Vaccinations/Immunizations Requirements (A3.07)
The program requires that all students maintain immunizations as required by state law and recommended by the CDC for healthcare workers. Therefore, all MSPA students must submit proof of vaccinations or titers as applicable before the program orientation and must update verification (a) before participation in clinical components of the program and (b) as requested after that during enrollment in the program. Evidence of vaccinations and titers as applicable will be collected and verified by CastleBranch© (https://mycb.castlebranch.com/). Additionally, any student who is 21 years of age or younger at the time of program orientation must present proof of MPSV or MCV4 (MENACTRA/MENVEO) meningococcal vaccination directly to the campus nurse. The vaccination must have been completed no later than 10 days before program orientation. Students will receive a two-step tuberculosis screening test prior to starting clinical rotations.
The CDC recommended vaccinations for healthcare workers can be found here - https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/hcw.html
Additionally, various clinical facilities affiliated with the MSPA program may have specific health and/or immunization requirements that must be met before students can care for patients within the given facility. Appendix G in the MSPA Student Handbook provides more details regarding required vaccinations and screenings.
The university assumes no responsibility for the effectiveness, contraindications, or adverse effects of required vaccinations. Always consult with your healthcare provider if you have questions about vaccinations.
FLU VACCINE: Students are required to receive 1 dose of influenza vaccine prior to program orientation and annually thereafter during the current flu season, and submitted according to program deadline.
||CDC Recommendations in Brief
|Measles (rubeola), Mumps, Rubella (German Measles)
||Proof of 2 dose MMR vaccination OR positive antibody titer
||Proof of 2 dose varicella vaccination OR positive antibody titer
||Students are required to have documentation of the full Tdap (Td or Tetanus not accepted). Renewals are required 10 years from Tdap administration.
||Students must provide a positive antibody titer to Hepatitis B. If a student does not have immunity, the student is required to obtain a two-dose or three-dose Hepatitis B vaccination series, with a repeat titer one to two months later.
||MPSV or MCV4 is required. As of January 1, 2014, the State of Texas requires all first-time students (or transfer students if 21 years or younger) to obtain the meningitis vaccine or booster within five years prior to a student’s admission date.
This policy aligns with current CDC recommendations for healthcare workers.
The CDC recommended vaccinations for healthcare workers can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/hcw.html
Students must receive a two step tuberculosis Mantoux tuberculin skin test, serum QuantiFERON-TB test, or serumT-SPOT test within 60 days prior to the start of clinical rotations. While students may chose to recive any of the above TB tests through their healthcare provide of choice, the two step TB skin test will be provided by the UMHB campus
nurse free of charge. Students will submit their TB test results through CastleBranch©.
If the TB screen is positive, the student will need to be evaluated by a healthcare provider for further workup at the student’s expense. Students will need to provide a letter from the provider that all additional testing, including a chest x-ray, indicated the students does not have TB.
If a current UMHB PA student becomes TB positive during enrollment, they will be referred to the Bell County Health Department or his/her private physician for follow-up care. Evidence of a negative chest x-ray must be provided within one month. The student must keep the UMHB campus nurse informed of follow-up care during the prescribed regimen.
Students having a documented positive TB skin test upon admission or while enrolled in the program, must provide evidence of a negative chest x-ray taken within the last 2 years. Negative chest x-rays over 2 years old must be repeated. Students with a positive TB skin test must complete a Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) symptom questionnaire annually stating they are symptom free, as well as physician clearance documented on letterhead in order to be cleared to return to campus and clinical sites.
Affiliated Clinical Facility Requirements: Various clinical facilities affiliated with the MSPA program may have specific health and/or immunization requirements that must be met before students are permitted to care for clients within the given facility, including COVID-19 vaccines. Because requirements are site-specific and subject to frequent change, more detailed information will be provided in individual course syllabi, specific student notices, and/or by the clinical facility as it is made available to the university by the facility. The University cannot make exceptions to health and safety policies adopted by a clinical facility.
The university assumes no responsibility for the effectiveness, contraindications, or adverse effects of required vaccinations. Always consult with your own healthcare provider if you have questions about vaccinations.
