Ohio University

Program Policies

Advanced Placement

We do not offer advanced placement.

Criminal Background Check and Toxicology Screen

Ohio law mandates criminal records checks for all prospective employees in positions where the individual will be caring for older adults or children. Additionally, a criminal record check and toxicology screening for all clinical students is a standard criterion in affiliation agreements with clinical training sites. Therefore, all students are required to obtain a criminal background check and toxicology screen prior to each academic year. The cost of the background checks and toxicology screen are the responsibility of the student.

Dismissal

Grounds for dismissal include but are not limited to the following:

  • Failure to raise the cumulative GPA above 3.0 at the completion of two subsequent academic semesters of probation.
  • Two or more course failures.
  • Failure to meet conditions established in a remediation agreement or learning contract.
  • Lapses in professionalism.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the Ohio University Physician Assistant program and be awarded the Master of Physician Assistant Practice degree, students must pass each required course with a grade of "C" or better and have a cumulative program GPA of 3.0. In addition, students must meet the minimum requirements of the following summative evaluations:

  1. Comprehensive Written Examination
  2. Objective Structured Clinical Exam – OSCE
  3. Professional Behavior Assessment
  4. Complete payment of all tuition, program fees, University fees and library charges

Harassment

Ohio University is committed to a campus and community climate that is welcoming, respectful and safe. You are entitled to be free of discrimination and harassment and should not be subjected to such behaviors by students, faculty members or staff. For additional information, please consult the OHIO Student Handbook and the OHIO Harassment Policy.

Insurance

Ohio University requires all students to have health insurance. It is assumed that all students will have health insurance prior to matriculation as required by the Affordable Care Act. Students wishing to purchase their health insurance can do so through Ohio University. More information on student health insurance plans and policies.

  • Domestic Students: All domestic students enrolled with seven or more credit hours must carry health insurance. An accident and sickness insurance plan (Domestic Plan) designed to supplement the care provided by the Student Health Service is automatically billed to all students meeting this guideline. Domestic students can complete a waiver declaration if they have comparable coverage. Students must submit the waiver via My OHIO Student Center. The name and policy number of your insurance company are required when submitting the waiver. Dependent coverage is also available. More information on student health insurance plans and policies.
  • International Students: All international students enrolled in one or more credit hour(s) must carry the Ohio University health insurance. An accident and sickness insurance plan (International Plan) is automatically billed to all students meeting this guideline. Only those international students with government sponsors that provide acceptable health insurance can apply for a waiver of the Ohio University health insurance. Waivers of health insurance for international students may only be granted by the Office of International Student and Faculty Services. International students are also required to purchase insurance coverage for their dependents, and must make arrangements for this when they arrive to begin their studies. Failure to do so will result in a registration hold on the student's account. More information on student health insurance plans and policies.

Refunds of Tuition and Fees

Refunds of tuition and fees are handled by the Ohio University Bursar. Please visit the Ohio University's Bursar's website for additional information.

Remediation/Course Failure

A student who earns a failing course grade is required to remediate that grade, except for situations addressed in the dismissal policy.

When a student receives an end of course grade below a C, the course instructor will notify and forward all supporting documentation to the program director. When all the information is received, the program director will then forward all supporting documentation to the chair of the Student Progress Committee (SPC) for review. The SPC will meet within one week to review the case and approve/disapprove remediation.

If the Student Progress Committee (SPC) recommends remediation, the student remediates a failing course grade as follows:

  • The student will begin a six-week self-guided study and review of content and skills from the course that was failed.
  • The student is expected to continue regular course work during the following semester in addition to the course being remediated.
  • A final comprehensive examination for the course being remediated is administered at the end of the six-week period, in the same format as the examination for the failed course.
  • If the student passes the final examination, the grade of the failed course is revised on the student's transcript to reflect the minimum passing grade "C." The student's file will include information about the failed course and successful remediation.
  • If the student fails the final examination, the student's transcript will reflect the original grade for the course failed. This constitutes failing the same course twice and is grounds for dismissal as detailed in the dismissal policy.
  • Each course failure, even if successfully remediated, counts toward the maximum number of two course failures as grounds for dismissal as detailed in the dismissal policy.

Student Employment

The OHIO PA program is extremely rigorous and all students are encouraged to focus on academic studies; thus, employment is strongly discouraged. All candidates should consider acceptance to the OHIO PA program as a 27-month, full-time commitment.

If a student decides to work while admitted to the PA program:

  • Work schedules shall not interfere with classes or clinical rotations.
  • Students may not work for the OHIO PA program.

Students with specific prior knowledge, experience and skills may assist faculty in didactic and laboratory sessions to share their knowledge and skills. During clinical rotations, students must not be used to substitute for clinical or administrative staff at clinical sites.

Student Grievances

A student may file a grievance for academic matters not involving grade changes. These issues may include course content and instructor behavior. Before pursuing such a grievance, students should familiarize themselves with the importance of academic freedom to the educational environment of the university. Ohio University supports the idea that protecting academic freedom at the institution is the responsibility of students and faculty alike. Ohio University takes the position that academic freedom protects faculty and students' research and scholarship activities as well as material introduced in the classroom and must be assured during the academic appeal process. However, instructors are expected to show proper judgment in the classroom and should avoid persistently intruding material which has no relation to their subject.

A statement defining academic freedom which is based on language supported by the Association of American Colleges and Universities can be found above. Students should familiarize themselves with this statement before deciding whether to pursue a grievance related to an academic matter. If a student wishes to grieve an academic matter that is not protected by academic freedom as defined above, the student should first seek resolution of the matter with the instructor. If resolution is not reached, the student should take his or her grievance to the department chair or school director. If resolution cannot be reached at that level, the student should consult the dean of his or her college.

