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Physician Assistant Studies

North Central College’s New Physician Assistant Studies Program Receives Initial Accreditation-Provisional

North Central College’s new Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program (MSPAS) is now recognized for meeting the standards set by the regional accrediting agency, Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).

What Does It Mean?

This achievement allows the first cohort of students to study at the college beginning in January 2022 with the understanding that the program meets the requirements set by ARC-PA.

“Located in the heart of Naperville with access to some of the best healthcare resources in the region, North Central College is the ideal place for students to pursue a career in the growing healthcare field,” North Central College President Troy D. Hammond said in a statement. “The granting of initial accreditation-provisional for our MSPAS program along with our brand new, state-of-the-art Dr. Myron Wentz Center for Health Sciences and Engingeering, make this an incredibly exciting time at North Central as we pursue our vision of educating the next generation of healthcare providers within our community and beyond.”

About the Program

The physician assistant studies program is expected to require 24 months of study, with the first year devoted primarily to content area instruction and the second year focused on clinical rotations.

It will hone in on the importance of hands-on experience, communication skills and relationship building. After an emphasis on classroom, laboratory and simulation experiences in the first year, students will transition the following year into six-week clinical rotations in inpatient and outpatient settings in a number of hospital and private practice sites—in different areas, including general surgery, emergency medicine, internal medicine, behavioral health and more.

“North Central College’s Physician Assistant Studies program will graduate healthcare professionals who will be exceptionally well-suited to be empathic and equity-minded practitioners, ready to meet the healthcare needs of today,” Marci J. Swede, dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences at North Central College, said in a statement. “The demand for highly trained healthcare professionals is on the rise and has sharply increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and this program is ready to meet that need.”

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program, housed in the Dr. Myron Wentz Center for Health Sciences and Engineering, is the latest graduate-level health science program offered by the college. It is joined by the Master of Occupational Therapy; Master of Athletic Training; and a Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which is expected to launch in January 2023 pending approval from the accrediting body.

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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Photo Courtesy of North Central College


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