Program Policies

Complaint Policy

Complaints against the Program that fall outside Due Process

The faculty and staff of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies strive to demonstrate a high level of ethical values and professionalism in all its activities. In some cases, a situation may generate complaint for which no formal grievance process exists. The complaint should be written, signed, include details about the complaint and documented evidence and mailed to:

Program Director, Master of Physician Assistant Studies
Sacred Heart University
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield, CT 06825

Please include contact information so the Program Director can reach you in order to address the complaint.

The following outlines the process for handling a complaint against the Program:

  1. When possible, the Program Director will discuss the complaint directly with the party involved within 14 business days.  The expectation is that the complaint can be satisfactorily resolved by this discussion.  The Program Director will provide a written description of the resolution to the person complaining.
  2. If dissatisfied with the outcome of the discussion with the Program Director, or if the complaint is against the Program Director, the complainant may submit a written complaint to the Dean, College of Health Professions.  The Program Director will provide the Dean with a written summary of previous discussions where applicable. The Dean will discuss the matter with the Program Director and complainant separately and may schedule a joint appointment or conference call with the Program Director and complainant in attempt to reach a solution.  The Dean will provide the complainant and the Program Director with a written letter outlining the solution reached through this step.
  3. If the complainant remains dissatisfied after step two, the last line of complaint is to the Provost, who serves as the Chief Academic Officer of Sacred Heart University.
  4. Any letters or documentation associated with the complaint from the complainant, the Program Director, Dean, or Provost will be kept in a folder marked “Complaints against the Physician Assistant Program” kept in program files for a period of five years.

Complaints against the Program regarding Compliance with ARC-PA Accreditation Standards

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) is the commission accrediting all PA Programs. To contact the ARC-PA regarding a complaint associated with Accreditation Standards, go directly to their website.

Public Comments or Complaints against the Program Regarding Regional NECHE Accreditation

The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) is the regional accrediting body for colleges and universities in New England. NECHE receives both public comments and complaints. Public Comments consist of observations about the quality of the University and its programs based on an individual’s experience. Comments must be substantive but need not include evidence and may be written or emailed. Complaints must be written, signed, and meet NECHE’s criteria for complaints. NECHE’s complaint criteria, procedures for filing complaints, and links may be found here:   

Public Comments or Complaints against the Program to the Connecticut Office of Higher Education Accreditation

The Connecticut Office of Higher Education is responsible for quality review of independent colleges located in Connecticut. If you believe that the University or the Master of Physician Assistant Program has not fulfilled its promises, you may file a complaint with the Office of Higher Education:

Office of Higher Education
450 Columbus Blvd, Ste 510
Hartford, CT 06103-1841

Student Work Policy

Students are discouraged from working while in the PA Program due to the robust nature of the PA program. In the event a student chooses to work, they are not permitted to miss or reschedule lecture, lab sessions, journal clubs, seminar sessions or any part of their didactic or clinical educational requirements. The Program has the right to recommend termination of employment based on academics that fall below the minimum University and program requirements.

Additionally, PA students are not permitted to be employed by or perform clerical or administrative tasks for the PA Program.