The Physician Assistant Educational program at Heritage University has been awarded provisional accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.
The program is a 24-month program of study that results in a Master’s of Science in Physician Assistant studies (MSPA). Following Heritage’s tradition of small class sizes and experienced faculty, the PA program faculty to student ratio is approximately 1:8. The combined faculty has more than 35 years of medical education.
Classes for the first 12 months of the PA program are held on campus at Heritage University. The curriculum is an organ/system-based concept with basic sciences and clinical preparatory sciences coordinated in each module. The program has an emphasis in health promotion, disease prevention, cultural sensitivity, ethics, and professionalism.
During the second 12 months, students are placed in family medicine clinics throughout the Pacific Northwest. They maintain a continuity clinic two to three days a week for the full year, while rotating through specialties, including surgery, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and mental health.
Graduates of the Physician Assistant Educational Program at Heritage will take the national certification exam administered by the National Commission of Certification of the Physician Assistant (NCCPA). Once certified, PAs may obtain licensure within their state of preference and begin practice with a physician.
There continues to be strong demand for trained health care providers in the Pacific Northwest. In partnership with their supervising physicians, PAs can provide care for a diverse population of patients in a wide array of settings and specialties.
Heritage University is strategically positioned in a region where no such degree programs are available elsewhere. Located in Toppenish, Washington, within the Yakama Nation, the Heritage mission is to provide educational opportunities to underserved and underrepresented populations. Heritage graduates often go on to serve the needs of those same populations living and working in the communities in which they were raised.
The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Heritage University Physician Assistant Program.
Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA 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 matriculation of the first class.
Physician assistant students who graduate from a program with this level of accreditation are eligible to take the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) board exam, which, when passed, will allow them to practice as a physician assistant in any state in the United States and in some foreign countries.