Research

PAEA to Suspend 2020 Program, Curriculum, and Student Surveys, Focus on COVID-19 Impact

By Cynthia (Xin) Yuen, MAApril 15, 2020

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In light of the current unprecedented situation, PAEA is revising its 2020 survey schedule.

To help relieve the burden on busy PA faculty during these challenging times, PAEA has decided to suspend its major annual surveys this year and focus instead on a series of short surveys designed to help us better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on PA programs. The first of these surveys has just landed in program directors’ inboxes.

The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on PA programs, from application to graduation, creating significant challenges for faculty and students. The PAEA leadership has decided to implement recommendations from our Research Team and Research Mission Advancement Commission to make significant changes to our 2020 survey operations, suspending the Program, Curriculum, and Student surveys and replacing them with a series of short, focused COVID-19 Impact Surveys. These changes are targeted at reducing program survey burden, capturing how programs have been impacted by the pandemic, and creating resources that empower programs to make data-driven decisions as they adapt to the new normal.

Introducing COVID-19 Impact Surveys and Rapid Response Reports

The COVID-19 Impact surveys will be open for a short window to gather nearly real-time data on how programs have been affected by and are responding to the crisis. Data will be analyzed immediately and returned to members within weeks in the form of COVID-19 Rapid Response Reports. Administering multiple short surveys will allow us to understand and report on the evolution of PA education as the crisis evolves, respond to new challenges as they arise, and provide programs with timely data needed to inform decision-making. We hope that these reports will be a valuable member resource as programs are called upon to rapidly and radically overhaul their operations. Programs can also help us build the next survey by letting us know what data they need next. Program directors should have received an email yesterday with a unique link to complete the survey by May 10.

Student Surveys on Demand Only

In addition to relieving the survey burden on faculty, we know that “business as usual” surveys would likely result in ungeneralizable data this year. PA students’ experiences are not the same now as they were even a month ago. The 2020 Matriculating Student Survey (MSS) and End of Program Survey (EOPS) will therefore be suspended for a year. However, PAEA will continue to administer these student surveys for individual programs that have made advance requests to participate in the 2020 Data on Demand: MSS program or who would like to receive an End of Program Custom Report. Please contact the Research Team at research@PAEAonline.org to request continued administration of the MSS and EOPS.

PAEA Research’s commitment to collecting high quality data to support programs has never been stronger. We hope that these changes in our surveys will give you the information you need to navigate these turbulent times and plan for an uncertain future.

Cynthia (Xin) Yuen, MA

Xin Yuen is PAEA's director of research and data analysis, leading the analysis and publication of survey and Association data in research reports and academic outlets.