Pre-Matriculation: Helping You Prepare for PA School

Pre-Matriculation: Helping You Prepare for PA School

Pre-Matriculation: Helping You Prepare for PA School

Physician assistant education and other graduate-level health professions education is designed to enroll students who are prepared for the rigors of the demanding health science curriculum. Many PA educators have expressed that their incoming students struggle with foundational subjects that are key to success in the didactic year of their program. Significant stressors impact PA program admissions departments when making admissions decisions, such as variability of GPA, variability in quality and content in previous courses, and the length of time since prerequisite courses were taken. As a partner of the PA community, Exam Master recognizes the importance of ensuring that students are ready for the didactic year of their programs. To mitigate this challenge, we have created the Physician Assistant Pre-Matriculation program to assist students as they prepare to enter PA school.

The Physician Assistant Pre-Matriculation program’s core focus is to prepare and refresh incoming PA students on these foundational subjects. PA educators often identify basic science subjects like Anatomy and Physiology as needing a level of remediation that they don’t have time to provide. Our PA Pre-Matriculation program provides a critical understanding of the basic prerequisite science subjects, emphasizing the minimization of knowledge gaps that could result in students falling behind in their early coursework.

Though the primary focus of the PA Pre-Matriculation program is preparation before matriculation, it can also be used during and after the didactic year, since knowledge gaps are usually identified after students have begun the curriculum. The PA Pre-Matriculation program is self-guided and online, so educators can prescribe the program to their students and monitor their progress through the subject learning modules without the need for direct guidance. For students who already know which subjects they struggle with, the self-guided nature of the PA Pre-Matriculation program allows them to take an active role to improve their performance. These students in particular have an opportunity to demonstrate their dedication to succeeding, and the educators can observe the whole process. 

Our PA Pre-Matriculation program is loaded with exercises and information that will help students succeed. Starting with a self-paced review, students can complete in-depth reviews of learning objectives that educators identify as most important. Students work at their own pace through the learning modules while educators and program administrators monitor their activity and results. Throughout the PA Pre-Matriculation program, students are given quizzes to review the information in the learning objective modules. The quizzes are embedded within the learning modules to provide a more interactive experience and help solidify learning. Students are also provided course-specific summative exams at the end of the Pre-Matriculation program designed to assess whether they have met the appropriate learning objectives.

For detailed information about the PA Pre-Matriculation program, click here.

Helping PA Programs Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis

Helping PA Programs Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis

Helping PA Programs Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis

Physician Assistant programs around the country are being significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. We share everyone’s deep concerns about this crisis, and we are very sorrowful for the negative impact this will have on so many people within the PA educational community, including faculty, students and staff.

As an online education company, Exam Master can help programs struggling with making the transition to remote teaching and assessment. We work with over 100 PA programs, many of whom have been asking us questions about how to transition to this new paradigm, and how can Exam Master’s assist them during this crisis. Some of the most common questions many of our clients have been asking us over the last several weeks include: 

  • How do we set up high-stakes online exams and what security options are available?
  • How can we set up remote online proctoring for our online exams?
  • Can Exam Master set up and run our program’s high stakes exams online temporarily?
  • Does a lockdown browser work remotely?
  • How to structure open book tests with summative exams?

ARC-PA and PAEA issued a joint statement providing guidance to PA programs as they meet the challenge of fulfilling their educational mission under these extraordinary COVID-19 circumstances. Exam Master has a collection of online resources that align with the recognized technologies deemed appropriate in the ARC-PA PAEA joint statement for delivery of coursework. Those technologies include e-lectures, streaming, and pre-recordings that can be used to help you transition to remote teaching and assessment during this trying time. This collection of online resources includes: 

  • A Pre-Matriculation Success program that is geared towards incoming and freshmen PA students who may need remediation during the didactic year. The online self-study program covers subjects identified by educators as needing effective remediation, such as Anatomy and Physiology.
  • Subject-based, formative quizzes for students to take during their didactic phase on subjects such as anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and biochemistry. Each quiz includes detailed explanations and references for student review.
  • A 38-hour systems-based review developed by Emory University that integrates didactic and clinical content and includes supplemental materials as well as a summative assessment. The systems-based review is generally geared towards students in the second semester of their didactic; however, the resource can also help support clinical training in a way that is complementary and may fill some gaps.

Our mission during this time is to help make programs aware of those Exam Master resources that are best-suited to helping them as they transition to remote teaching and learning during this particularly challenging time. One area that clients have been particularly interested in is exploring how remote proctoring might help them more securely deliver higher-stakes exams to students at home or off campus. We are looking to learn more about how programs are coping across the country. We are here to help PA programs needing assistance in a number of ways and encourage folks to reach out to us for a conversation.