The University of Kentucky Physician Assistant Studies Program has recently completed a thorough self-study followed by a routine site visit from our accrediting body (ARC-PA). During this process, we discovered that we have not maintained full compliance with some of the Standards for accreditation as dictated by ARC-PA. As a result, our accreditation status changed from “Accreditation – Continued” to “Accreditation – Probation”. We have accepted that decision and are already well on our way to addressing these findings. We have updated our website and included the full message required by ARC-PA. Accreditation – Probation status will be temporary but the earliest that we will be eligible for re-evaluation is spring of 2019.
Given that it will be two years before we are eligible to regain Accreditation – Continued status, I want to make two things very clear to our current students and those considering an application to our program:
1) Accreditation-Probation Status does not affect your status as students or as future graduates in any way. Upon completion of this program, you are fully eligible to take the PANCE and to apply for certification and licensure. This holds true for all current students and any student admitted to the program between now and our next accreditation review. PANCE eligibility requirements are explained by NCCPA at http://www.nccpa.net/pance-eligibility. In addition, ARC-PA has more information about attending a program with Accreditation – Probation status. That information is available at http://www.arc-pa.org/frequently-asked-questions/student-questions/.
2) The leadership of the College of Health Sciences, the faculty and staff of this program, and I take this decision by ARC-PA very seriously. It is our responsibility to correct any deficiencies identified through the self-study process and we will successfully address those concerns.
Anyone who knows me very well would acknowledge that I am fairly plain-spoken and I do not beat around the bush. Full compliance with all ARC-PA Accreditation Standards represents only the minimum of my expectations for this program. When I initially spoke with Dean Lephart, Dr. Nash, and our faculty and staff about this position, I told them that one of my primary attractions to becoming Program Director was the potential of this program to be one of the top tier Physician Assistant programs in the country. Being here for a little over a year has done nothing but reinforce that belief. We have faculty and staff who are committed to helping you become outstanding Physician Assistants, we have tremendous facilities, and most importantly, we have attracted talented and energetic students who will be part of a very bright future for healthcare in Kentucky and beyond.
If you have any questions about our program, please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
With Best Regards:
W. Scott Black, MD