Masters in Physicians Assistant program (2022)

Preparing you to provide quality health care to those in need

Are you looking to take the next step in your medical career? Becoming a Physician Assistant is a great option. You’ll have the advanced training to collaborate with one or more physicians and be able to examine, diagnose, treat, and counsel patients. There is a significant need in health care for high-level professionals. At CUAA, we strive to prepare you to provide quality health care in a respectful, caring manner. If you value the same things we do, consider pursuing your Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) with us.

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Program Overview

Program Overview

Physician Assistants (PAs) are licensed health care professionals who practice medicine in collaboration with an MD or DO. PAs provide patient care by obtaining histories, performing physical examinations, diagnosing injuries and illnesses, prescribing, assisting in surgery, ordering and interpreting lab and radiologic results and educating patients on their conditions, as well as prevention. PAs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, universities, governmental services, and industries. PAs are all trained in primary medicine as the basis of their medical knowledge and have the flexibility to practice in any of the different specialties of medicine they desire without having to complete a residency in that field.

There has been, and will continue to be, a significant need in health care for high-level healthcare professionals. Statistics from 2022 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the median earnings for PAs in 2020 were 121,530/year; with employment projected to grow 31 percent more from 2021 to 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. As demand for healthcare services continues to grow, PAs will be needed to provide care to patients.

In order to become licensed and certified, all PAs must graduate from a PA program that was nationally accredited by the ARC-PA, and pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). Graduates take the PANCE exam after successful completion from an accredited program. Licensure is required in all states.

Licensed and certified PAs are required to complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and pass the Physician Assistant Recertifying Examination (PANRE) every ten years in order to maintain certification.

ADEIB (anti-racism, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

The PA Program at Concordia University Ann Arbor is intentional increating an environment of diversity and belonging, welcoming students from diverse backgrounds to become competent medical providers. We welcome and embrace students of any age, race, color, gender, religion, national and ethnic origin, and mental and physical abilities/ disabilities who meet the technical standards. In addition, we are committed to creating a safe and compassionate learning environment for all seeking to improve and influence communities through clinical service and leadership with compassion and respect.

Program Vision

The Vision of the PA program at Ann Arbor is to provide the local and global community with competent medical providers who will improve lives and influence communities through clinical service and leadership, and do so in a compassionate and respectful manner that changes the lives of all patients who seek our care.

Program Mission

The Mission of the PA program at Ann Arbor is to educate Physician Assistant students in primary medicine with a focus on rural and underserved patient populations and communities.

In meeting our mission, the program has applied for, and been funded, a grant from HRSA to provide student stipends for rural clinical rotations to offset the cost of housing, travel, and food for those students who commit to clinical experiences in rural and underserved areas, in Michigan, as well as any rural and/or underserved areas of the United States.

At CUAA, we strive to prepare you to provide quality health care and to do so in a respectful, caring manner addressing mind, body, and spirit.

If you value the same things we do, consider pursuing your Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) with us.

Accreditation Status

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Concordia University Ann Arbor Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Concordia University Ann Arbor. 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. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at: http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-concordia-university-ann-arbor/

What to Expect

Graduates must successfully complete all aspects of the PA program, which must be accredited by the ARC-PA, and pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) in order to obtain a license in the state(s) in which they desire to practice. Upon graduation, graduates will have the ability to practice in any of the different specialties of medicine. Licensed and certified PAs are required to complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and pass the required NCCPA certification requirement every ten years in order to maintain certification.

Licensure / Certifications

Graduates take the PANCE exam after successful completion from the program. Licensure is required in all states, but licensing requirements may differ in each state.

Admission requirements

Candidates for admission must meet the following requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Degree (must be earned prior to matriculation from a regionally accredited university or college in the U.S.).
    • Minimum 3.0 CUAA cumulative GPA or higher, AND
    • Minimum 3.0 CUAA prerequisite science GPA or higher

Prerequisite Requirements

PREREQUISITES

All prerequisite science coursework must be completed at the time of application.Each prerequisite course must be successfully completed from a regionally U.S. accredited college or university. One-nonscience prerequisite may be in progress at the time of application but must be completed prior to matriculation.

