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Strategic Plan for Physician Assistant Studies

Context For Planning

The Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) program at GVSU started in August of 1996. The program is 28 months in length and consists of 2 phases, didactic and clinical. The didactic phase is 16 months in duration and consists of classroom, laboratory and small group classes. Following the 4 semesters of didactic education, PAS students then enter the clinical phase of the program where they spend 12 months (3 semesters) in clinical rotations. There are 7 core clinical rotations that consists of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Women's Health, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, and a rotation in a clinic focusing on the underserved. Students have the opportunity for a minimum of 2 elective rotations which can be in any specialty, or a repeat of a core rotation. The program also offers international rotations. 

The PAS program started a distant campus in August of 2015. This distant campus is located in Traverse City, Michigan, at the GVSU Traverse City Regional Center at Northwestern Michigan College. The distant site accepts 12 students in a cohort annually, while 36 students are accepted into the main campus cohort in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The GVSU PAS program is the only PA program in the state of Michigan that offers a distant education. 

The PAS program at GVSU has had 593 graduates since the start of the program. The PA program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on the Education of Physician Assistants. The PAS program has a five year first time pass rate of 100% on the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination. 

The GVSU PAS department met as a faculty in January, 2016 to discuss the approach to strategic planning. At that time, it was decided that an ad hoc committee would be developed and the final product brought forth to the entire department. A committee was formed which included the Department chair, the director of clinical education, the director of pre-clinical education, and a faculty member from the Traverse City campus. This group met 4 times throughout the Winter 2016 semester to develop the plan. The entire plan will be presented to the entire faculty at the end of the semester once final edits are complete.

Mission

The mission of the program is to educate individuals to become competent Physician Assistants, who possess the skills necessary for interprofessional medical practice.

Vision

The PAS department does not have a vision statement specific to the department.

Value Statement

The values of the Physician Assistant Studies Department include: 

Professionalism
Medical Knowledge and Competence in Patient Care
Interprofessional Education
Evidence Based Learning 

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

Maintain 100% of PAS students participating in at least one high-impact learning experience during both the didactic and clinical phase of the PAS program.

Baseline

100% of PAS student perform one high impact learning experience in didactic and one in clinical.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The program continues to maintain 100% participation in at least one high impact learning experience in both the didactic and clinical year. Clinical year high impact learning experiences include their individual clinical rotations. During the didactic phase of the program (first four semesters), 100% of PAS students have participated in at least three simulations. These simulations can be individual, as well as interprofessional.

2018 Status
Achieved
Class of 2018 - all students have successfully participated in at least one high-impact learning experience in both the didactic phase and the clinical phase.

Objective 1.A.2

The PAS program will engage learners by teaching in a variety of different methods

Baseline

No data collected

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
Faculty continue to teach in a variety of methods. Traditional lecture continues to be a staple, however engaging in various other techniques within the traditional classroom have been implemented.

2017 Status
Minimal Progress
The program continues to collect information regarding the types of methodology used in providing teaching to PAS students. At this point, various pedagogical approaches are used including lecture based instruction, hands on laboratory instruction, small group case-based instruction, and some technology enhanced instruction, including Socrative (R), and video based instruction, included recorded lectures.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

The PAS department will strive to increase applicants from underrepresented groups by 5%.

Baseline

Currently, the PAS department is at 3% underrepresented groups overall.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
In the 2019 admission cycle, 10.5% of applicants have identified as non-white.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
10% of all applicants to the PAS program (including GR and TC) are from a minority background.

Objective 1.B.2

Develop initiatives to increase the cumulative diversity of CHP graduate students, faculty and staff to a 3 year average of 7% by 2020.

Baseline

Currently we have 3% of students and 0% of staff from underrepresented groups.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantive Progress
Ten percent of the applicant pool in 2019 identified as non-white. Ten percent of the selected cohort are from a non-white race. There has been one faculty hire since the first reporting. This individual is not from a minority background; the faculty diversity remains at 0%.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
6% of accepted students into the PAS program are from a minority background.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 1.D.1

25% of PAS courses will include a new innovative teaching, integrative scholarly and creative activity, or technology.

Baseline

no data collected at this time

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
The program continues to use interactive television as a means to deliver content to a distant site in Traverse City. The program has successfully delivered all of the examinations in the program with an electronic testing program (ExamSoft). This technology has been instrumental at improving the delivery and assessment options of examinations in the program. A faculty and staff member attended an Examsoft conference and updated the rest of the faculty on best practices. Dr.'s Geenen and Reinhold have implemented a new pedagogy for a PAS small group discussion class held at a distant location. They have successfully used Zoom (TM) to deliver PAS 582 course content to students at the distant site in Traverse City.

