University of Holy Cross

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Program Policies

Student Employment Policy

Physician Assistant Studies students may not work for or teach within the MSPAS program in any capacity – volunteer or paid positions. Due to the rigorous and fast-paced nature of the UHC MSPAS program, it is not recommended that the student be employed during the program.

Advanced Placement

Course work in the Physician Assistant Program is different from most traditional graduate programs. Due to the knowledge base with each semester building on the knowledge gained from the previous semester it is vital that all students of the University of Holy Cross Physician Assistant Program complete the required work in the prescribed sequence. No advanced placement within the Physician Assistant Program will be allowed for prior academic or clinical experience.

Student Withdrawal Policy

Generally, withdrawal requires action by the student. A student may withdraw from the program whenever he or she no longer wishes to be a student in the program. To withdraw from the program at any time other than the close of an academic quarter, a student must make a formal written request and secure written permission from the Program Director; otherwise, dismissal in good standing cannot be granted. Students will be administratively withdrawn from the program if they do not return from a leave of absence or if registration of classes has not been completed. In such cases, a student must apply for readmission if he/she wishes to continue his/her studies at a later time.

Written requests for withdrawal from the program must be submitted to the Program Director.
Appropriate forms must be completed and submitted to the Registrar.
Students who withdraw from the program either by their own volition or by administrative process must apply for readmission and be readmitted in order to resume their studies.
Before withdrawing from the program, a student should carefully consider the alternative of taking a leave of absence which does not require readmission to the program in order to be reinstated

Student Dismissal Policy

Because physician assistant students, after graduation, may be licensed to practice medicine and may be required to assume responsibility for the life and welfare of other human beings, every student is expected to demonstrate a level of competence and a pattern of behavior that is consistent with these professional responsibilities.

Academic performance or patterns of behavior that are judged by the program personnel to be unacceptable may lead to a recommendation by the Student Progress Board for dismissal.

Upon acceptance by the board of a proposal to consider a recommendation for dismissal, the Program Director will convene a special meeting of the committee for the purpose of hearings and decisions. The student for whom dismissal is being considered will be given a written statement of the charges against him or her and notice of the time and place of the hearing at least ten calendar days prior to the meeting. The Dean of the School of Nursing & Health Sciences will be copied on this notice to the student. At the conclusion of the special meeting, a final decision will be communicated in writing to the student and the Dean. The student may appeal the decision through the Grievance Policy procedure.

Remediation and Deceleration Policy

Students are required to complete each component of this program successfully before progressing on to the next phase. The minimum passing score is 70% on all written exams and a grade of “satisfactory” on professionalism, all skills and clinical experiences.

Students who are identified through self-referral or through faculty observation as being at risk for failure will be referred for remediation. Remediation may include tutoring, self-study, and completion of specific tasks or referral to the Student Progress Board for review. Any student not achieving the minimum passing grade will receive a failing grade. The student will be notified and will be required to take a reexamination. Should the student fail a retest, this would place the student before the Student Progress Board for a comprehensive review of the student’s performance. Resulting administrative action may include probation, deceleration, or dismissal from the program. If a student fails a didactic course and when viewed as a whole, it is believed that the student will succeed in the future, he/she may be decelerated and allowed to repeat the course the next time it is given. If the failure is in a clinical rotation, the student may be allowed to repeat the clinical experience in the next rotation. Any student who fails a repeated course or rotation will be referred to the Student Progress Board, administrative action may include probation, deceleration, or dismissal from the program. A student may face probation, remediation, or dismissal from the program for failure to meet professional standards although he/she may have passing grades in academic courses and clinical experiences.

Program Policies

UHC-MSPAS students will be required to wear a white student jacket with an identifying patch that they are a UHC – MSPAS student in training. All students are required to wear a PA Program Approved name-tag that includes identification of program sponsorship, discipline, and student status while on supervised clinical rotations or when required by the PA program. In some instances, clinical affiliation sites will require additional identification and name tags to be worn. University of Holy Cross name-tags will be provided by the PA program. Students will not be required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. The program will coordinate clinical sites and preceptors for program required rotations. Students will not substitute for clinical or administrative staff during supervised clinical practical experiences. Principal faculty, will not participate as health care providers for students in the program. Program polices apply to all students and faculty of the PA program regardless of location.


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A Ministry of the Marianites of Holy Cross: Educating Hearts and Minds

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