Please note that the CUAA PA program will review transcripts for repeated courses, and multiple repeats will be taken into consideration when deciding acceptance.

Note: the program will specifically use the grades from CUAA science pre-requisites delineated to create a calculated GPA in CASPA for only those science courses that are required by the program. This may create a discrepency between the calculated CUAA prerequisite science GPA and the CASPA "global" science GPA of all science courses taken.

1. HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY:

May be completed as A & P 1 and A & P 2; or can be a course in anatomy PLUS a course in physiology, both must include lab and must require a college level biology course as a prerequisite for taking A & P. The applicant may be asked to provide the course description to the program. A & P is the cornerstone for all understanding in clinical medicine, and as such, the course must be rigorous, related to HUMAN anatomy & physiology. Pathophysiology will not replace the requirement for a physiology course in those who have taken only Anatomy.

2. ONE SEMESTER OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, minimum 3-4 cr. WITH LAB
3. ONE SEMESTER OF BIOCHEMISTRY, minimum 3 cr. WITH OR WITHOUT LAB
4. One semester of MICROBIOLOGY 3 cr. , with lab

NOTE: Courses taken at a community college are accepted, however, the program may request applicants to provide course descriptions to confirm the rigor of the course content. The applicant may have to provide the program the course description verifying this.

5. Non-science Pre-requisites:

  • Medical Terminology: One semester of a 1 credit or 2 credit course (recommended within 5 years of application)
  • Psychology: One semester, 3 credits (lifespan, developmental or general psychology)
  • Statistics: One semester required; 3 credit minimum
  • College Algebra or similar: One semester 3 credits (will accept high school AP credit)
  • English composition: One semester, 3 credit minimum (will accept high school AP credit)
Highly recommended courses though not required:
  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Pathophysiology
Other Prerequisites and COVID-19 modifications
  • Online labs for science prerequisites will be considered if related to COVID issues and only if occurring between spring 2021 and spring 2022 terms.
  • Audited coursework is not accepted for prerequisite courses.
  • There must be documentation of 1000 hours of hands-on patient care experience. If you currently are within 100 hours of completion of your hands-on patient experience, you may submit a plan to complete those 100 hours toGradPA@cuaa.edu, your application will be placed on hold until you notify the graduate admissions counselor of completion of the HC experienc requirement.
  • Examples of hands-on patient care may include but is not limited to: nursing, CNA, ER tech, EMT/paramedic, lab technician, dietician, exercise stress test technician, mental health therapist, military medical/clinical specialist, occupational/physical therapist, pharmacist, pharmacy technician, phlebotomist, respiratory therapist, surgical technician.
  • The following are NOT considered hands-on experience: PA or MD shadowing; non-clinical research assistant; CPR instructor; patient transporter, pharmaceutical rep; ski patrol (unless EMT certified), lifeguard, aerobics instructor, therapeutic horse observers, unit clerk, medical insurance clerk, medical secretary.
  • Medical scribe experience as a scribe is invaluable to documentation and observational learning, but hands-on patient care experience is not part of the scribe’s responsibility. As such, a scribe may use maximum of 500 hours of scribe work as part of the patient care requirement, but the remainder must be in some capacity in which you have direct patient interaction.
  • Recorded number of hours of shadowing a PA (min. 16 hrs required);
  • Three letters of reference are required to be submitted:
  • One letter of referencemust be from an employer/supervisor of your patient care experience, and should speak to your interaction and care of patients and aptitude for a profession as a health care provider. One should be from a PA whom you have shadowed or worked alongside. The third may be from a professor, coach, coworker or supervisor as a non-health-related character reference.
6. PA-CAT

The Concordia University Ann Arbor PA Program is recommending their applicants take the PA-CAT (Physician Assistant College Admission Test). The PA-CAT is a specialized test designed to measure applicant knowledge in key prerequisite science subjects typically required for PA school. For information about the PA-CAT and to schedule your exam, https://www.pa-cat.com/

PLEASE NOTE: If you elect to complete the PA-CAT it must be completed by the end of September in order for scores to be available to the program fore review by the deadline.

