(a) Any person enrolled in an eligible institution may be eligible to enter into an agreement for loan assumption to be redeemed pursuant to Section 69665 upon becoming employed as a licensed physician assistant.
(b) In order to be eligible to enter into an agreement for loan assumption, an applicant shall satisfy all of the following conditions:
(1) The applicant is enrolled in or admitted to a physician assistant program at an eligible institution.
(2) The applicant is currently enrolled in a program, or has been admitted to a program in which he or she will be enrolled, on at least a half-time basis, as determined by the eligible institution. The applicant shall agree to maintain satisfactory academic progress and a minimum of half-time enrollment, as defined by the participating eligible institution.
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), if a program participant fails to maintain half-time enrollment as required by this article and, under the terms of the agreement pursuant to this paragraph, the loan assumption agreement shall be deemed invalid. The participant is excused from the half-time enrollment requirement if he or she is in his or her final term in school and has no additional coursework required to become a physician assistant.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a program participant shall be excused from the half-time enrollment requirement for a period not to exceed one calendar year, unless approved by the commission for a longer period, if a program participant becomes unable to maintain half-time enrollment due to any of the following:
(i) Serious illness, pregnancy, or other natural causes.
(ii) The participant is called to military active duty status.
(iii) A natural disaster prevents a program participant from maintaining half-time enrollment due to the interruption of instruction at the eligible institution.
(3) The person has submitted an application to participate in the program and has been recommended by his or her postsecondary institution to have outstanding ability on the basis of criteria that may include, but need not be limited to, any of the following:
(A) Grade point average.
(B) Test scores.
(C) Faculty evaluations.
(E) Other recommendations.
(4) The applicant has received, or is approved to receive, a loan under one or more of the following designated loan programs:
(A) The Federal Family Education Loan Program (20 U.S.C. SEC. 1071 et seq.).
(B) Any educational loan program approved by the Student Aid Commission.
(5) The applicant has agreed to work full time for at least four consecutive years, or on a part-time basis for the equivalent of four full-time years, as a physician assistant in this state and in a designated medically underserved area.
(c) The agreements entered into each year pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be with applicants who need to complete training or coursework in order to become a licensed physician assistant and agree to practice at a site located in an area of the state where unmet priority needs exist for primary care family physicians, as determined by the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission. An agreement shall remain valid even if the primary medical care facilities at which the applicant is employed ceases to be listed as a medically underserved area after the applicant is employed there.
(d) A person participating in the program pursuant to this article shall not enter into more than one agreement under this article.
(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 140, Sec. 62.)
20 USC 1071 et seq.
Education Code 69665