Valparaiso University is proud to announce that the ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Valparaiso University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Valparaiso University.
All new physician assistant programs are required to undergo a robust, multi-year provisional accreditation process to be eligible for continuing accreditation. This official grant of provisional accreditation paves the way for enrollment of the inaugural class of master’s students this fall.
“Valparaiso University and the College of Nursing and Health Professions is excited to offer the Physician Assistant program here in Northwest Indiana,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Physician Assistants will be key contributors as we seek to meet the medical needs of our communities going forward. We are certainly pleased to have been granted Accreditation-Provisional status by the ARC-PA.”
Valparaiso University is the first institution in Northwest Indiana to offer a physician assistant program, with broad-based training in seven core areas — family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, behavioral health, general surgery, and emergency medicine. In 2015, Valpo enrolled its first class of students in the bachelor of science in health science program, and this cohort of nearly 25 students will begin the master’s program in the fall.
The accelerated physician assistant program consists of a three-year pre-professional phase followed by a two-year professional program, divided into a 12-month didactic phase and a 12-month clinical education phase. The master of science in physician assistant studies, the two-year culminating phase of the program, is the portion of the program that received provisional accreditation, allowing the program to move forward.
Valpo was also the first University in the state of Indiana to offer a doctor of nursing practice. The College of Nursing and Health Professions is uniquely situated to administer the physician assistant curriculum in a team-centric manner, providing opportunities to work with students across the college’s programs in nursing, health care leadership, health administration, and public health.
Physician assistant jobs are in demand. U.S. News & World Report ranked physician assistants third in its list of best jobs of 2017, and they were seventh on Glassdoor’s list of 25 highest-paying jobs in America.
Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.
Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.