PA-CAT has created a video to serve as a roadmap for candidates taking the PA-CAT exam. This video covers how to register for the exam, how to schedule the exam appointment, and how to release scores to PA Programs.

PA-CAT Study materials provided by Exam Master include:

  • Two 120 Question PA-CAT Practice Exams
  • Eight 50-Question Subject Exams
  • Pre-Matriculation Success Course

PA-CAT Covered Subjects: Anatomy, Physiology, General Biology, Biochemistry, General and Organic Chemistry, Microbiology, Behavioral Sciences, Genetics, Statistics.

Technical Standards

Concordia University Ann Arbor (CUAA) has specific technical standards that apply to all candidates for admission and those who are selected to enter the program. Students selected to enter the program must have the capacity to complete the entire course curriculum to achieve the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree. Accommodations may be possible for some disabilities, but the Physician Assistant’s (PA) role in the provision of health care requires that he or she be able to perform in an independent manner that does not compromise patient care.

*NOTE: While CUWAA does not require vaccinations, many of the universities' clinical partners require that students who learn in their facilities are vaccinated against specific communicable diseases. Such policies are developed and administered by the clinical partners, and those facilities may, in some cases, grant exemptions to their own vaccine requirements. However, on the advice of legal counsel, CUWAA does not review or grant exemptions/waivers/exceptions to policies developed by other entities. Students who choose to enroll in a CUWAA health care program must adhere to all vaccine requirements of the clinical facilities to which they are assigned. Further, CUWAA is not obligated to reassign students to a different clinical experience or facility based on vaccination status, or for any other reason. An employer exemption (from an organization you are employed by, for example) does not carry over to the CUWAA student role. Once a decision on the student exemption has been made by the organization, the approval form or email needs to be forwarded to the staff member that handles your onboarding process.

In order to perform the functions required of a physician assistant in a variety of clinical situations and render competent patient care stipulated by the faculty, accreditation agencies, and the standards of practice as a PA, candidates/students for the program must meet the Technical Standards:

