Things Learned at a PAC Meeting

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Periodically, all 16 Concorde campuses around the U.S. hold what we call PAC meetings, which stands for Program Advisory Committee. Members from all aspects of a particular Concorde program – educators, administrators, employers, past and present students – gather to evaluate and discuss ways in which a Concorde health care program can be made better and stronger. PAC meetings can cover any variety of topics involved with a program – curricula, facilities, equipment, teaching methods, etc. – depending on what program, on what campus and what the particular needs and wants are of the student body, not to mention what it is prospective employers are looking for in the graduates they hire. It would be impossible to sum up and give details of all the PAC meetings held at Concorde campuses throughout the country in recent months, at least not in this tight a space. But, there was a recent PAC meeting held for several programs in early May at our Concorde – Aurora campus in the Denver area, and following are a couple of accounts from Program Directors at that campus of those meetings and what type of information came to light out of each.

Dental Hygiene thriving in several areas

The PAC for Aurora’s Dental Hygiene program included eight members from the community and three prior students, all with a true vested interest in seeing this particular Concorde health care program succeed, according to Program Director Diane Osso. She said all members were impressed with the program’s board scores, facility and curriculum. The board scores for the past three cohorts averaged 99 percent for a clinical exam and didactic exam, Osso said. “Our facility was recently upgraded with computers in each of the 12 operatories, and the latest version of our dental computer software was loaded on each,” she said. “We purchased a Power Point … technology that is used daily to deliver didactic material … to make the classroom more interactive.” Osso said two faculty members attended the American Dental Education Association annual convention in March to stay up-to-date with new advances in dentistry and education. “The classes we teach here are the caliber or better than they are at any other college,” Osso said. “Students are held to a high level of learning mastery.”

Respiratory Therapy program becoming benchmark

The PAC for Aurora’s Respiratory Therapy program included 10 members – two physicians from each facility that hires Concorde RT graduates. Program Director Shane Pearson, MA.ED., BSHS, RRT, RPFT, CCT, said the members were most impressed that the ideas they had discussed at previous PAC meetings, such as the addition of Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation Certifications, had been fully implemented. “In addition, they took notice their messages were received with regard to changing our Term I and II General Education courses to strengthen our students’ biological science aptitude,” Pearson said. They also were satisfied with Concorde health care program pass, graduation and employment rates and concluded that Concorde graduates were becoming the benchmark among RT training programs in the area. “They were impressed with the laboratory and the methods we use to ensure our students have access to equipment considered to be the industry standard,” Pearson said. “They felt the Learning Resource Center hours of availability were more than adequate.”
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“Without the support of certain instructors … I would not have pushed myself to grasp the concepts and pass my boards on the first attempt. Once I passed my boards, it was less than one month after that I landed my first Respiratory Therapist job where I am currently working with so much joy every day.”

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