Slippery Rock University will offer a Master’s of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, set to begin as early as summer 2016.
The degree, which was formally proposed by Slippery Rock’s council of trustees to Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education in December, is waiting accreditation from Johns Creek, a Georgia-based accreditation review board for physician assistant studies programs, allowing Slippery Rock’s plans to move forward.
Teresa Preston, an associate professor of biology at Slippery Rock and a licensed physician’s assistant, was tasked with establishing the program.
Physician’s assistants are educated similarly to physicians, following a similar medical-modeled approach for gaining the necessary training, as opposed to a nursing model used for training a nurse practitioner.
The press release noted the growing need for physician assistants in Pennsylvania and said that Slippery Rock will hold a special place in offering the program, becoming only the second university in the 14-school PASSHE state system to do so.
“It’s really exciting that the program got accredited,” said Brandon Kraeer, a sophomore exercise science major. “It’s a career path I’ve had interest in, but Slippery Rock hadn’t offered it until recently and the Chatham affiliation was too risky.”
Previously, SRU had an agreement with Chatham University, allowing two SRU graduates to enter the Chatham program each year.