I. Responsibilities of the Applicant
In accordance with the ideals and principles of the Physician Assistant profession, applicants to Physician Assistant Programs are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates responsibility, integrity, veracity, respect and good judgment.
Applicants are responsible for:
- Adhering to the admissions requirements and deadlines for each program to which they apply.
- Completing their application, signing the CASPA Release to Programs statement, and submitting all supporting documentation to CASPA in a timely manner. To allow for timely processing, it is recommended that the CASPA application and all supporting materials (transcripts and letters of reference) be submitted to CASPA at least six weeks prior to the earliest deadline of the programs to which applicants are applying.
- Providing honest, accurate and complete application information.
- Reporting to CASPA any changes in contact information (i.e., address, email, phone number) throughout the admissions cycle. It is recommended that applicants provide similar updates directly to the programs to which they have applied.
- Monitoring the submission and receipt of all application materials to CASPA including all transcripts and letters of recommendation. The status of the application can be checked and monitored throughout the application process within the applicant portal.
- Using the Transcript Request Form (TRF) and Reference Request Form available on the CASPA applicant portal (www.caspaonline.org) after they log in. To allow for timely processing, it is recommended that transcripts be requested to be sent to CASPA at least 6 weeks prior to the deadline of the earliest program to which applicants are applying.
- Following up on any missing materials (transcripts and letters of recommendation) and facilitating their submission to CASPA. If letters of recommendation are missing, the applicant should contact the individual to make sure the request was received and encourage timely submission. Please note: Electronic reference requests may not reach some institutions due to e-mail filters.
- Accepting or declining all interview invitations and offers of acceptance in a timely and considerate manner.
- Communicating in a professional manner when interacting with CASPA staff and admissions staff of designated programs.
II. Responsibilities of CASPA
CASPA will facilitate through each of its participating programs a professional and equitable application process. Established protocols will provide applicants with a fair and complete initial review process of all application materials and support each program's autonomy in further evaluating, selecting and matriculating qualified students.
CASPA is responsible for:
- Providing a fair and equitable treatment throughout the application process.
- Collecting and collating all application materials submitted by applicants. CASPA is further responsible for verifying all academic transcripts and degrees, reviewing references for completeness and authenticity, and disseminating completed application files to all programs designated by applicants in a timely and efficient manner. A completed application includes an application e-submitted by a program’s deadline, all fees paid, receipt of official transcripts for all schools reported as attended, and receipt of two of the three required references.
- Providing quality customer service. CASPA’s professional staff will maintain ongoing and responsive communications with programs and applicants including training sessions and webcasts for new participating programs each year.
- Ensuring customer confidentiality and data integrity by maintaining a reliable and secure Internet service and program of quality assurance.
- Reporting year-end data to each participating program and providing an annual report of aggregate applicant data to the Physician Assistant Education Association.
- Supporting the Applicant Portal (web application), Admission Portal for participating programs and Advisor Portal for health professions advisors via the Web.
III. Responsibilities of CASPA Programs
In educating caring, compassionate and knowledgeable health care providers, physician assistant programs should conduct themselves and their admissions processes in a professional manner that promotes the ideals of the profession and the mission of each program. Programs will partner with CASPA in maintaining an admissions process that is fair, inclusive and equitable.
CASPA Programs are responsible for:
- Establishing and publishing accurate admission requirements and deadlines. Each program will make such information easily accessible to potential applicants by maintaining a program website linked to CASPA. Programs will adhere to their own established and published policies and procedures of admissions.
- Adopting one of the following application deadlines: June 15, August 1, September 1, October 1, November 1, December 1, January 15, or March 1. The last mailing from CASPA in each application cycle will be sent in late March. The new cycle will begin in mid April. Participating programs will be informed of the specific opening and closing dates each year.
- Optimizing efficiencies and maintaining good communication. Each PA program should designate an individual to serve as the primary point of contact to CASPA and applicants.
- Maintaining ongoing communications with applicants. Programs should encourage applicants to monitor their application status and complete their applications promptly.
- Maintaining the confidentiality of applicant information, including letters of reference, during all aspects of the application process, including the interview.
- Conducting a fair, reasonable and timely admissions process. Procedures should be established to regularly update applicants as to their status.
- Making all admissions decisions based on complete and verified application information provided through CASPA.
- Notifying applicants of acceptance in a timely manner. Allow applicants at least two weeks to reply for acceptance.
- If requiring a deposit from selected applicants to hold a seat, programs should consider setting that deposit at a reasonable amount so as not to financially burden the applicant.
- Notifying CASPA of all matriculated students.
- Abiding by Program Withdrawal and Loss of Accreditation policies outlined in the CASPA Policies and Procedures Manual.