Message to MPA Classes of 2021 and 2022
Last updated: 3-27-2020
Dear Members of the MPA Classes of 2021 and 2022,
We wanted to follow up the Town Hall meeting with a quick note to assure you that we are working diligently to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on your academic progress. There are many moving pieces that are beyond our control — the evolution of the viral spread itself; the evolving policies of federal, state and local governments; the review and possible revision of existing policies by ARC-PA, the accrediting body; and changes in the regional and national clinical delivery systems.
We understand the concerns and questions you have surrounding the completion of your educational requirements. We know that you are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on your upcoming clinical rotations and, ultimately, on your graduation. The School of Health Professions and the PA Program are working with the accrediting body, ARC-PA, to find the most efficient way to ensure that you will be able to compete your rotations on time. This is a national problem that continues to evolve, and to a large extent we are constrained by ARC-PA regulations and by the situation on the ground in the healthcare delivery systems. We continue to advocate for increased flexibility and will keep you apprised of any changes as they emerge.
Currently, the PA faculty are developing a list of the minimum needs for each student to complete their degree requirements. Faculty will communicate with students about those remaining requirements and our plan for meeting them in the most expeditious manner consistent with accreditation requirements. We are optimistic that, although there may be delays in the initiation of clinical rotations, the Classes of 2021 and 2022 are expected to complete their graduation requirements on time.
Finally, we understand the concerns regarding the status of financial aid. This is also a national issue that continues to evolve. There are federal guidelines that govern the disbursement of financial aid. Our Financial Aid office is aware of the concerns and working on the best resolution allowable under law. As soon as we receive guidance from the federal government, we will communicate with you through the Financial Aid office.
This is, as Dr. Homan noted, a once-in-a-lifetime event. We are committed to doing everything we can to help you complete your degree requirements, graduate, pass your licensing exam, and enter the practices you are so well prepared to enter.
C. Donald Combs, PhD
Vice President and Dean, School of Health Professions
Kimberly Dempsey, EdD, PA-C
Program Director and Associate Professor
School of Health Profession