
- Failure to successfully complete pass/fail components of an individual course (including SCPE courses)
- Failing to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 following a probationary period or at the conclusion of the didactic or clinical phases of the program
- Demonstration of recurrent or egregious unprofessional behaviors
- Failure of required summative assessments
- Failing to achieve a minimum grade of “B-“ in any course
- Dismissal may be appealed in accordance with policies and procedures outlined in the PA Program Policies Manual.
- Occasionally, students may determine for any number of reasons they no longer wish to continue in the PA program. The Program suggests students meet with their faculty advisors and/or seek outside counseling to assist in making this decision. When a student has reached their final decision to withdraw from the Program, their intent must be submitted in writing to the Program Director and will be effective immediately. The current term’s tuition and fees will be refunded at 100% to students withdrawing in the first week of a term or at 50% for students withdrawing during the second week.
Leaves of Absence:
- Due to the fast-paced, cumulative and integrated curriculum, and cohort model, leaves of absence are unable to be granted during the didactic phase of the program. A student who would otherwise require a leave of absence may withdraw from the program (see above withdrawal policy) and request readmission when able to continue their studies.
- A leave of absence, not to exceed 180 days, may be granted during the clinical phase. Requests must be submitted in writing to the PA program director and should indicate the reason for the request and expected duration. Granting a leave of absence is a rare and unusual event reserved for extenuating circumstances. Students will be required to complete outstanding curricular elements upon return to the program and will have delayed graduation.
- Any student who withdraws or is dismissed from the program has the opportunity to request readmission. The process begins with a written request submitted by the student, to be received no later than six months after the date of dismissal or withdrawal unless an exception was granted by the Program in writing at the time of dismissal or withdrawal. The request will be evaluated by PA Program and Graduate School faculty, staff, and administrators and will consider the obstacles encountered by the student as well as their plan for future success. Readmission is not guaranteed. If offered, the PA Program Academic Review Committee will develop a readmission plan after careful review of the student’s academic record. While advanced placement is not granted by the Program, credit may be granted to readmitted students for some of the courses they’ve successfully completed.