Physician updating records on an iPad.

Physician Assistant (PA) Program*

Why a PA program at Cedarville University

  • Mission fit and opportunities for Gospel impact here and abroad
  • Strong alignment with Cedarville’s existing healthcare program array
  • High-growth, high-demand career field

Physician Assistant (PA) Program* Development Is Well Underway

In May 2019, the Cedarville University Board of Trustees authorized the development of a Physician Assistant program with a goal to enroll the first cohort of students by May 2023, pending required approvals. This authorization included hiring a program director, initiating the accreditation pathway, securing required faculty and staff, and allocating appropriate funding to ensure successful program development and launch.

Driven by a passion for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ, the PA program currently under development at Cedarville will equip graduates personally, spiritually, academically, and professionally to live out their calling to practice medicine competently, ethically, and compassionately in their communities and to those in need.


*Cedarville University plans to launch a physician assistant (PA) graduate program by May 2023 pending approvals by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Higher Learning Commission, and the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc.

Accreditation

Regional and State

The program is in the process of completing applications to both the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Higher Learning Commission for necessary approvals to offer the Master of Medical Science in PA Studies degree.

Cedarville University holds institutional accreditation and approval (including that of the Higher Learning Commission) to award undergraduate and graduate degrees. Contact the HLC for questions about the accreditation of Cedarville University.

Professional

Cedarville University is developing its application for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Cedarville University anticipates matriculating its first class in May 2023, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the September 2022 ARC-PA meeting.

Accreditation - Provisional 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.

In the event that ARC-PA withholds accreditation, the Cedarville University PA Program will not accept students or commence with the program. Cedarville will provide a refund for paid deposits to individuals accepted into the program. CASPA application fees are non-refundable by Cedarville or CASPA.

Status updates will be posted as they are obtained; please contact us if you have questions about where we are in the process.

In the News

BTS at sunset

Trustees Focus on Mission, Comprehensive Campaign, and New Physician Assistant Program

Trustees also approve four other graduate programs and the hiring of 10 faculty.
New PA program

New Physician Assistant Program Planned for May 2022

Alumnus Jason Grahame '99 will serve as the director.
The New Callan Extension to Be Built on Campus

Callan Expansion

This two-story expansion will house a new weight room, expanded locker rooms, and office/classroom space for a new Master of Athletic Training and Physician Assistant Program.

History

More than 20 years ago, Dr. Dee Morris, who currently serves as Professor of Allied Health in the School of Allied Health, approached Cedarville University’s academic leadership about the opportunity to start a PA program. At the time, the University had not even launched its first graduate program and priorities were focused in other areas, so the idea was not pursued.

In 2014, the possibility of a PA program was revisited and a preliminary proposal was prepared. However, due to transitions at Cedarville and the emergence of a new PA program at the University of Dayton, the idea was again tabled.

In the fall of 2017, as the University began to explore future graduate programs for Cedarville, PA professional education again emerged as a high-growth career field with strong alignment to Cedarville’s Gospel-driven mission and the University's existing healthcare program array.

Since December 2017, we have intentionally studied the potential to bring a PA program to Cedarville University, and the following steps have been taken or are planned:

Action StepTiming
Market demand studycompleted December 2017
Feasibility analysis (phase I)completed April 2018
Meetings with key internal stakeholders (Cabinet, Graduate Task Team, Finance/Operations, Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, School of Allied Health)ongoing
Engaging outside expertise (other university PA program directors, alumni, medical professionals)ongoing
Equipment and facility needs assessmentAugust-September 2018
Preliminary pro forma developmentAugust-September 2018
Formation of the PA Exploratory Advisory CouncilJanuary 2019
Initial Advisory Council Meeting
March 29, 2019
Recommendation to and approval by Board of TrusteesMay 2019
Hired inaugural program directorMay 2019
Entered accreditation processMay 2019
Feasibility study (phase II)September–October 2019
Program Director BeginsDecember 2019
Medical Director Begins
February 2020
Creation of the School of Allied Health
July 2020
Director of Clinical Education Begins
October 2020
ODHE Authorization HLC Accreditation Applications
Planned October 2020
ODHE/HLC Site Visit
Anticipated Fall 2021
ARC-PA Application DueFebruary 2022
ARC-PA Site VisitMay 2022
ARC-PA Commission considers Cedarville Application for Provisional AccreditationSeptember 2022
Enroll First Cohort, pending approvalsMay 2023

 

Meet the Inaugural Program Director


Jason Grahame

Cedarville 1999 alumnus Jason Grahame was hired as the founding director of the PA program. Jason previously was a practicing physician assistant at Jordan-Young Institute in Virginia Beach, and an Associate Professor and Associate Program Director for the Physician Assistant Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School. “This will be a unique opportunity to train and disciple PA students to meet not only the physical needs of patients but also the more critical spiritual needs in a loving, empathetic and discerning manner,” said Jason.

Read more in the Summer 2019 Cedarville Magazine »

Read more in Cedarville News »

Overview of the PA Profession

“PAs are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider ... PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, improving healthcare access and quality” (American Academy of PAs). Along with nurse practitioners, PAs are advanced practice providers who participate on collaborative healthcare teams and are often responsible for a patient’s primary care.

Generally awarding a master's-level degree, PA programs in the U.S. are accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The Market Demand Report and Feasibility Study conducted by the University provided extensive data related to PA career growth projections, PA program competitors, and enrollment potential.

  • PA profession projected to grow 31% from 2019 to 2029.
  • Conferrals of PA degrees have increased an average of 10% annually between 2012 and 2016. There were 7,682 degrees conferred nationwide in 2016.
  • Ohio has 12 accredited PA programs in the state. Kettering College and University of Dayton offer PA programs in the Dayton market.
  • Only a handful of the 260 accredited PA programs are housed in an evangelical school.