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Employment While Participating in the Program (A3.15e)
Enrollment in the program is a full-time commitment, and employment during the academic year is not recommended. If a student chooses to be employed while enrolled in the program, academic attendance, performance, and participation standards will not be altered in any way to accommodate employment. Students should be aware that the program will require evening or weekend classes, clinical experiences, and related activities.
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Students as Administrative Staff, Clinical Staff or Instructional Faculty during Pre-Clinical and Clinical Experiences (A3.04, A3.05a-b, A3.15e)
Students are neither required nor permitted to work for the program. The program will not utilize students in place of administrative staff, clinical staff, or as instructional faculty during the pre-clinical or clinical phases of student training. Lectures, structured clinical experience, and overall instruction are the responsibility of the faculty and not students. This policy will be reviewed with all students, instructional faculty, and clinical preceptors on a yearly basis. Acknowledgement of this policy will be demonstrated through the signed MSPA Program Student Acknowledgement and Agreement, Didactic Instructional Faculty Agreement, and Clinical Site Visit forms.
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Students Providing or Soliciting Clinical Sites and/or Preceptors (A3.03)
Students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. The MSPA program will coordinate all clinical sites and preceptors for program-required rotations. Coordinating clinical practice experiences involves identifying, contacting, and evaluating sites and preceptors for suitability as a required or elective rotation experience. Students may make suggestions to principal faculty for sites and preceptors but are not required to do so. Student suggested sites and preceptors will be reviewed, evaluated, and approved for educational suitability by the program.
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Student Grievances (Academic, Discrimination, Harassment) Policies (A3.15f-g)
Academic Appeal Process
Students may appeal any academic decision believed to be arbitrary, capricious, or unfair. A student’s mere dissatisfaction with a grade or decision is not grounds for an appeal. For an appeal to have merit, there must be some evidence that the student has been treated inappropriately with regard to the administration of the university’s policies and procedures. The academic appeal process is published and readily available to students prior to and upon matriculation in the UMHB Graduate Catalog.
Reporting Discrimination (including harassment) to University Authorities
Any student who has experienced or observed unwelcome conduct which may constitute illegal discrimination or sexual harassment is encouraged to report the matter. Students are encouraged to report such behavior before it becomes severe or pervasive. The university can take appropriate steps to prevent the situation from creating an environment that is hostile to education.
Some examples of matters, which are appropriate to report and file a complaint within this section include:
§ A complaint of sex discrimination or sexual / gender harassment carried out by university employees, other
students, or third parties
§ A complaint of gender inequity in any program of the university
§ A complaint of discrimination based on a disability or handicap
§ A complaint of any violation of the university's Policy Against Discrimination or Harassment
Information is readily accessible prior to and upon matriculation:
- In the Non-Discrimination Statement located in the MSPA Student Handbook
- On the university’s Title IX webpage
- In the university’s Student Handbook
- On the university's online [REPORT IT] (https://www.umhb.edu/students/report-it#1845) website
Reporting Allegations of Student Mistreatment to University Authorities
The Physician Assistant Program does not have a separate and distinct policy for processing Physician Assistant student grievances or allegations of student mistreatment or harassment. The program follows and complies with university-wide policies and procedures for processing student grievances and allegations of student mistreatment or harassment.
For Physician Assistant Program students needing to file a grievance related to allegations of student mistreatment (such as discrimination, sexual harassment, unprofessional relationships, abuse of authority, and abusive and/or intimidating behavior), please refer to the Report It link on the website here - https://www.umhb.edu/students/report-it.
Students may select their concern and it will direct them to the appropriate resource for reporting. Concerns involving unprofessional relationships, abuse of authority, and abusive and/or intimidating behavior should be reported in the “Other Concerns” category.
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Student Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Hazards Policy (A1.02g, A3.08a-c, A3.09)
The MSPA program utilizes guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to address student exposure to infectious and environmental hazards. The Program will provide appropriate training to students on infectious and environmental hazards before any educational activities that would place students at risk. This policy on infectious and environmental hazards will address methods of prevention, procedures for care and treatment after exposure, financial responsibility, and program participation following exposure.
Methods of Prevention (A1.02g, A3.08a)
Standard precaution practices are designed to protect healthcare professionals and reduce the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens and hazardous substances from recognized and unrecognized sources. These precautions apply to all laboratory and clinical training experiences. All faculty and students must utilize Standard Precautions in activities that present exposure to infectious pathogens and hazardous substances. Failure to do so may be grounds for disciplinary action.
