PA program at Cumberlands' Northern KY Campus receives accreditation

WILLIAMSBURG -- University of the Cumberlands is proud to announce that the Physician Assistant (PA) program located at the school's Florence, Kentucky location has received accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA). Achieving accreditation demonstrates the PA program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards.

"I am very proud of our faculty and staff for achieving the Accreditation-Provisional status," said Brad Hall, Executive Director of Medical Education. "The Northern Kentucky Campus PA program exemplifies the University's commitment to building programs that will improve health care access for Kentuckians through educating competent healthcare providers. We look forward to welcoming our inaugural class and their families to the Florence area come October 2019."

Thirty students were set to begin classes in the fall at the campus. To date, 77 students have graduated from three cohorts on the Williamsburg campus. The first cohort to graduate had a 100 percent pass rate for the PA National Certification Exam.

The PA program in northern Kentucky submitted the application for provisional accreditation in September 2018 and had an accreditation site visit in December of that year. At the June 2019 meeting of the ARC-PA, the program received Accreditation-Provisional status.

"Receiving this status is a testament to the extremely hard work the administration, faculty, and staff have put into developing the PA program," said Blair Whitaker, Director of the PA program in northern Kentucky. "We are extremely excited about welcoming our first cohort of students and helping to advance the PA profession in the region."

Appalachian Regional Healthcare, a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia,began a partnership with Cumberlands' Northern Kentucky Campus in 2018, providing 300 clinical rotation slots to PA students during their required 10 months of rotations.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics records the median yearly wage of PAs in 2018 as being $108,610, and the rate of employment for PAs is growing significantly faster than the national average. A recent article from U.S. News ranked Physician Assistant third on the list of "100 Best Jobs" and second for healthcare jobs in particular.

Students in Cumberlands' Northern Kentucky Campus PA program can obtain their master's degree in 27 months. Students complete 16 months of didactic classwork, then 10 months of clinical rotations, and finish with one month of professional development to prepare for the national certification exam.

The next application window opens on October 1, 2019 and closes on March 1, 2020. Information sessions for the 2019-2020 admissions cycle will be held at the Northern Kentucky Campus on August 3, September 7, and October 5 from 9 to 11 AM. For more information, visit ucumberlands.edu/health-science.

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