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eValue Helps Monmouth University’s Physician Assistant Program Meet PA Job Growth

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 30 percent growth in the physician assistant (PA) profession between 2014 and 2024, making it one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. Monmouth University’s Master of Science in PA program is up to the challenge of molding dedicated professionals capable of expanding access to healthcare in America.

Joseph (Joe) Monaco, PA-C, MSJ, DFAAPA and the program’s director of clinical education, explains that Monmouth provides broad-based curriculum, rigorous classroom instruction, and extensive work opportunities in clinical settings across New Jersey during the 42-week didactic phase and the 60-week clinical phase. “We try our best to customize clerkship assignments that align geographically with students’ residences,” Joe says. “eValue simplifies what would otherwise be a highly complex task of scheduling clerkships and assigning preceptors at our 70 affiliated sites throughout New Jersey.”

Program Kick-off with eValue
When Monaco joined Monmouth in 2012, he brought what he had learned from other PA programs he was involved in. That wisdom included valuing a tool that automates tasks associated with clerkship assignments, tracking and managing students’ progress, and meeting accreditation information needs. It’s why as he began preparing Monmouth’s PA program for accreditation, he embarked on a search for such a tool.

“That search led to eValue as an obvious choice for its breadth of capabilities,” he says. “And since our accredited program began in 2014, it has proven to be a great asset.”

Treasure Trove of Information
From tracking student progress in acquiring required competencies to assessing preceptor and curriculum effectiveness, Monaco says, “The power of eValue continues to amaze us. It can present the data it collects in a variety of ways—from big picture to more granular levels—in graphs, charts and tables. It’s easy to pick up valuable insights about where students may need additional help or which clerkships may need adjusting.”

For example, a query about the same evaluation question for all students or a single student across time will reveal where a skill or competency may have stalled or whether a student is keeping up with classmates. “We can combine the answer with data from preceptor evaluations, where they check off competencies for the student, and we have a pretty complete picture,” Monaco explains. He adds that Diagnoses and Procedures Logs for every clerkship reveal in a glance how much time is spent in general surgery and at the OR table, helping hone in on ways to bolster clerkship effectiveness.

He adds that lists of questions are being compiled around each competency for tracking how well students are meeting program expectations. In addition, Monmouth’s first PA class graduated in May, and Monaco’s team can analyze how well the program met student expectations during each of the three years.

The Curriculum Mapping feature enables the program to analyze how each didactic and clinical course addresses specific knowledge sets and practice competencies—for instance, the impact of the Bioethics course on interpersonal communications.

Monaco praises the eValue team and credits their developers for establishing the foundation that lets his team add the reporting mechanisms they want. “It would be impossible to track and analyze this volume and detail of data without eValue. We’d need a roomful of people to do this manually.”

Monmouth’s PA program is gaining much from eValue, Monaco admits, “We continue to define areas where additional data will help us create even stronger PA professionals who will competently address growing healthcare needs.”

Average Class Size: 30

Faculty: 4 + 2 Administrative Instructors

Accredited by: Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)

Clerkship Sites: 70

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