Students must avoid direct contact with blood, bodily fluids, secretions, excretions, mucous membranes, non-intact skin, and possibly contaminated articles. Students should also avoid direct contact and injury from all sharps and dispose of them in designated puncture-resistant containers directly after use.
Methods of prevention include all of the following:
Hand Hygiene – Hand hygiene is crucial in reducing the risk of transmitting infectious agents. Hand hygiene should occur after touching blood, bodily fluids, secretions, excretions, or contaminated articles; immediately after removing gloves or any personal protective equipment; before and after any patient contact; and before performing an aseptic task (e.g., placing an IV, preparing an injection).
Hand hygiene includes the use of soap and water, as well as approved alcohol-based products for hand disinfection. CDC guidelines recommend using an alcohol-based hand rub for most hand hygiene. Soap and water should be used immediately if 1) hands are visibly soiled or 2) hands come in direct contact with blood, bodily fluids, secretions, excretions, contaminated articles, or after caring for patients with known or suspected infectious diarrhea. Practice hand hygiene frequently and thoroughly.
Personal Protective Equipment – Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes exam gloves, face masks, face shields, protective eyewear, and protective clothing (e.g., reusable or disposable gown, jacket, laboratory coat, caps, shoe covers, and aprons). The use of this apparel and equipment is to protect skin and mucous membranes, especially the eyes, nose, and mouth. PPE should be worn whenever the risk of exposure is present. Protective apparel should not be worn from one patient or activity to another and should be properly removed and disposed of after each use.
Gloves are to be removed and disposed of after each use. Gloves should be worn when handling blood, bodily fluids, secretions, or excretions; when touching mucous membranes, non-intact skin, and body orifices; or when touching contaminated articles or equipment.
Facial gear and protective clothing should be worn for procedures and patient-care activities likely to generate splashes or sprays of bodily fluids or other hazardous material exposures. Facial gear and protective clothing should also be worn when anticipated procedures and activities will cause contact of clothing and exposed skin with blood, bodily fluids, secretions, or excretions.
Latex Sensitivity and Allergies – Students with a history of latex sensitivity or allergy should notify the program director upon matriculation or soon thereafter. Current students who develop symptoms of latex sensitivity should notify the program director as soon as possible. Students will complete the Student Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Form (Appendix I) and be referred to the UMHB Disability Services for assessment. The MSPA program will work with Disability Services to provide a latex-safe learning environment (those areas which minimize exposure to materials containing latex) to students with latex sensitivity and allergies.
Needles and Other Sharps – All needles and sharps should be handled with extreme care to avoid exposure. Needles should not be recapped, bent, or hand-manipulated. If possible, self-sheathing needles and/or needleless systems should be utilized to minimize risk. Immediately after use, all needles and other sharps must be safely placed in a puncture-resistant container.
Safe Handling of Possible Contaminated Articles or Surfaces – All patient-care equipment, textiles, and laundry should be handled to prevent the transfer of microorganisms to others and the environment. All contaminated articles, equipment, and materials should be disposed of or cleaned safely as prescribed. In all areas where patient care is performed, cleaning and disinfection should occur after every activity and between patients. Anyone handling possibly contaminated articles or surfaces must perform hand hygiene immediately.
Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette – Many strategies can be employed to prevent or minimize the spread of respiratory infections. The mouth and nose should always be covered with a tissue or the crook of the elbow when coughing or sneezing. Tissues should be used and disposed of properly. Hand hygiene should be performed directly after hands have contact with respiratory secretions. Maintaining a considerable distance and wearing a face mask can also help minimize or prevent the spread of respiratory pathogens.