  1. Observation:Students must be able to observe demonstrations, visual presentations, lectures, and laboratory studies in the basic medical and clinical settings. The candidate must be able to accurately observe a patient both close and at a distance; this requires functional use of vision, sensation, and smell. Adequate visual capabilities are necessary for proper evaluation and treatment integration, including the assessment of symmetry, range of motion, and tissue texture changes.
  2. Communication: Students must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients to gather pertinent data, describe their observations (including activity and function, mood, and posture) and be able to perceive nonverbal communications. Students must be able to effectively communicate with patients, families, faculty, and colleagues from different cultural backgrounds in oral, written, computer and telephonic formats.
  3. Motor and Sensory:Students must have gross and fine motor function and coordination in order to auscultate, palpate, and percuss as well as the ability to use appropriate diagnostic techniques and instruments to provide routine and emergent medical care and common diagnostic procedures such as, but not limited to, performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, advanced cardiac life support, administering intravenous medications, suturing of simple and complex wounds, treatment of respiratory distress or bleeding, and routine obstetric and gynecologic care, as well as assisting in surgery. Students should have adequate sensory skills, including tactile sensory and proprioceptive capability. Students must be able to transport themselves from one location to another in a timely fashion in order to facilitate patient care responsibilities and to receive educational training. Strength, mobility and endurance: Students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads.
  4. Cognitive, Integrative, and Quantitative Skill:Students must exhibit skills in problem solving, and critical thinking, measurement, calculation, and comprehension of three-dimensional relationships consistent with medical practice. Students must be able to assimilate and learn large amounts of complex, technically detailed information in the form of lectures, discussions, videos, handouts, and clinical exam demonstrations and to synthesize and apply concepts arising from it to create diagnostic and therapeutic plans.
  5. Behavioral and Social Skills:Students must possess sufficient emotional health to allow them to optimally utilize intellectual, cognitive, and reasoning judgment required of medical professionals and be able to quickly complete all duties and responsibilities commensurate with effective diagnosis and treatment of patients of all ages. Students must be able to demonstrate empathy, sensitivity, and the ability to quickly establish rapport with patients, exhibiting adequate interpersonal communication skills, compassion, concern for others, honesty, and integrity. Students must be able to tolerate physically demanding workloads (which may involve nights, weekends, and on call), noisy environments, and long hours. Students need to be able to maintain composure and emotional stability in challenging and stressful, changing circumstances and to deal effectively with uncertain, possibly emotionally charged situations. Students must be able to accept constructive criticism and respond via appropriate behavior modification. Students must be able to complete all assignments and activities as assigned by the program. Students must be able to attend all classes, labs, examinations, and rotations on time and act in a professional manner.
  6. Students must be able to wear full PPE(protective personal equipment) during some experiences in the practicum labs during the didactic year and may have to wear PPE for extended periods of time during some clinical rotations. If the applicant is aware that they will not be able to wear PPE as needed, they should contact the program to discuss. This requirement is for the safety of all students, faculty and staff.

The PA program at Concordia University Ann Arbor has the freedom and ultimate responsibility for selection and evaluation of students, design, implementation and evaluation of curriculum, and determination of who will be awarded a degree and certificate of completion. Admission, retention, program completion, and graduation decisions are made based on satisfactory academic and clinical performance and upon non-academic, behavioral factors, which serve to ensure overall success in the PA profession.

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Candidates for admission to the Concordia University Ann Arbor’s PA program will be required, if admitted, to certify in writing that they understand and meet the above technical standards.

Concordia University will attempt, to the best of its ability, to develop mechanisms by which otherwise qualified candidates for admission can be accommodated; however, the integrity of the curriculum and the need to provide optimal patient care must be maintained in order to ensure that all parts of PA education are delivered to all students.

Additionally

No advanced placement or transfer credit is granted if transferring from another PA or graduate program nor for foreign medical graduates or foreign physicians. No course credit is given for experiential learning. NOTE: The statement above refers to coursework taken at a previous PA program, medical school, nursing school, or other health profession education. High school AP credit granted by the university is acceptable.

Application timeline

  • April 28, 2022:CASPA application portal opens
  • January 15, 2023:CASPA applications must be submitted and verified. Applications submittedafterthe application deadline will not be reviewed.
  • The program will use rolling admissions, with interview selections beginning in February or March of 2023 and continuing until seats are all filled.
  • Students will matriculate into the program on August 28, 2023 (the Fall term)
  • PLEASE NOTE:if accepted, students selected will be required to submit a $1000.00 deposit to hold their seat. This deposit will be applied to the student's tuition at time of matriculation. Should the student rescind after acceptance, the $1000.00 deposit will be forfeited (not returned).

Program Begins

  • Start date (orientation) is August 28, 2023

Applicants must have obtained their Bachelor's degree prior to August 28, 2023.Those applicants who do not successfully complete their Bachelor’s degree prior to the first day of class, will not be allowed to matriculate into the program.

Background checks

All students accepted into the PA program will be required to complete and pass a background check. A felony conviction will impact our admission decision.

Working after admission

It has been the program’s experience that those students who choose to work after admission to the program are most often unable to complete the program successfully. For this reason, the program STRONGLY recommends that students NOT work for the duration of the PA program. Working outside of the PA program will not be given consideration in evaluating a student who fails to meet program requirements.