2018 Status
Minimal Progress
Faculty have discussed, but no formal gathering of data has been done at this point regarding new and innovative teaching strategies. The faculty are encouraged to attend seminars (FTLC, PA educators webinars, etc.) on new classroom technologies and to integrate them into the classroom.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 1.E.1

The PAS department will complete a second endowed scholarship.

Baseline

Currently, the department has 1 endowed scholarship

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
At the conclusion of 2017, the PAS program has 3 specific endowed scholarship for students within this program. Two more scholarships are available to PAS students, but are not specific to our department.

2016 Status
Achieved
In 2015, the PAS department established its first endowed scholarship, thanks to generous giving of Chris and Joan Panopoulos. At that time, the department was working on a second endowed scholarship, the Stephanie A. Urbanawiz scholarship, in memory of a former PAS students. In 2016, the Stephanie A. Urbanawiz became fully endowed.

Objective 1.E.2

Include one student member on the PAS department Pre-Clinical Committee

Baseline

Zero students currently sit on any PAS department committee

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
Two students, one from each the Grand Rapids campus and the Traverse City campus participated on the PAS Pre-clinical curriculum committee.

2016 Status
Achieved
The PAS faculty, along with the PAS Student Society, identified two students in mid-2016 to attend PAS Pre-Clinical meetings. Two students were chosen for representation from both the Grand Rapids and Traverse City campuses in order to be inclusive of both sites.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 2.B.1

By 2018, increase the number of PAS faculty that have undergone inclusion advocacy (IA) training to four faculty.

Baseline

Currently 1 PAS faculty is an inclusion advocate

Progress

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The number of faculty with inclusion advocacy training has gone from one to three. There are also two other faculty with some inclusion advocacy training, but have not completed the course. The program will encourage the two faculty with some training, to complete the training, as well as encourage other faculty to complete the training.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
3 more faculty have started the Inclusion Advocate training.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 2.C.1

Expand the number of clinical sites by 25%

Baseline

The PAS department currently has approximately 300 current clinical sites in active use.

Progress

2018 Status
Achieved
In the last three years, the program has 60 new clinical sites. Based on a total of 200 sites used regularly by the program, this constitutes a 30% increase. Unfortunately, we continue to loose sites on the back end, making this work exceptionally difficult.

2017 Status
Substantive Progress
10 new sites were developed in 2017 representing an approximately 5% increase in site. In total, the PAS clinical team has increased the clinical preceptors and sites by 10%.

Outcome D: Grand Valley supports innovative teaching, learning, integrative scholarly and creative activity, and the use of new technologies.

Objective 2.D.1

50% of faculty will participate annually, in a technology and learning event

Baseline

no data collected

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
PAS Faculty attend conferences and seminars dedicated to improving teaching technologies and innovative ways to deliver content. The objective was accomplished by over 50% of faculty attending some form of educational session to help improve teaching.

2018 Status
Achieved
Faculty continue to attend technology and learning events. in 2018, 100% of faculty have participated in a technology and learning seminar.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 3.A.1

The PAS department will have a complete curricular map of the didactic courses to the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants blueprint topics.

Baseline

No curricular map at this point

Progress

2017 Status
Achieved
The curricular map has had substantive progress and is complete in terms of didactic courses and the NCCPA blueprint topics. More mapping of the other components and topics in the program will be done in 2018 and in the future. ,

2016 Status
Minimal Progress
The PAS program has begun a curricular mapping process. Unfortunately, the task is quite large and it has been determined that the

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 3.B.1

The PAS department will structure, align, and increase use of faculty inclusion advocates.

Baseline

Currently, the PAS department has one IA. This one IA is effective, however only 3 department committees have an IA.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The PAS department continues to value having inclusion advocates in our department and on committee's. The program has three faculty who are inclusion advocates. Two more faculty have started the training process but have not completed. These two faculty, along with other members of the department are encouraged to complete the training to become IA's.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
As of this reporting, two more faculty have completed the IA training. Two other faculty have initiated the training by have not completed. The department now has a total of 3 IA's with the goal of completing the other two in 2019.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 4.A.1

Maintain annual 100% first time pass rate on the PA National Certifying Exam (PANCE)

Baseline

100% for the past 5 years (99% overall)

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
At the time of this report, 46 of 47 graduates from 2019 have taken the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). 100% have passed.

2018 Status
Achieved
The Class of 2018 have achieved a 100% first time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

Recognize faculty contributions to community collaborations

Baseline

Faculty currently contribute to community collaborations, however it is not reported consistently or recognized in a formal manner.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
Faculty were surveyed. Of the 12 faculty, 8 responses for a response rate of 67%. Of the 8 that responded, all but 1 participated in community service activities, for a rate of 88% performing some form of community collaboration.

2018 Status
Achieved
Data from the 2018 year was collected and analyzed. 83% of faculty in the PAS department participated in some form of community engagement activity. 100% of faculty that responded to the survey performed some community service. It is quite possible the faculty that did not respond also participated in community service.

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