Program Goals

Guided by our vision and core values, we achieve our mission by:

Providing excellent didactic and clinical medical education to every student:

Indicators of successful achievement of this goal would be the feedback provided by students in annual surveys, their performance on the NCCPA exams, their ability to find excellent employment, and their employer’s assessment of their patient care quality.  Using these measures, the program is successfully meeting this goal, and is using a system of continued quality improvement to reach even higher levels of success. The first time pass rate for PA program graduates over the last five years averages 96%, consistently above the national pass rate. 

Educating physician assistants to be patient advocates and integral members of the interprofessional team by serving our community and meetings its educational and healthcare needs:

Interprofessional or team-based learning is a model for team-based care.  Community service provides opportunities to work collaboratively with other health professionals and develop leadership skills.  PA students participate in several activities in the community, such as Kid’s First Health Fair, Healthy Families Clinic, Interprofessional Community Clinic, and Community Care Connection.

Promoting scholarly activity as a process of professional self-study and renewal:

The creation of curricular innovations, effective teaching methods, and peer-reviewed research publications demonstrate our commitment to promoting lifelong learning.  Student involvement in faculty research is evidence that we are promoting scholarly activity. Students deliver poster presentations of their Master's projects as part of the University-wide Research Day each spring. 

Providing and encouraging continuing education for physician assistants at all levels of training and experience and developing state and national leaders to serve the physician assistant profession:

The department participates in increasing numbers of conferences, symposia, and continuing education events that involve current students, recent graduates, practicing alumni, and local physician assistants who look to our school to further their education.  An annual spring conference hosted by PA department in collaboration with Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants is one example of our commitment to cultivation of lifelong education.  Our faculty serve in leadership roles on state, national, and international healthcare organizations.  Graduates of the PA program are prominent faculty members and program directors at physician assistant programs across the country and serve on national organizations to promote education and clinical practice for physician assistants.