Policies

Policy Application (Standard A3.01):
Program policies apply to all students and faculty, regardless of location (Academic Handbook, p. 3; Clinical Handbook, p. 3)
Clinical Site/Preceptor identification (Standard A3.03):
Students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. The Brenau University Department of Physician Assistant Studies has sufficient quality clinical sites in its region to place students for rotation purposes. A student, however, may at times learn of a potential rotation with a preceptor that is NOT already affiliated with Brenau University. In this case, the student must submit a written request to the program identifying the potential preceptor and rotation. The Director of Clinical Education will review all requests and if approved, the program will seek to obtain an agreement with that preceptor for a potential self-identified rotation for the student (Clinical Handbook, p. 51).
Policy on Student Work (Standards A3.04, A3.05a, A3.15e):
  • The PA program strongly discourages any employment during the 28 months in the program.
  • Students are prohibited from performing clerical or administrative work for the program.
  • Students cannot substitute or function as instructional faculty while a student.
  • Students cannot be employed/paid by any clinic/institution/private physician while assigned to said clinic/institution/physician for a SCPE (Academic Handbook, p. 36 Clinical Handbook, p. 33).
Policies related to student exposure infectious and environmental hazards (Standard A3.08):
Universal Precautions and OSHA training regarding methods of prevention are presented to the student during orientation to the program. Policies related to methods of prevention, procedures for care and treatment after exposure and definition of financial responsibility are outlined in the Academic Handbook, pp. 43-44 and are reviewed with the student during initial program orientation. The policies are further outlined in the Clinical Handbook and are reviewed with the student during the Clinical Year Orientation.
Policy related to faculty providing health care to students (Standard A3.09):
Principal faculty, the program director and the medical director must not participate as health care providers for students in the program, except in an emergency situation. This policy is included on p. 20 of the Academic Handbook and p. 22 of the Clinical Handbook.
Policy related to faculty advisors (Standard A3.10):
Students are assigned a faculty advisor upon matriculation who will monitor the student’s progress through the program. Policies regarding mandatory meetings are outlined in the Academic Handbook (p. 29). Faculty advisors are responsible for meeting with the student to evaluate for potential barriers or personal issues that may impact the student’s progress in the program and referring the student to appropriate services. Available services for students are outlined on p. 14 of the Academic Handbook.
Policies regarding harassment and sexual misconduct (Standard A1.02):
Policies and procedures for processing student grievances and allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct are outlined in the Brenau University Student Handbook (PDF), pp. 38, 39, 50-55, 58-73 and on the Brenau University Catalog Sexual Misconduct web page.
Policies regarding student mistreatment (Standard A3.15f)
Brenau University Department of Physician Assistant Studies is dedicated to fostering a safe and respectful learning environment for all students, and as such, it does not tolerate any intentional or unintentional mistreatment. Brenau University has several policies in place to protect students from mistreatment, The Brenau University Non-Discrimination Policy (Policy BT-100-06), Title VI & Title IX Compliance Policy (Policy SS-GP-200-15), Brenau University Harassment Policy (SS-GP-200-28), and The Brenau University Sexual Misconduct Policy (Policy SS-GP-200-37). If you feel that you have been mistreated, please contact Program Director Dr. Keena (jkeena@brenau.edu) or Assistant Program Director Dr. Patch (kpatch@brenau.edu). Mistreatment of students is defined by, but not limited to:

