Ready for Students

03.21.2014 | Campus and Community, Students, Health

After two years of planning and preparation, the University of Dayton Physician Assistant program received formal approval to offer an accredited program to incoming students this fall.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant granted "accreditation-provisional" status to the University of Dayton PA program this week.

The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the commission standards, if fully implemented as planned. "Accreditation-provisional" does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from the arrival of the first class of students.

"Both hard work and support from the University contributed to this positive outcome," said Sue Wulff, PA program director. "The department will now move forward with the operational aspects needed to welcome our inaugural class this fall."

The University of Dayton board of trustees approved a proposal for the PA program in January 2012. The program earned approval from the Ohio Board of Regents in 2013 and has cleared a significant milestone with the commission accreditation.

"The PA program will draw talented students to the University of Dayton," said Kevin Kelly, dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences. "Our graduates will make significant contributions to health care within Ohio and across the country."

Physician assistants practice medicine under the supervision of physicians, including surgeons, and are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive healthcare services, as delegated by a physician.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of physician assistants is expected to grow by 39 percent from 2008 to 2018. This growth is expected as the scope of physician assistant practice expands to include procedures previously reserved only for physicians in order to contain health care costs.

The University of Dayton program is the 10th accredited PA program in the state and the second — joining Kettering College — in southwest Ohio.

The program plans to enroll 30 students in the first year, 35 in the second with a target of 40 students in subsequent years. The 27-month, seven-semester program will be located on the fifth floor of the University's College Park Center.

For more information, contact Cameron Fullam, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or fullam@udayton.edu.