Implementing a Student Skills Development Program

scott's thoughts Feb 02, 2022

In our previous blog, we discussed the value of using data to determine which PA students are “at-risk” for struggling in their education, along with the idea of pre-matriculation education modules to help even the playing field for those students. It is immediately apparent, however, that while this is a beneficial step for students who have been flagged as being “at risk,” it might also miss a number of students who will quite simply have difficulties because PA education is difficult. 

The truth is that experiencing growing pains upon entering PA education is not uncommon, even for students with exceedingly high GPAs. Students experience difficulty when adjusting to the vast amount of information required to learn in PA education, to the rigors of the didactic year, which may be quite different than their previous education, or merely to the stress of graduate-level studies.

Setting aside the various other reasons students may struggle, there is a...

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Deciding who needs a Student Skills Development Program

scott's thoughts Jan 26, 2022

In our last blog, we introduced the concept of the Student Skills Development Program. In effect, this is your PA program’s chance to jump in ahead of academic difficulties that some of your students may encounter during their didactic year. Once incorporated, such a program will increase the probability of your students thriving academically and successfully graduating.

A Student Skills Development Program begins with the admissions process. Perhaps your PA program wants to admit students who don’t quite “fit the mold.” They may have a lower GPA, a history of academic difficulty, or a spotty academic record. Perhaps your program wants to admit a student who meets the program’s mission, is racially diverse, or comes from a lower social-economic geographic area. If these students appear to be at risk before ever admitting them, what can your program do?

Increasing inclusion and diversity to encompass students from all backgrounds requires a PA program to...

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Are PA Students Responsible for their Own Basic Study Skills?

scott's thoughts Jan 19, 2022

One of our major focuses at Massey & Martin, LLC is the Student Success & Remediation, in which we guide PA Program administrators in assessing incoming students, offering those at risk of academic difficulty a chance to engage in prematriculation and, if necessary, organized remediation programs their didactic year of PA education. 

We see the current approach to student remediation in most PA programs following a recurring, and largely unhelpful, pattern:

  1. PA students are admitted to PA program
  2. Some of those students begin struggling academically
  3. Students are provided opportunity for remediation (i.e., retake a test)
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, hoping for student success

Yet often this method fails because core problems are not addressed; a student with no time-management skills will not develop them merely because a re-test is offered. In such a case, one is simply hoping that a few extra days for this beleaguered student to squeeze in some additional study time might...

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