Introduction

Faulkner University officially adds Physician Assistant program to College of Health Sciences with recent accreditation status

Faulkner University officially adds Physician Assistant program to College of Health Sciences with recent accreditation status

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Faulkner University is excited to share more news from the College of Health Sciences. This July the University has officially added the second of four programs, Physician Assistant that will begin this fall!

The new PA program, which will allow students to earn a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MS-PAS), has just been granted Accreditation-Provisional status by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA).

“The accreditation is a validation of all the hard work we’ve put in,” said PA Director Paul Jordan, M.D., “Especially all the work Lora-Emily Banks, PA-C, Kathryn Werner, PA-C, and the rest of our team has done in the last few weeks leading up to our site visit to secure our clinical sites and make everything come together.”

“Securing this accreditation allows Faulkner to continue to advance the dream and vision of a truly interprofessional education environment where the four proposed disciplines will interact frequently,” Jordan added.

On June 25 President Mike Williams announced the 13 acre purchase of the Montgomery East Plaza Shopping Center, which will become the new site for the College of Health Sciences.

Renovations of the empty Burlington Coat Factory building are set to begin soon in order to create a state-of-the-art science center that will house large virtual touch-pad cadaver tables for PA students that have been shown to enhance practical learning in anatomy. PA students will also have access to Baptist Health South’s 22,500 square-foot Institute for Patient Safety and Medical Simulation facility, one of the largest and best equipped training center for new and experienced healthcare professionals in the country.

The PA program will join the University’s first health program, Speech- Language Pathology program,which graduated its first cohort this May. The first PA cohort will begin October 1 and is approved for a maximum entering class size of 35 students in the first class of students, 50 in the second class, and 50 in the third class. All faculty and staff have been secured. More than 200 qualified student applications have already been processed.

According to current estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 16 of the top 30 fastest growing occupations are in health-related fields. Specifically, Physician Assistant employment is expected to grow five times faster than average through 2026, with a national employment change of 37.3%.

There are projected to be over 39,000 new jobs for Physician Assistants (PAs) over the next ten years. And, in 2018, the median annual salary was $108,610 and is expected to continue to increase. (BLS Employment Projections.) Likewise, Alabama data indicates a comparable growth rate (36.7%) for PAs. (Alabama Rate of Job Growth.)

Graduate students in Faulkner’s program will have a total of seven semesters. Four of which will be on site classroom studies and lab work. The other three semesters will be dedicated to nine rotations of clinical work in the areas of family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, general surgery, women’s health and behavioral and mental health.

Additional health programs to be added in 2021 and 2022 include Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy.

If you are interested in learning more about the new College of Health Sciences programs visit https://www.faulkner.edu/find-your-major/college-of-health-sciences/. If you are interested in learning how you can support Faulkner’s growing College of Health Sciences facility and health programs or would like to make a donation to help name one of our classrooms, labs or educational halls in honor of a family member or loved one, please call the Faulkner University Advancement Office at 334-386-7257.

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Faulkner University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Faulkner University. 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. The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Accreditation-History-Faulkner-U.pdf.

Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone, 703-706-3245; accreditation@apta.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. Faulkner University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1st 2020. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

About Faulkner’s PA program

The vision of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies is to earn a reputation as one of the leading contributors to the field of healthcare by graduating outstanding Physician Assistants, developing distinguished faculty members, and serving the local community by providing increased access to quality medical providers.

The mission of the Faulkner University Physician Assistant program is to train competent and caring medical professionals, in a Christian environment, to address the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals in the communities where they live and work.

To learn more, visit https://www.faulkner.edu/graduate/graduate-degrees/physican-assistant-studies-ms-pas/

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