International applicants

International applicants who have taken pre-requisite courses at non-US colleges and universities should follow the directions provided by the CASPA Help Center for information on providing their academic credentials prepared by accepted international credentialing agencies.

TOEFL

Applicants whose native language is not English or do not have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited United States, Canadian, or Great Britain University or College must demonstrate English proficiency by taking the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. Scores must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to CASPA in electronic format. The TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score report will then be matched with your CASPA application.

Scores are valid two years from the date of testing. Refer to the CASPA FAQ page for additional information on how to report TOEFL scores.

Minimum scores accepted: IELTS 7; TOEFL 94; PTE 64.

Anti-Discrimination policy

As a matter of policy, Concordia University admits students of any age, race, color, gender, religion, and national and ethnic origin. Admitted students enjoy the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally offered to all Concordia students. Further, Concordia University does not discriminate according to age, race, color, gender, and national and ethnic origin in administering admissions and educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Concordia University is committed to full compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities, as well as other federal and state laws pertaining to individuals with disabilities. Under the ADA and its amendments, a person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The ADA also protects individuals who have a record of a substantially limiting impairment or who are regarded as disabled by the institution whether qualified or not. A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, walking, or caring for oneself.

Concordia University is committed to providing qualified students with disabilities with reasonable accommodations and support needed to ensure equal access to the programs and activities of the University.

All accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. A student requesting any accommodation should first contact the Director of Disability Services who coordinates services for students with disabilities. The director reviews documentation provided by the student and in consultation with the student, determines which accommodations are appropriate to the student’s particular needs and programs. It is then the student’s responsibility to make direct requests for accommodations to the appropriate staff.

Considerations in selection of candidates

As a potential candidate, the admissions committee will look at the following for acceptance into the program:

  • Both cumulative CUAA prerequisite and CUAA science prerequisite ofGPA 3.0 at a minimum.
  • Any repeated science course grades will also be used to calculate the total science GPA calculation. The program does not allow deceleration or repeat of any courses, for this reason, having multiple withdrawals or repeated coursework will be a concern in reviewing your application.
  • Reference letters – should speak to the applicant’s aptitude for the profession, which requires that the applicant and the letter writer understand the PA profession.
  • Patient Care Experience – points are assigned for numbers of hours (1000 is the minimum),and for patient care participation requiring some level of decision-making. Students are given "points" based on the level of decision-making, rigor of the health care experience. Scribe is acceptable for up to 500 of the health care hour requirement.
  • Interview – students will have conversations with faculty that focus on the applicant’s understanding of the PA role; both advantages and disadvantages as compared to other health care professions; and the applicant’s particular aptitude for the rigors of PA school.
  • PA school is accelerated compared to many other health professions and requires tremendous sacrifice and successful completion of multiple courses with many assessments during large course loads in each term.

A holistic overview of the applicant is performed by all reviewers who will score applicants based on the following criteria:

  • GPA (cumulative and science pre-requisite GPA) including withdrawal and repeated coursework.
  • Evidence of academic potential, motivation, personal maturity, self-assurance, and likelihood for success
  • Interpersonal interactions observed on visit day including:Maturity, professionalism, ability to interact in an appropriate manner
  • Writing sample on a question related to current health care issues
  • Points are awarded for volunteerism, in upholding our mission (see preferences below).
  • Points are awarded for letters of recommendation, looking for evidence that matches the hours of HC hours and experience; and the supervisor's evaluation of the students abilities in HC.

