New Tools for Research and Evaluation

The 2017 Forum may be over, but that doesn’t mean that we are taking a break from developing new resources for our members! PAEA recently unveiled a new strategic plan that lays out our ambitious vision for advancing the field of PA education. A major goal is to provide PA programs with innovative tools to aid in accreditation and outcomes assessment. The PAEA Research Team is rolling out two new services – both free for members – to do exactly that.

Every year, you help us survey matriculating and graduating PA students about their practice intentions, specialty preferences, what they looked for when choosing a PA program, their satisfaction with their educational experiences, their health and well-being, and more. While we report the results annually at the national level, we want you to get even more out of the data that you help us gather.

PAEA Data on Demand: Matriculating Students

Beginning in 2018, we are offering a new service wherein each member PA program’s students’ responses to the Matriculating Student Survey (MSS) can be made available directly to that program. To be clear, all member PA programs will still be welcomed and encouraged to invite their matriculating students to participate in the MSS and no IRB or application are required to participate in the survey if you do not wish to receive your student’s raw data. However, programs interested in receiving their own students’ identified, raw MSS data must first obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to collect and store these data.

An application to receive your students’ raw responses, including proof of IRB approval, must be submitted to the Research Team. The MSS instrument will remain the same, and all students will still be required to complete PAEA’s standard consent form. However, if you elect to receive your students’ raw data, you will be required to receive local IRB approval at the educational institution your program is housed within and your students will be asked to complete an additional consent form, which asks students for permission to release their identifiable data directly to their programs. Raw data will be available to programs that achieve at least an 80 percent response rate.

This is an opportunity for programs to build invaluable longitudinal databases for educational research and evaluation, linking student survey responses to data that programs are already collecting themselves.

The deadline for participation in the 2018 PAEA Data on Demand: MSS cycle is December 18, 2017. Without IRB approval, we will be unable to provide individual programs with their students’ raw, identified 2018 MSS data. However, your students will still be able to participate in the survey in the same way they have for the last several years. The PAEA Data on Demand: Matriculating Students webpage has been updated with more details about how the program works.

PAEA Custom Reports: End of Program

Accreditation efforts and self-studies can eat up a huge chunk of programs’ valuable time. We hope that our convenient new offering, PAEA Custom Reports: End of Program, will help free up some of that time so you can focus on what you love – providing a world-class education for your students. We partnered with the Research Mission Advancement Commission to select items from the End of Program Survey (EOPS), administered to graduating students, that directly address multiple components of the ARC-PA Standards. Programs that achieve at least an 80% response rate among their graduating class can request a report summarizing their own students’ responses to these questions. You can preview the report template here.

A report summarizing data from all PA programs is published annually each spring after the EOPS, allowing for program benchmarking against national data. No IRB approval is required – just complete a request form. Once we confirm that your program has reached the minimum response rate, we will send you your report within 10 business days. The PAEA Custom Reports: End of Program webpage has been updated with more details about how the program works.

If you have any questions about either of these new offerings, or if you have suggestions for future research-related products, feel free to reach out to us at