Pregnancy - Students who become pregnant while enrolled in the program are advised to notify the UMHB Title IX Coordinator and program director as soon as possible. Because there is always the risk of exposure to infectious diseases and environmental hazards, it is important that the student take the necessary precautions to avoid any harm. The Title IX office and Disability Services will work with the student and the MSPA program to develop an individualized plan to prevent adverse exposures during their training. Contact: Susan Owens, Vice President for Policy and Risk Management, Title IX Coordinator and non-discrimination compliance officer, Sanderford Administrative Complex, 900 College Street, Belton, Texas 76513, Office (254) 295-4527, email to email@example.com
The Standard Precautions outlined above are based on CDC and OSHA guidelines:
Procedures for Care and Treatment After Exposure (A1.02g, A3.08b, A3.09)
If exposure to blood and/or other bodily fluid or a needle stick injury occurs, the following
protocol should be followed:
Immediately Following Exposure or Injury – The student should remove any soiled clothing. Wounds and skin sites that have been in contact with blood or bodily fluids should be immediately washed with soap and water. If mucous membranes received potential exposure, they should be flushed with water (e.g., nose, mouth, skin, etc.). Eyes should be irrigated with clean water, saline, or sterile irrigation. Antiseptics could be used, but caustic agents (e.g., bleach) are not recommended.
Faculty and Program Notification – The student should immediately notify the course director (pre-clinical) and Program Director or clinical preceptors and Clinical Director (if during the clinical phase). After medical care has been addressed, the student must complete the Student Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Hazards Form (Appendix I) for the MSPA Program and a similar form for the clinical site where the incident occurred (if applicable). Students will submit the completed form to the MSPA Program Director (pre-clinical) at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or the Clinical Director (clinical) at email@example.com. The Student Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Hazards Form will be placed in the student’s record. Principal faculty, the Program Director, and the Medical Director WILL NOT participate as healthcare providers for students enrolled in the Program, except in an emergency situation.
Medical Evaluation and Care – Medical evaluation and care should occur immediately after exposure, as some treatments should be initiated within as little as 2 hours following exposure. If able, it is also imperative to evaluate the donor’s risk status immediately.
Exposed individuals should go directly to an emergency room or urgent care for assessment and initial prophylactic treatment (if needed). If the exposure occurs at an off-campus clinical site during normal business hours, the student should follow the Infection Control Policy of the clinical site. Outside of business hours, the student should go for evaluation IMMEDIATELY to the nearest emergency room associated with the clinical site where the incident occurred.
For additional resources, please refer to the CDC’s most current guidelines at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/bbp
Financial Responsibility (A3.08c)
For any exposure or injuries that may occur during the MSPA program, please note that the payment for medical evaluation, treatment, and care is the sole responsibility of the student and their insurance carrier. Free and confidential student counseling services are available through the UMHB Student Counseling Center.
Laboratory Safety (A3.08a)
Students in the MSPA program must participate in a Gross Anatomy Lab and a Clinical Skills Lab during the pre-clinical phase of training. As appropriate, lab safety and methods to prevent exposure to infectious and environmental hazards also apply to those pre-clinical courses. Laboratory safety training occurs during course orientation prior to students entering the lab for the first time.
The program’s intention is to make laboratory-based learning safe and applicable. The safety of students, staff, and faculty in laboratory environments is considered paramount.
- For all emergencies, CALL 911.
- Students and faculty must follow safety directives at all times. Students and faculty may be removed from the lab for failure to follow these directives.
- Students will use professional conduct consistently during labs.
- Irresponsible or unsafe behavior is strictly prohibited in any element of program participation, but particularly in laboratory settings. Unsafe or irresponsible behaviors are to be reported to the course director immediately.
- All accidents, injuries, and exposure to infectious and environmental hazards should immediately be reported to the course director followed by the program director. Students will follow the Procedures for Care and Treatment After Exposure described in the MSPA Student Handbook.
- Students are required to complete the Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Hazards Form found in Appendix I.
- Doubt about any procedure or technique must be raised and resolved BEFORE the procedure or technique is initiated.
Adverse Reactions to Laboratory Chemicals (A3.08a,b) -
Students with a history of formaldehyde sensitivity or allergy should notify the program director upon matriculation or soon thereafter. Current students who develop symptoms of formaldehyde sensitivity should notify the program director as soon as possible. Students will complete the Student Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Hazards Form (Appendix I) and be referred to the UMHB Disability Services for assessment. The MSPA program will work with Disability Services to develop a plan to provide prevention strategies and reasonable accommodations.
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Faculty as Student Health Care Providers Policy (A3.09)
Any individual who is in any capacity as faculty (clinical, principal, lecturing, or otherwise on paid or unpaid status) must not act as health care providers for the program students except as a basic responder in an emergency situation. Students are to be directed to their primary care provider, emergency department, or other health care provider.
