The Student Success Coaching Model in the Clinical Year

scott's thoughts Feb 15, 2022

In our blogs thus far, we have focused on the value of the Student Success Coaching Model during the didactic year of a PA Program. The model doesn’t simply fade away after a student moves on to the clinical year, however. The clinical year’s challenges are different and therefore present an entirely new scope of student remediation needs.

In the transition to the clinical phase, the Student Success Coaching Model’s focus turns to skill sessions on formative independent study skills and test-taking techniques. This prepares students for summative testing and nationally standardized examinations to come: the EORE, PACKRAT and eventually, the PANCE.

Students have a limited amount of time during their clinical year but a formidable number of tests for which they must be prepared. It is essential that they understand how to manage the amount of material without burning out or being overwhelmed by stress.

Probation Mediation is an ongoing requirement. Students on academic probation typically have failed multiple tests or had several attempts at remediation without significant improvement. They work with their Academic Success Coach to develop an AIP. This is a legal document signed by the student and a faculty member, outline extremely specific expectations for improvement. It is divided into separate templates for both the didactic and clinical years. AIP students meet with the Academic Success Coach at least three times per semester to monitor their progress toward achieving compliance.

Coaching begins with a meeting set with a) students determined to be within the “at risk”, “critical risk”, or “fail” category after PACKRAT I; and b) students who do not achieve the minimum score on EORE after each rotation. These meetings focus heavily on a program of test-taking remediation.

In the Student Success Coaching Model, PANCE Preparation is not merely a matter of remediation. Like the Student Skills Development Program in the first weeks of matriculation, PANCE preparation is offered to all students. Its goal is preparing the cohort to take the PANCE immediately after graduation.

About four months prior to graduation, all students are required to attend a 90-minute PANCE preparation workshop. At this workshop, a structured study plan template is provided which walks students through the process of developing a personalized study plan that manages their preparation through the upcoming weeks, such as through the use of practice tests and blueprints indicating which specialties dominate large percentages of PANCE questions.

Students are strongly encouraged to provide the screenshot of the NCCPA’s PANCE practice exam 7-10 days before actually taking the PANCE. This allows them to reschedule their PANCE exam if their results indicate borderline performance.

PANCE preparation is a proven system which can result in 100% pass rates if properly implemented.

Graduate-level students with a variety of important tests looming at them are under considerable stress. It is therefore fair and necessary that a remediation program, in cooperation with supportive services from the PA school, should give them the tools they need to cope with this highly volatile time. By investing faculty and program dedication to the Student Success Coaching Model beginning with prematriculation, your program has dedicated itself to supporting its cohorts from the time even before their didactic year begins, through the days leading up to their national certification.


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