The student should be aware that they may contact the Office of the Ombudsperson, Crewson House 200 on the Athens Campus, 740.593.2627, for advice and counsel at any time during the academic grievance processes described above. For additional information, please consult the OHIO Student Handbook.

Leave Of Absence During Didactic Period and Deceleration

If a student encounters medical and/or personal difficulties that will necessitate an absence from participating in courses or other required program didactic activities in person or virtually for more than 3 days, the student may petition the Program Director for a leave of absence. The Program Director will present the request to the Student Progress Committee (SPC) for consideration, and a final decision.  If the request is deemed appropriate by the program director and SPC, and the student is in good academic standing at the time of the request, the program director may grant the leave of absence. During the didactic year, a leave of absence is not considered in the case of academic probation, professionalism probation or any other situation that would be considered grounds for dismissal (refer to withdraw and dismissal policies, respectively).

The student’s written request for a leave of absence must include his/her reasons for the request, the amount of leave time desired and a suggested plan for returning to the program. If a leave is taken for medical reasons, the program requires certification from a licensed healthcare professional attesting to a student’s fitness to resume coursework. Granting of a leave of absence does not imply full or partial refund of tuition and fees. Any potential refund is subject to University policy and drop deadlines.

A student who is granted a leave of absence is expected to complete all missed coursework and/or courses.  If the leave of absence will disrupt the completion of didactic courses that the student is enrolled in, the student will decelerate.  Deceleration is defined by ARC-PA as “any disruption in the student’s progress that will extend the date of graduation beyond that of his/her cohort.”

Upon deceleration, the student will be required to demonstrate competency upon return to the program.  This could be in the form of a written comprehensive examination, practical examination, retaking previously passed courses and/or participating in a learning contract while on leave.  The type of assessment will be determined on a case by case basis. Because courses in the physician assistant program are offered only once per academic year and serve as prerequisites for subsequent courses, the leave of absence typically lasts for one year during the didactic curriculum.   A leave of absence is not granted for longer than 12 months.  A leave of absence is permitted only ONCE during the didactic year

Leave of Absence During the Clinical Year

If a student encounters medical and/or personal difficulties that will necessitate an absence from the clinical rotation course for more than 25% of the scheduled days of the SCPE, the student may petition the Program Director for a leave of absence. The Program Director will present the request to the Student Progress Committee (SPC) for consideration, and a final decision.  If the request is deemed appropriate by the program director and SPC, and the student is in good academic standing at the time of the request, the program director may grant the leave of absence. During the clinical year, a leave of absence is not considered in the case of academic probation, professionalism probation or any other situation that would be considered grounds for dismissal (refer to withdraw and dismissal policies, respectively).

The student’s written request for a leave of absence must include his/her reasons for the request, the amount of leave time desired and a suggested plan for returning to the program. If a leave is taken for medical reasons, the program requires certification from a licensed healthcare professional attesting to a student’s fitness to resume coursework. Granting of a leave of absence does not imply full or partial refund of tuition and fees. Any potential refund is subject to University policy and drop deadlines.

A student who is granted a leave of absence during the clinical year will be required to decelerate.  Deceleration is defined by ARC-PA as “any disruption in the student’s progress that will extend the date of graduation beyond that of his/her cohort.”

Upon returning to the program, the student will be required to demonstrate competency.  This could be in the form of a written comprehensive examination, practical examination, and/or participating in a learning contract while on leave.  The type of assessment will be determined on a case by case basis.

The student will be assigned clinical placements based upon clinical site availability.  It is expected that the student will complete all SCPEs requirements within 3 months of their original graduation date. Therefore, a leave of absence during the clinical year will not exceed 3 months. It is expected that the needed SCPEs will be completed sequentially and within the timeframe needed to complete the missed clinical courses.  For example, if a leave of absence is granted for 2 months and the student misses 2 SCPEs, upon return to the program, the student will have 2 months to complete those 2 SCPEs. 

In the event of a failed SCPE, the student will be required to repeat the rotation at the end of the clinical year, which will result in deceleration. The student will meet with the course director and director of clinical education to discuss a course remediation plan. The student will have one month to complete the course remediation for the failed SPCE, which must occur within the semester after the original graduation date.

NOTE:  Students may be required to decelerate if they do not meet the healthcare system's credentialing policies as this could lead to a delay in securing clinical placements.  Students must correct the deficiencies as directed by the program in order to meet the credentialing standards of the healthcare facility.  Any student with outstanding requirements, that are not addressed as directed by the program, will be dismissed from the program.   

Military Leave                                                                                                                           

If you are currently serving in the United States military, active duty, National Guard or reserves, we appreciate your service and will work with you as you fulfill your service obligations. The University has an established policy regarding guardsman/reservist being called to active duty http://www.ohio.edu/policy/12-060.html.

While in the program, we recommend that you try to work with your commanders to coordinate your annual tours and regular duty during school breaks. We understand that is not always possible. If you must perform your annual tour during the normal semester, you will have a period equal to the number of days missed to make up the missing work and exams. This period will not exceed 15 calendar days. To help you succeed in this program, military activation beyond 15 days will likely require you to withdraw and reenter the program according to the leave of absence/deceleration policy, including the demonstration of current competency prior to reentry.

Withdrawal, Cancelling Registration, Dropping Classes

Ohio University policy on withdrawal, cancelling registration and dropping classes