Physician Assistant Program Receives Provisional Accreditation

Alexa Jokinen

The Physician Assistant program at the College of St. Scholastica has recently received its provisional accreditation and is excited to move forward.

“We, as the faculty and staff of the physician assistant program, are so pleased with the news that the program has received provisional accreditation,” said the PA faculty, including Shawn Garvey, Carolyn Jahr, Jacob Oestreich and Kim Kruger, in an email interview.

The program withdrew from the accreditation process last year, as faculty felt they needed additional time to develop the curriculum. This year, they achieved accreditation without any citations or concerns.

The Physician Assistant program includes 12 months of didactic study along with 12 months in clinical training for students to earn their master’s degree.

“This recognizes the quality vision, work and planning that went into preparing to launch the program. Now we are excited to welcome our first class of 30 students in September! We have an amazing group of faculty and students who are eager to get started,” said the PA faculty.

On top of that, the faculty expressed that the PA accreditation is good news for the larger community which is facing a shortage of healthcare providers.

“The program will provide a pool of locally trained physician assistants to help meet the needs of this region,” said the PA faculty.

Prospective students are excited upon hearing the news as well.
“I’m excited! I like St. Scholastica and it’s values,” said Cord Salmela, sophomore biology major and prospective physician assistant. “Now that there is a graduate program that has the great characteristics that we all know the CSS has, it’s exciting. It’s a great extension to CSS’ health science programs.”

Marissa Mielke is a sophomore Biochemistry student and Co-Leader of the Pre-PA Club. “I was very excited to hear that the PA program was accredited. I know that many people have put in multiple hours and a lot of hard work to create a high quality program and I was happy that they got the approval they deserved. I think the program is going to be fantastic and I am excited to see where it will go,” said Mielke.