SRU’s PA program granted full accreditation by ARC-PA


PA Program white coats

Slippery Rock University’s master of science in physician assistant studies program is now fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, after the program was granted provisional status since its first year in 2016.

March 31, 2022

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University's Master of Science in physician assistant studies program is now fully accredited. SRU was recently granted "accreditation-continued" status by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. As is customary with new programs, SRU's PA program previously had provisional accreditation status since it was launched in 2016 and the program has undergone several reviews.

The continued status means that accreditation reviews will now occur every 10 years with reports submitted annually. The ARC-PA's decision is based on the program's reports, the report of its site visit team and review and the program's accreditation history. The next validation review of SRU's PA program by the ARC-PA will be March 2030.

"This is a huge milestone because it recognizes the excellent quality of our PA program and indicates that we are meeting the highest national standards," said Nicole Dafoe, interim dean of the College of Health, Engineering and Science. "We're excited to see the ways that our program continues to develop and serves our students."

Dafoe recognized the work of several individuals who helped SRU's PA program achieve this accreditation, including Megan Borger, program director; Samantha Kelly, director of institutional assessment and accreditation; and the PA program's faculty who were closely involved with the process.

"Continued accreditation ensures that we are performing program assessment and quality improvement," Borger said. "For a newer program like ours, this puts SRU on the map among the top programs in the nation. There's a lot of work that goes into accreditation and the University has been very supportive throughout the process."

There are more than 280 programs in the U.S., including more than 25 in Pennsylvania, that are accredited by the ARC-PA and graduates of these programs are eligible to sit for the PA National Certifying Exam offered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

SRU's PA program can be completed in two years, and it prepares students to enter one of the fastest growing professions in the nation by offering an interactive curriculum during the first year of study and unique clinical experiences during the second year.

SRU's PA program is housed in the Harrisville Building, seven miles from Slippery Rock in a renovated site that was once an elementary school in Harrisville. The facility houses 13 state-of-the-art labs, four exam rooms that include cameras for professors to monitor student progress, and equipment that simulates real-time patient care, including an interactive mannequin that produces mock vital signs.

SRU undergraduates who qualify are given preference through the University's 3+2 pre-PA concentration, where undergraduates can complete both their bachelor's and master's degrees in five years rather than the traditional six years.

More information about SRU's PA program is available on the program's webpage.

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