Preferences given

  • CU graduates and alumni will be granted an automatic interview with successful completion of all requirements AND a 3.4 GPA in BOTH cumulative AND pre-requisite coursework
  • Applicants who are military veterans, and have a minimum 3.4 GPA will be granted an automatic interview with successful completion of all requirements.
  • In upholding our mission and vision, if there are two equally qualified candidates with similar GPAs, coursework, letters of recommendation, and patient care experience, the applicant who provides service to others in community or church would be selected over the one who does not serve.
  • In upholding our program's mission, in making a selection between equally qualified candidates, candidates from HPSA (health professional shortage areas), and MUC (medically underserved communities) will be given preference. This is in fitting with the mission and vision of the PA program. To check qualification use the links below:
  • https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/shortage-area/by-address
  • https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/shortage-area/mua-find
  • Similarly, when selecting between equally qualified candidates, those who are underrepresented minority students, first generation college students, and low income students, will be given a preferencewith successful completion of all admission requirements.
  • Leadership, research, full time collegiate sports, and other extracurricular activities will be reviewed in a holistic assessment of your application.

AccreditationStatus

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Concordia University Ann Arbor Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Concordia University Ann Arbor. 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. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

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The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at:http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-concordia-university-ann-arbor/

PANCE Scores

The Concordia University Ann Arbor MSPAS program will publish first time Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) rates for the five most recent graduating classes as provided by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). We will begin publishing this information once it becomes available.

PANCE scores will be available after all students from the Class of 2023 have taken their exam, 3-6 months after graduation in May 2023. National averages (with which to compare CUAA scores to national scores) will likely not be available until several months later. We will post our cohort pass rate as soon as all students have taken their exam. This will be updated as NCCPA posts national scores for ability to compare.

ARC-PA Student Attrition Table

Current classes
Class of 2023Class of 2024
Maximum entering class size (as approved by ARC-PA)3240
Entering class size3235#
Number who took leave of absence00#
Number who decelerated00#
Numbers of withdrawals12#
Numbers of dismissals11#
Total attrition23#
Number joining class who began with different cohort00#
Graduates00#
Anticipated graduates3032

Attrition rate for 2023= 6% = 2 students (1 withdrew first week when selected by her #1 program)

Attrition rate for 2024= 8% = 3 students

First cohort will graduate in May 2023.

PA Program Competencies

  1. Demonstrate the requisite knowledge necessary in primary medicine to evaluate and provide non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic management of medical concerns of an acute, emergent, chronic, and preventive nature in patients of any age.
  2. Demonstrate communication skills that are patient-centered in obtaining a thorough and concise medical history from patients in an attentive and respectful manner.
  3. Perform a technically accurate complete physical exam on patients of any age for preventive andchronic visits; and focused physical exam for patients presenting with acute or emergent medical problems.
  4. Select appropriate labs & diagnostic testing based on a differential diagnosis, and interpret testing to narrow or identify the diagnosis.
  5. Demonstrate the requisite basic procedural skills required to identify and manage illness and injury in a clinical encounter.
  6. Apply medical decision making to develop a diagnosis or presumptive diagnosis from a broad differential utilizing all aspects of patient evaluation findings.
  7. Organize and present an oral presentation of a clinical patient encounter in a coherent fashion.
  8. Document a clinical note including all components appropriate to the presentation for a patient with a medical or surgical concern in an inpatient or outpatient setting.
  9. Utilize available medical research to identify appropriate evidence for a particular clinical question or to assist in medical decision making.
  10. Function professionally in medical practice with all members of the healthcare team.
  11. Demonstrate understanding of Christian Values, and exemplify integration of these values, attitudes, and behaviors in both the classroom and in clinical practice.

Program Goals & Meeting our Goals

  1. Recruit and retain students from underserved, underrepresented, and diverse backgrounds committed to the PA profession.This goal was created to align with our mission statement. The program was recently funded with a HRSA grant which will provide quarterly data on our efficacy in meeting this goal, as it is the goal of the HRSA grant as well. Currently the program is collecting admission data in identifying applicants from rural, underserved, and diverse backgrounds committed to the PA profession.
  2. Increase the number of PAs who become HC providers in underserved and underrepresented HC communities:As part of the grant initiative, the program can now provide student with monitary stipends in rural sites, and rural clinical site stipends, and will be gathering data on the efficacy of this grant initiative to increase the numbers of our graduates who become PAs in underserved and underrepresented rural communities. This goal will not be able to be measured and evaluated until after our first cohort graduates in May 2023.