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Student Services Addressing Personal Issues Policy (A3.09, A3.10)
UMHB provides a wide array of services to ensure students’ satisfactory progress within the program is not obstructed. These services include counseling, disability services, health services, financial aid, and spiritual counseling. Many of these services are provided as part of the cost of attendance at UMHB. Students are encouraged to utilize these services or other off-campus resources that fit their needs. Costs related to services required off-campus are the financial responsibility of the individual student. More detailed information regarding on-campus services and each service’s contact information can be found in Appendix F of the MSPA Student Handbook. Students are encouraged to establish care with a provider in the area for routine care, use urgent care sites for urgent needs, and call 911 to seek emergency medical attention.
If a student requires assistance because of an immediate crisis or life-threatening situation, they should immediately call 911 and, if time allows, contact the UMHB Police Department at (254) 295-5555. If a student observes anyone harming, attempting to harm, or stating intent to harm himself, herself, or another person, the student should report the matter immediately to the UMHB Police Department (254-295-5555) and then to the Dean of Students (254-295-4496).
The student of concern will be referred to the Dean of Students, where an individual risk assessment will be performed.
Students will be assigned a faculty mentor upon matriculation who will act as their official student advisor. The faculty advisors, including the principal faculty, program director, and medical director, are available to direct students to appropriate resources and assure timely receipt of services. Faculty members are expected to respond to student concerns within 24 hours. While prohibited from participating as health care providers for students in the program, except in an emergency, program personnel are available to assist students in accessing university services. Student academic records will be maintained in the student file, while student health information that includes a referral to a campus resource will be maintained by the office/department in which the student is being referred to ensure that student health records are confidential and not accessible to or reviewed by the program, principal or instructional faculty, or staff.
Available Drug or Alcohol Counseling and Rehabilitation Services
UMHB Student Counseling Services offer confidential and anonymous referral information regarding community substance abuse resources. UMHB Student Counseling, Services’ Alcohol and Drug Education Program provides a variety of educational programs related to college students and the use of alcohol or other drugs. Printed information and confidential educational consultations are available to students to assist with alcohol and other drug-related questions or concerns. Call (254) 295-4696 or go to the UMHB Student Services office (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays) in the Mabee Student Success Center to obtain information, request assistance, or schedule an appointment.
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Academic Standards (A3.15a)
The semester credit hour is a unit by which an institution measures its course work. The value of a semester credit hour can be determined by time, the educational experience, and outside preparation by the student. The following constitutes the definition of a semester credit hour for various modes of instruction offered at UMHB:
- At least fifteen (15) contact hours, as well as, a minimum of thirty (30) hours of student homework is required for each semester credit hour.
- Laboratory courses, with little outside work, require a minimum of forty-five (45) contact hours. If moderate outside work is required, thirty (30) contact hours are required.
- Internships, clinical, and field experiences require a minimum of forty-five (45) clock hours for each semester credit hour.
Syllabi for every course will contain the appropriate definition of a semester credit hour from the list above. Each course will follow this definition.
The first digit in the numbering system denotes the course level (5 & 6 Masters, 7 Doctoral). The second digit denotes the number of semester hours the course carries. The third and fourth digits are departmental numbers.
||Interpretation of Grades
||No Grade Submitted
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Academic Performance, Progression, and Appeal Policies (A3.15 b)
The purpose of this policy is to provide clear expectations on requirements related to academic performance and progression. It is the intent of the program to fairly evaluate the progress of our student’s attainment of didactic and clinical competencies and to promote successful academic advancement through remediation collaboratively.
The MSPA curriculum is delivered in a sequential pattern. All courses in each semester are prerequisites for the following semester courses and continued enrollment. If a student is granted a leave of absence, they will be required to complete all coursework within four years from their original program start date. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or above, semester and cumulative, is required of all graduate students enrolled at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Students with a semester or cumulative GPA of less than 3.00 will be placed on probation. Two consecutive terms of enrollment with a semester or cumulative GPA of less than 3.00 will result in dismissal from the program. Demonstration of competency is required for the student to progress in the program.
