Accreditation | Physician Assistant Studies

In higher education, the accreditation process conducted by an outside review team provides valuable feedback to make continuous improvements for academic programs. Our Physician Assistant School is currently in a continuing accreditation process and we want to take this opportunity to provide an update.

First, some background: Pacific University’s School of Physician Assistant Studies (PAS) officially began in May 1997 with 14 students. PAS has graduated over 700 alumni who are practicing in diverse clinical disciplines across many states and countries. The PA School has remained accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) from 1999 to present.

In 2017, the ARC-PA conducted a routine, scheduled, onsite evaluation at Pacific University and granted the institution continued accreditation for the maximum allowable period of 10 years. In June, 2019, the ARC-PA placed the School on probation for reasons outlined below. The PA School, the College of Health Professions, and the University immediately initiated a detailed plan to address the issue raised.  Specifically, Pacific was challenged to provide adequate evidence of compliance with the Standard B3.07, which involves the definition of the “discipline of practice/approach of the preceptor.” In essence, the citation requires that Pacific University more clearly define why our clinical preceptors are qualified to train each of our students in the disciplines that ARC-PA requires. We embrace this review process and it will make us more effective. We are fully confident that these corrective measures will meet the ARC-PA Standards with no adverse consequences to currently enrolled, admitted, or prospective students. Because we remain accredited, students may continue to apply, matriculate, graduate, take the PANCE, obtain state licensing, and practice medicine.

Find details of the decision by the Commission below.

At its March 2019 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Pacific University School of Physician Assistant Studies program sponsored by Pacific University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in September 2019.

Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a probation site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

Find further information here: School Mission, Values and Goals, 5-Year NCCPA Board Pass Rates.