  3. Develop entry-level PA graduates who demonstrate competency in all aspects of primary care.The program provides a curriculum focused on primary care medicine, and with the grant initiative, will enhance the primary medicine curriculum to provide education to student in the rural health unique demographics, social determinants of health, access to health care, specific with assistance from the Michigan center for Rural Health in providing “grand rounds” on content related to unique rural practice challenges. PAs from rural clinical sites, Federally qualified health centers, and acute care hospitals will be providing lectures on their perspectives in educating students about the unique challenges and rewards and benefits of rural health practice.Students will be trained in telehealth; have already completed SUDs training, and those who request will be provide MAT waiver training.

  4. Obtain a pass rate greater than, or equal to, 90% on the PANCE examination.The program is providing a rigorous curriculum to the students, with a significant number and frequency of assessments in preparing students for success in clinicals and the PANCE exam. Quantitative data collected thus far on our inaugural program finds our students on standardized testing to have scores at or above the national average and qualitative data from clinical sites that have exceeded the programs expectation in performance and demonstration of competency. The program will continue to monitor data related to all aspects of assessment and developing competency, and we feel optimistic at this point that the 90% pass rate will be met or surpassed.
  5. Achieve a PA employment rate of 75% by 6 months after graduation. The program is receiving solicitation on a weekly basis for HC practices who need providers. The program will sponsor a job fair for students near the end of the clinical year, in conjunction with the CUAA “Studio”. The students will have NPI numbers which will allow the program to “track” their employment, identify the discipline in which the student is practicing, and identify students in rural communities, as well as monitor length of employment, changes in employment as sets of data of interest to the program.
Courtney Erwin MS, MSBS, PA-C Assistant Professor

Courtney Erwin
MS, MSBS, PA-C

Assistant Professor
Office: Health Services 317
Phone: (734) 995-7372

Masters in Physicians Assistant program (2)

Education

  • MS - Physician Assistant Studies, Medical College of Ohio (2004)

Teaching Interests

  • Dermatology
Alexandra Guajardo PhD, MS, PA-C, CLS Assistant Professor

Alexandra Guajardo
PhD, MS, PA-C, CLS

Assistant Professor
Office: Ann Arbor North Building 315
Phone: (734) 995-7429

Masters in Physicians Assistant program (4)

Education

  • Ph D - Biomedical Engineering, Taganrog State Radiotechnical University (2005)
  • MS - Physician Assistant Studies, University of Detroit Mercy (2017)
  • BS - Clinical Laboratory Science, Michigan State University (2012)

Research Interests

  • Problem-based learning
  • Medically underserved populations

Teaching Interests

  • Laboratory medicine and clinical procedures
  • Heme/onc
Kristin S. Halsell MSPAS, PA-C Clinical Director, Clinical Assistant Professor

Kristin S. Halsell
MSPAS, PA-C

Clinical Director, Clinical Assistant Professor
Office: Ann Arbor North Building 313
Phone: (734) 995-4817

Bio

I am a Jesus-loving, people-loving, mother of 4, wife of Steve for 20 years. As a PA I have the privilege to validate the worth and value of each person, patients and students alike.

