Policies and Procedures Regarding Attendance

The MPAS Program has a mandatory attendance policy for required activities. PA students are expected to be in attendance for all didactic and clinical activities. The MPAS Program’s block schedule specifically includes time when students are not involved in class, lab or MLFC activities such that, if needed, students can attend to outside appointments (e.g., medical appointments).

TIMELY ACCESS TO SERVICES ADDRESSING PERSONAL ISSUES WHICH MAY IMPACT STUDENT PROGRESS IN THE MPAS PROGRAM

The Department and MPAS Program are committed to the personal and academic success and well-being of all students, including timely access to services addressing personal issues which may impact progress in the PA program. Although it is ideal if students receive services outside of their classroom hours, and, as noted below, time is included in the schedule for such activities, given the course load in the program this is not always possible. In such cases when timely access is otherwise not possible due to severity, access, or after hours availability, the MPAS Program permits students class release time to receive services from healthcare providers and the Powell Resource Center - including academic success services, counseling, and disability support services.

PERSONAL DAYS

Recognizing the incredible time commitment in the didactic phase of the program, and understanding that many students will greatly benefit from a rare day off without risking academic success, the MPAS program faculty have adopted a policy permitting one personal day off per semester for didactic phase students. Personal days do not need to be excused by program faculty, but students must adhere to the following:

  • A maximum of one personal day per semester is permitted and can only be taken in the didactic-phase summer, fall, and spring semesters.
  • Partial personal days (e.g., missing one course) count as full personal days (i.e., time cannot be saved or banked).
  • Students are fully responsible for any materials presented on missed days.
  • A personal day cannot be taken on the day of any written, practical or lab examinations.
  • A personal day cannot be taken on the day of Clinical Skills lab activities and/or group assignment activities in any coursework.
  • A personal day cannot be taken in succession with school breaks, holidays, or requested excused absences.
  • Students must still submit the Didactic-Phase Student Absence From Program Activity Form.
  • The Didactic-Phase Student Absence From Program Activity Form must be submitted to all course directors at least 24 hours in advance of the absence.
  • The MPAS Program reserves the right to deny personal days for students at risk of or on academic and/or behavioral probation, and for students taking two or more absences during one or more semesters.
  • Violation of any of the above policies will result in an unexcused absence and enforcement of MPAS Program policies as detailed in the MPAS Program Student Handbooks. 
ABSENCES FROM REQUIRED ACTIVITIES

Other than posted holidays, semester breaks, personal days. and when released from the program, students should expect to be present on campus from 8:00am to 5:00pm EST, Monday through Friday in addition to one-to-two weekly evening hours for scheduled MLFC, sim lab, and service activities, and occasional Saturday hours for make-up classes.

In addition to semester breaks and semester holidays, and personal days, the MPAS Program includes time off on some Monday mornings and most weekday late afternoons. The student schedule, which should always be viewed as subject to change, is posted prior to the start of each semester in the Google Calendar. If time-off is not indicated in the calendar schedule, students are expected to be on-campus for program required classes and activities. Given the amount of semester breaks, holidays, personal days, and scheduled time-off, additional absences may significantly adversely affect a student’s learning and subsequent mastery of material.

In the event of personal extenuating circumstances (including outside appointments), the student is to notify the Course Director(s) a minimum of 24-hours in advance of classes/activities by submitting the program-specific Absence for Program Activity Form via the EValue system; one form must be submitted separately to every course director for courses to be missed. In the event of illness, family issue (e.g., family illness, child’s illness), or emergency or crises, the student is to notify the Course Director(s) as soon as possible on the day of instruction utilizing the same form and process detailed above. Different processes exist for Clinical-Phase activities as detailed below.

The following policies apply to all other absences:

  • For absences occurring during schedule examinations, evaluations, and quizzes, please refer to the Examination Policies section of this handbook.
  • For all absences, students must submit the appropriate form to each Course Director holding classes/activities during the time of the absence.
    • Submitting the form in no way guarantees that the absence will be approved and excused.
    • The Course Director will determine if the absence is considered an excused absence, on a case-by-case basis. The course director’s decision is to be considered final.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Course Directors regarding making up any missed work and fill out the required absence form.
  • An extended absence (i.e., absence >3 days) will be addressed by the Department Chair/Program Director in consultation with all MPAS Program principal faculty.
  • Submitting an absence form does not guarantee approval of an excused absence. Excessive requests of three or more per semester will result in a professionalism evaluation.
  • PA students are expected to be in attendance at all scheduled meetings with faculty and staff in the Department of PA Studies. It is considered unprofessional for students to cancel scheduled meetings with faculty/staff for other meetings/activities without prior approval of at least 24 hours’ notice, unless an emergency.
  • PA students are expected to be present for all clinical rotation activities, including supervised clinical practice experiences and call-back-day activities as established by the Director of Clinical Education and according to the schedule provided by the preceptor in each rotation.
    • The student should notify the Director of Clinical Education and their Preceptor of any absence.
    • An extended absence from clinical rotation will be addressed by the Director of Clinical Education and the Department Chair/Program Director.
    • For more information on excused and unexcused absences and consequences during the clinical phase of training, refer to the Program’s Clinical Student Handbook.
  • PA students are expected to remain available on campus for all scheduled activities in the program, including but not limited to remediation activities and advisor meetings. Failure to do so is considered unprofessional behavior and subject to professionalism policies.
  • Repetitively requesting (i.e., >2 per semester) to be off campus or absent from scheduled activities is considered unprofessional behavior and subject to professionalism policies.
  • For the didactic phase of the program, more than five excused absences is considered to be an issue with professionalism or the ability to meet all of the MPAS Program’s technical standards and, as such, may result in students being placed on Behavioral Probation and associated consequences up to and including deceleration or dismissal from the program.
  • For the clinical phase of the program, even though students are required to make-up all absences, more than one excused absence each semester is considered to be an issue with professionalism or the ability to meet all of the MPAS Program’s technical standards and, as such, may result in students being placed on Behavioral Probation and associated consequences up to and including deceleration or dismissal from the program.