How to Successfully Increase Enrollment for Your PA Class

Submitting a request to the ARC-PA to increase enrollment for your PA class may seem slightly daunting. Follow this helpful guide to successfully increase your enrollment.

Determine which type of increase you are requesting

Is your request a one-time increase or an incremental increase? Either way, you will need to provide evidence of having a sufficient number of clinical sites to support the maximum class size.

Establish student attrition

In order to successfully increase enrollment, student attrition must be determined for the three most recent graduating classes, as well as the current classes. You must also provide a brief analysis of your student attrition.

Provide a rationale

Expectedly, you must provide a narrative of your rationale for your request to increase your class size—be sure to reference the standards. Develop a comprehensive regional analysis and impact report. The impact report should be triangulated with your Pa program’s mission and goals.

The key elements of a regional analysis include:

  • Competitive Landscape: A summary of State PA programs, number of graduates per year, accreditation status, location, distance from each school, tuition (in state versus out of state), length of the programs, number of students per program, and graduation rates

  • Job Outlook: A projected growth of employment for PAs over the next five years, number of job postings in the US (locally and within your state)

  • Supply and demand, annual mean wages, other healthcare occupations, vital statistics and health status indicators, facility data, and socio-economic data

  • Economic Regions

  • Initial and ongoing clinical site evaluation, preceptor remediation, renewed preceptor evaluation, site visit policy

  • New space utilization

Discuss the adequacy of resources

Be sure to include a discussion on the adequacy of resources available to support your proposed change, as well as resources that will be added, including a timeline for each of the proposed changes. Remember to reference the standards when considering the resources. Renovations and changes in classrooms, labs or faculty should also be discussed in this section.

Supporting documentation (as appendices) may include:

  • Physical Examination and Clinical Procedures Renovation Timeline

  • Physical Examination and Clinical Procedures Lab blueprint

  • Classroom Pictures

  • Sample OSCE rooms

  • Timeline for Hiring New Faculty or Staff

  • Personnel Template from ARC-PA Portal

  • New Lab Space Utilization

Explain budget changes

You must review how the budget will change in alignment with an increase in class size. Be sure to provide the necessary details to explain where/how increased funds will be utilized. The ARC-PA will provide a template to describe your budget changes; remember to be specific.

Supporting documentation (as appendices) may include:

  • Budget Template

Describe Personnel

You will also need to describe personnel, including the number/FTE of faculty and staff, as well as how it will change with the increase in class size. Discuss the anticipated role of each new faculty/staff needed to support the increase; this may include a job description and chart appendices describing program FTE designations.

Additionally, you will need to discuss any anticipated faculty attrition. A faculty workload can be demonstrated by each faculty listing course responsibility and number of credit hours teaching each semester. Discuss the role of each current and new faculty, including how sufficiency of faculty and staff is to be determined. Use a tabular representation to display current and proposed faculty and staff; use the personnel tab off your ARC-PA portal.

Supporting documentation (as appendices) may include:

  • Timeline for Hiring New Faculty or Staff

  • Personnel Template from ARC-PA Portal

  • Faculty Workload

  • Sufficient FTE Analysis

Explain classroom and laboratory spaces

You must describe classroom and laboratory spaces, including current capacities and whether any new areas will be needed in order to accommodate the proposed increase in class size. Demonstrate an ability to provide space for the maximum number of students being requested. Evidence of classroom space with pictures belongs in the appendices.

Supporting documentation (as appendices) may include:

  • Physical Examination and Clinical Procedures Renovation Timeline

  • Physical Examination and Clinical Procedures Lab Blueprint

  • Classroom Pictures

  • Sample OSCE Rooms

Describe technological resources

You will also need to discuss technological resources, including the current capacity at computer labs. Be sure to include whether the current capacity will accommodate the proposed class size increase. Reference the ARC-PA standards and discuss other technological resources, including wireless computer access, interactive SMART technology, and master control room for technological support

Other resources may include:

  • Exam soft

  • PAST

  • Student course evaluation platforms

  • Typhon Tracking

  • PAEA exam driver (PACKRAT and EORE)

  • Simulation centers

  • Blackboard (Learning Management System)

Lastly, discuss the library and access to journals and research data bases.

Explain the process of clinical site development

You must discuss your process of clinical site development. This report will specifically detail your starting number of clinical sites, as well as how many sites were increased due to recruitment efforts. Use the SCPE table from the ARC-PA portal to amend your clinical sites. Note, if the increase being requested is incremental, your PA program must have sites sufficient to support the final maximum class size. The ARC-PA will verify the number of SCPE sites three months prior to the start of each class, which must have agreements in place.

You must also describe how clinical sites are evaluated with your initial and ongoing clinical site evaluation form, preceptor remediation, renewed preceptor evaluation, and the clinical site visit policy.

Supporting documentation (as appendices) may include:

  • SCPE Template

  • Pre- and Post-Clinical Site Development

  • Clinical Site Evaluation

Discuss any other changes

Finally, you must explain any other changes expected to be made in support of the increased enrollment.

Note, you will be required to submit a five-year plan, first time pass rate, and a letter of instructional support from the Dean confirming support for this increase in class size.

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