Our application cycle is now closed.
CASPA will reopen April 26, 2017 and our deadline will be
Oct. 1, 2016. We encourage applicants to apply one month prior to the deadline.
This is a 24-month program of study that results in a Master’s of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA). Following Heritage’s tradition of small class sizes and experienced faculty, the PA program faculty to student ratio is approximately 1:8. We offer 32 seats each year per class. The combined faculty has more than 38 years of medical education experience. Our program does not require the GRE.
Classes for the first 12 months of the PA program are held on campus at Heritage University in Toppenish, WA. 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. The class schedule is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm with occasional after hour workshops including Saturdays.
The clinical year is a longitudinal approach. During the second 12 months, students are placed in family medicine clinics be based in rural and underserved communities. The student will remain in the community to 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. Sites are primarily in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.
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.
The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation - Provisional status to the Physician Assistant Educational Program sponsored by Heritage University.
Accreditation-Provision 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.
At its March 2016 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) placed the Heritage University Physician Assistant program sponsored by Heritage University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next validation review in September 2017.
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 focused 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).
Letter from the Program Director:
The physician assistant program was placed on probation due to the failure to meet the standards requiring a “comprehensive self-assessment process that incorporates data from multiple sources and evaluates curricular related outcomes as well as sponsorship, resources and other administrative operations.” It was further noted that the data had been collected but not “formally analyzed.” Immediate steps have been taken to correct this issue and documentation supporting the improved data analysis will be supplied to the ARC-PA, as required, prior to the final accreditation site visit, scheduled on April 17-18, 2017. Although the standard verbiage from the ARC-PA above infers that a program on probation may not be able to provide an “acceptable educational experience for its students” the Physician Assistant Educational Program at Heritage University was not cited for its educational delivery but for its lack of a robust self-study and analysis.
Linda M. Dale, D.H.Ed., PA-C
Physician Assistant Educational Program at Heritage University