Faculty Development

New Jump Start Workshops Fulfill Expectations

By Rachel Kuliani, MPH, CHESNovember 10, 2020

Credit: Rachel Kuliani

The pandemic didn’t curtail attendance for PAEA’s online workshops.

This year’s PAEA Fall Workshops, like the Education Forum — out of necessity — were launched into new virtual territory, but it didn’t seem to dampen enthusiasm for these offerings. Six all-new workshops, led by 32 facilitators, were attended online by more than 300 participants from 147 programs. Attendees accessed resources and materials in the Digital Learning Hub and connected in private Professional Learning Community groups for networking, discussion, and support.

Interactive Online Sessions

Three one-day workshops in September covered topics including communication and conflict, MAT waiver training, and developing standardized patient scripts related to substance use disorders. These workshops delivered this essential content in an engaging manner, as noted by a Navigating Conflict and Communicating for Success workshop attendee: “Probably the best virtual conference that I have had since the pandemic started. Definitely would sign up for the same conference virtually or in-person.”

Spanning September through December, the three new Jump Start workshops are bringing together groups of new faculty, first-time clinical coordinators, and both new and aspiring program directors from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The Jump Starts offer our popular programming in a series of interactive virtual sessions, making these workshops accessible from anywhere. Comprised of four weekly live sessions plus asynchronous content between sessions, the workshops’ multi-week design allows attendees to integrate new information and apply it to their work incrementally. As one New Faculty Jump Start attendee shared, “This workshop was well thought out and organized — utilized every minute in a productive manner. I’m glad it was offered virtually. Pandemic or not, this offered a lot of flexibility without added travel costs.”

Transitioning to Academia

Led by experienced PA educators from institutions across the country, each Jump Start session is designed to provide participants with the foundation needed to transition from clinic to academia. Attendees commented on the facilitators’ knowledge, enthusiasm, and mentorship, saying that their passion for teaching “really shined through.“

The New Faculty Jump Start and New Clinical Coordinators Jump Start both filled up with a waiting list, paralleling the demand for the in-person Faculty Skills 101 and Clinical Coordinators 101 workshops. The New Program Directors Jump Start groups are scheduled to begin their virtual workshop later in November.

The New Faculty Jump Start appears to have hit the mark based on this feedback from an attendee: “As a new faculty member, this workshop was perfect. I wish I had it prior to starting my job. The information was essential for the basics needed to develop/enhance your career as a PA educator.”

While we look forward to offering PAEA’s in-person workshops again when it is safe to do so, it’s clear that virtual workshops are here to stay.

Rachel Kuliani, MPH, CHES

Rachel is a program manager on PAEA’s Educational Programming team and is responsible for overseeing the suite of virtual and in-person workshops. She works closely with volunteer facilitators and leads the design, development, and delivery of this important faculty development programming.