At the end of each semester, the Student Promotions committee designates each student’s academic standing in the program. Students in good standing with the program demonstrate satisfactory progression in achieving competencies and demonstrate professionalism commensurate with their stage of education. Satisfactory progression and professionalism can be further defined as:
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Absence of serious and/or multiple academic warnings or academic alerts
- Absence of serious and/or multiple remediation plans
A student with a semester or cumulative GPA of less than 3.00 will be placed on academic probation. Any MSPA student placed on academic probation will be required to meet with the faculty advisor and MSPA program director to develop a remediation plan. During the subsequent semester, a student must achieve a semester GPA of 3.00 or better and improve the cumulative GPA to 3.00 or better to be removed from academic probation. Two consecutive terms of enrollment with a semester or cumulative GPA of less than 3.00 will result in dismissal from the program.
The following will be required for the student to be removed from probation to a good standing status:
- Semester GPA of 3.0
- Overall GPA of 3.0
Written academic alerts may be given to the student at any point during the student’s enrollment. Academic Alerts are provided to support and assist students in academic success when his/her academic performance in one or more areas requires attention. Outcomes and specific action steps are included in the Academic Alert.
Written academic warnings may be given to the student at any point during the student’s enrollment. Reasons for academic warnings include but are not limited to academic probation, the elevation of academic alert, failure to comply with a remediation plan, violation of program policies or procedures. Outcomes and specific action steps are included in the academic alert.
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Individualized Remediation Plans are created to specifically address areas where a student needs improvement to attain, maintain or re-attain good academic standing in the Program. Students can be placed on an individualized remediation plan during a semester or following a semester of low performance (whether or not the low performance resulted in academic probation).
Students will be recommended for individualized remediation for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to unsatisfactory grades, professional performance issues, academic alerts, academic warnings, or academic probation. The individualized remediation plan may be recommended by a faculty member, the Student Promotions Committee, MSPA program director, academic director, or clinical director. The MSPA program director, academic director, and/or clinical director will approve the individualized remediation plan. Once approved, the MSPA program director, academic director, or clinical director will either oversee the remediation plan or assign it to a course director, advisor, or other appropriate faculty. The outcomes will be documented and assessed with either the MSPA program director, academic director, or clinical director to ascertain if the student successfully completed the remediation plan.
Deceleration is a mechanism for allowing students in the MSPA program an opportunity to complete the 28-month curriculum through the required repetition of a portion of the curriculum due to a student's inability to meet the requirements of the program. Students must be in good academic standing to qualify.
The MSPA Student Promotions Committee, in collaboration with the Program Director and Dean of Health Professions, will evaluate if a student should be offered an opportunity to decelerate in the program. Deceleration may only be granted to a student in extenuating circumstances. If granted, the student may be required to audit all courses full-time leading up to the student's deceleration. Deceleration may also occur through repeating Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences. Decelerated students must still complete the MSPA program within the maximum time of 4 years.
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Withdrawal, Leave of Absence, Dismissal, and Readmission (A3.15d)
Withdrawal from the program has significant consequences. A student may request a withdrawal from the program at any time. In addition, the program reserves the right to require the withdrawal of a student at any time it is deemed necessary to safeguard the standards of orderly operation, scholarship, and conduct. Students may not withdraw from individual courses or clinical experiences in the program curriculum but must withdraw from the entire program. A grade of “W” will be posted to the student’s transcript for all courses within the withdrawal semester.
Leave of Absence
Under extenuating circumstances, a leave of absence may be granted to a student in good academic standing with the program at the sole discretion of the university. Students should understand that a leave of absence will likely delay progression through or graduation from the program. If approved, a leave of absence will typically be granted for a maximum of 12 months.
If a student wishes to request a leave of absence as a medical/disability accommodation, s/he must contact the Disability Services Office.
If a student wishes to request a leave of absence for pregnancy accommodation, she must contact the Title IX Office. In these situations, the office of origin will evaluate, and if applicable, coordinate the leave with the MSPA program director.
If a student wishes to request a leave of absence for any other reason, he/she must submit the request in writing to the MSPA program director. Requests should be submitted within 30 days prior to the requested leave or as soon as practical. The university does not guarantee that the student’s place in the cohort will be available upon return to the program.
