The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant Studies Program sponsored by Alderson Broaddus University.
Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Alderson Broaddus University received word of the seven year accreditation-continued status from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant earlier this fall. The accreditation was approved in September 2013. To continue the accreditation, the program will be required to submit responses to ARC-PA by Jan. 1, 2014 and then again by Oct. 1, 2015.
"We're very excited about the seven year accreditation period because it's a record high for us," said Thomas Moore, dean and assistant professor of the College of Physician Assistant Studies. "A lot of work went into re-vamping the program from three years to two years and a lot of hours. It shows success in an area that we were once lacking."
Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2020. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
The program has been is approved to accept a class size of 36 students. Before the ARC-PA will consider an increase in class size for any accredited program, the program must maintain five consecutive years of continued accreditation without an adverse accreditation status.
"It's an outstanding program and has a lot of history," Moore said. "It's been around since 1968. We went to a master's degree in 2004. We've had a really strong postgraduate program in years past. The profession continually changes.
Like any profession, as the profession changes, the academia side of that profession needs to change with it and we adapt and change as we go along. We went from a bachelor's degree to a master's degree when that became the standard in education years ago."
Moore graduated from the AB PA program with a Master of Science degree in physician assistant studies, and a Master of Medical Science degree in surgery, reflects on the program's success over the years.
Alderson Broaddus University Provost Joan Propst is also excited to announce the program's accreditation. According to Propst, the PA Program had a 95 percent compliance rate and met all but five of the 108 Standards.
"It's hard work to keep these standards because you constantly have to be vigilant of what you're doing in your program to make sure the quality of the education is secure and to make sure the quality of the student experience is secure," says Propst. "There is nothing less that you can do as an administrator or faculty other than to secure students trust."