  • Public belittling or humiliation
  • Discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation
  • Psychological abuse
  • Threat of, or actual physical harm
  • Being required to perform personal services
  • Sexual harassment, including being subjected to unwanted sexual advances, or asked to exchange sexual favors for grades or other rewards
  • Being subjected to sexist, racist, or ethnically offensive comments
  • Receiving lower evaluations or grades for factors other than academic achievement
Policies regarding student grievances and appeals (Standard A3.15g)
Policies and procedures for processing student grievances and appeals are outlined in the Brenau University Student Handbook (PDF) pp. 8, 14-15, 34-37 and in the Brenau University Catalog section on grievances and grade appeals.
Policies regarding advanced placement (Standard A3.16):
The Department of PA Studies does not award advanced standing in the program, does not allow for transfer of credits into the didactic or clinical phase, and does not provide credit for experiential learning. Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies students must complete the entire 28-month program (126 credit hours) at Brenau University.
Criminal Background Checks:
Accepted applicants and students are required to obtain a Criminal Background Check as part of the admission process for the Brenau University Department of Physician Assistant Studies. The student will be responsible for the costs for the pre-matriculation criminal background check. If the background check reveals information of concern, which Brenau University, Ivester College of Health Sciences and/or the Department of Physician Assistant Studies may deem unfavorable, the department will request that the individual provide a detailed written explanation of the information contained in this report, along with appropriate documentation (e.g., police reports). The student may also be required to authorize clinical training facilities to which he/she is assigned to by the department, to obtain an additional background check with the results reported to the clinical training facility.

Offers of admission will not be considered final until the completion of the background check, with results deemed favorable by Brenau University, Ivester College and the department, and, where appropriate, by the clinical training facilities. If information received indicates that the student has provided false or misleading statements, has omitted required information, or in any way is unable to meet the requirements for completion of the program, then the admission may be denied or rescinded, the student may be disciplined or dismissed, or his or her enrollment terminated.

Acceptance to the Department of Physician Assistant Studies does not guarantee that a student with information of a concern will be accepted by clinical training facilities to which he/she may be assigned.

Students should also understand that certification and licensing boards have the right to refuse certification and/or licensure to any individual, regardless of his/her educational credential, based on the contents of a criminal background check. The individual is responsible to check with the state licensing boards of the states in which the individual desires to practice regarding the ability for licensure if the background check contains information of concern.

Following the initial background check, students will be asked annually to provide a certification relating to any convictions or guilty or no-contest pleas to any criminal offense other than traffic violations. Additionally, a repeat criminal background check may be required of students completing certain rotations.

Drug screens:
Brenau University maintains a drug-free policy to confirm our commitment to a drug-free, healthful, safe, and secure environment for students and employees. The faculty of the Brenau University Department of Physician Assistant Studies believe they have a professional and ethical responsibility to provide a safe, effective educational environment to students and to patients in whose care PA students participate. After acceptance into the department, the student will be required to submit to a urine drug screen. The student will be responsible for the costs for the pre-matriculation drug screen. Acceptance to the program is contingent upon passing the drug screen. Random drug screening may be performed throughout the student’s time during the program and scheduled drug screening will be repeated prior to the clinical phase of the program.

Faculty expect students to participate in all learning experiences, including classroom, campus laboratory, clinical settings and other department sponsored functions, free of chemical impairment. Based on a preponderance of evidence that addiction is a serious illness, the faculty are committed to assisting students with recovery from substance abuse.

Students using alcohol or illicit drugs will not participate in any classroom or clinical setting. The faculty will request drug/alcohol screens whenever behavior raises reasonable suspicion of substance abuse. Reasonable suspicion is based on physical appearance, inability to perform safely and productively, and detectable evidence of a controlled substance or alcohol. Refusal to take the drug screen will be grounds for referral to the program’s Committee on Student Progress (CoSP) and may result in dismissal from the program. The presence of alcohol, illegal or non-prescribed illicit drugs in the drug screen will be grounds for referral to the program’s CoSP and may result in dismissal from the program.

A student taking over-the-counter/prescribed medications that adversely affect thinking and/or performance of duties is responsible for reporting the circumstances to the Department Chair/Program Director, Assistant Program Director, Director of Didactic Education, Director of Clinical Education or a faculty advisor. If prolonged use of medications that adversely affect performance is necessary, the student may be offered a medical withdrawal.

Please also refer to the Alcohol and Drug Use Policy contained in the Brenau University Student Handbook (PDF), pp. 17-21.