The MSPA program director, in consultation with the dean of the school of health professions and other appropriate faculty/staff, will review the request and notify the student in writing of the decision as soon as possible, typically within two weeks of the request. All university policies regarding withdrawal, grades, and refunds will apply.
A student preparing to return from a leave of absence must request reinstatement in writing to the office where the request was initially made (Disability Services, Title IX, or MSPA program director) as soon as it is practical. The program director, in consultation with the Student Promotions Committee, will make an academic determination whether the student should re-enter the program at the point when the leave of absence began, at some other appropriate point, or whether the student must submit a program readmission application and enter the program at the beginning. The program director’s decision shall be made based on the length of the absence, the student’s academic performance before the absence, the point in the program at which the absence began, and any other relevant academic criteria.
If a student who takes leave either (1) did not request a leave of absence as outlined in this policy or (2) elected to take leave although the leave request was denied, the student would be required to reapply for program admission.
Students may be dismissed from the program for reasons which may include but are not limited to:
- Failure to meet post-acceptance requirements as specified in the admissions policy and offer of the acceptance letter
- Two consecutive terms of enrollment with a semester or cumulative GPA of less than 3.00
- Failure of a didactic course
- Failure of two supervised clinical practice experience
- Violations of the university’s Academic Integrity Policy
- Academic performance that does not meet program standards, including professional behaviors and technical standards
- Failure to follow the program’s policy regarding drugs and alcohol
The Student Promotions Committee may also recommend dismissal from the MSPA program to the MSPA program director when a student fails to comply with a remediation plan.
Students will be notified in writing by the MSPA program director of their dismissal, and a copy will become part of the student’s education record.
Students may appeal program dismissal by following the Academic Appeal Process in the UMHB Graduate Catalog.
Readmission to the Program
A student returning from an approved leave of absence is generally not required to reapply for admission.
A student dismissed from the MSPA program due to academic probation or failure of one MSPA didactic course may apply for readmission to the program.
A student dismissed from the MSPA program for the failure of more than one MSPA didactic course or failure of two or more supervised clinical practice experience is not eligible to apply for readmission to the program. The university may declare a student ineligible for readmission to the MSPA program after dismissal for a serious violation of program or university policy, including student misconduct as described in the UMHB Student Handbook.
Applying for readmission does not guarantee that a student will be re-admitted. To apply for readmission consideration, a student must reapply to the MSPA program through CASPA. The student must also submit a letter to the MSPA program director that includes a self-assessment of why he/she did not successfully complete the course(s), a description of how he/she has or will prepare for re-entering the program, including remediation, and why the student believes he/she will be successful when completing the course(s) for a second time. The MSPA Student Promotions Committee is responsible for advising the Admissions Committee when students are eligible for readmission to the program.
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Graduation Requirements Policy (A3.15a-b)
Students who have satisfactorily completed all academic requirements listed below and who have been recommended by the MSPA program director for graduation may be awarded the Master of Science in Physician Assistant.
The following are requirements for graduation from the UMHB MSPA program:
- Overall GPA of 3.0
- Successful completion of all 120 credit hours
- Attain a passing score on the Summative Evaluation
- Adhere to all behavioral, ethical, and procedural requirements outlined in the MSPA Student Handbook and MSPA Clinical Manual
- Completion of the program within four years from the original program start date
- Settle all financial accounts with the university
- Pay all graduation fees and complete all graduation clearance requirements as instructed by the Office of the Registrar
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The UMHB MSPA program follows the dress code guidelines outlined in the UMHB Student Handbook. Additionally, the MSPA program has specific rules regarding the student dress code, including this handbook and the MSPA Clinical Manual. Students must wear name tags at all times during the pre-clinical and clinical phases of training. UMHB MSPA students must be clearly identified in the clinical setting to distinguish them from physicians, medical students, and other health profession students and graduates. The name tag must be clearly written to include the student’s name, the word student, and affiliation with UMHB. Students are required to dress in a manner that maintains the image of a professional physician assistant while on campus and in the clinical setting. Students must wear black or gray scrub sets or program shirts, scrub bottoms, and closed-toe shoes during the pre-clinical coursework. Faculty may specify that students dress in professional attire for special occasions, such as guest speakers, invited guests, interaction with patients on campus, and OSCEs. Students will be expected to wear business attire with a clean, pressed white coat.
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