Masters in Physicians Assistant program (6)

Education

  • MS - Physician Assistant Studies, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (2002)
  • BS - pre-med/biology, Smith College (1998)

Research Interests

  • Motivations and Barriers to PAs precepting PA students
  • Motivational Interviewing

Teaching Interests

  • Women's Health
  • Mental Health
Jacqueline C. Kazik MA., PA-C, DFAAPA Program Director - Program Director of CUAA, Assistant Professor

Jacqueline C. Kazik
MA., PA-C, DFAAPA

Program Director - Program Director of CUAA, Assistant Professor
Office: Ann Arbor North Building 311
Phone: (734) 995-7437

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Bio

I have been a PA in ER med, women's health, pediatrics and family medicine for 34 years. I have been a PA educator since 1997, teaching at MU, UW-Madison and Carroll PA programs as well as UAMB and MCPHS PA programs. I have an interest in grant writing and implementation and legislative issues affecting the PA profession.

Masters in Physicians Assistant program (8)

Education

  • MA - Educational Policy and Leadership, Marquette University (2004)
  • BS - Physician Assistant, UW-Madison (1985)

Research Interests

  • Educational methods
  • Assessment of teaching efficacy

Teaching Interests

  • Clinical medicine
  • Medical Decision Making
Ashley Malliett DMSc, MPAS, PA-C Assistant Professor

Ashley Malliett
DMSc, MPAS, PA-C

Assistant Professor
Office: Ann Arbor North Building 315A
Phone: (734) 995-7306

Bio

<br><br>

Masters in Physicians Assistant program (10)

Education

  • MPAS - Physician Assistant Studies , Wayne State University (2011)
  • BS - Biomedical Sciences , Central Michigan University (2009)
  • Healthcare Administration and Leadership , University of Lynchburg (2020)

Presentations

  • Malliett, A. (2022). Adjustment in Perceptions: Implicit Bias in Clinical Practice . Oral Presentation. Michigan Association of Chiropractors Annual Fall Conference . Macomb Community College .

Research Interests

  • Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy
  • Implicit Bias in Healthcare Professionals

Teaching Interests

  • Evidence-Based Medicine Application
  • Procedural Skills Development
LaTonya Millben MS, PA-C Assistant Professor

LaTonya Millben
MS, PA-C

Assistant Professor
Office: Ann Arbor North Building 319

Masters in Physicians Assistant program (12)

Education

  • MPAS - University of Detroit Mercy (2004)
  • BS - Biology/Chemistry , Lincoln University (1998)

Research Interests

  • Health equity
  • Social determinants of health

Teaching Interests

  • PA Professional Practice
  • Patient Care
Timothy Spedoske

Timothy Spedoske

Masters in Physicians Assistant program (14)

Click here to see the course sequence for 2023-2024.

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Tuition & Fees

Estimated Program Costs-Didactic and Clinical Years

For the incoming class August, 2023

(fees are subject to change)

TOTAL PA Tuition$14,230 (per term) x 7 terms$99,610

Total Tuition for the entire PA Program is listed above, you will be billed in three terms

Other Costs

Please note: costs will vary depending on the equipment selected by the student

FeesStudent Costs
Student Services$50.00 x 7 terms = $350.00
University Lab Fee$300.00 x 7 terms = $2100.00
Technology Fee$36.00 x 7 terms = 462.00
Medical Equipment
(includes lab coats x 2)
~900.00 (students do not need to buy equipment they already have)
Laptop***Average $600-1200
Books

~$400 /student/ for total program length-

online e-texts are availablethrough Access Medicine

Graduation Fee$65.00
Castlebranch$160.00
BLS UPDATEpaid by program*
ACLSpaid by program*
MAPA Dues40.00 one time fee
AAPA Dues75.00 annual
HOD Travel/Expprogram pays 50%
EOR Exams/PACKRATpaid by program
White Coat / Scrubs$50.00 - 100.00 ea.
Clinical Site Paymentspaid by program
Transportation~1200* may vary
Clinical Site Housing**~3000-4000* may vary
Parking$150.00/year during didactic year only
TOTAL:4,400 (Fees only)

*Costs are the same for both resident and non-resident. Student’s own food, transportation and housing costs are not included.

**Student housing may be required at rural clinical sites; all housing and transportation costs are the responsibility of the student.

***Computer should meet or exceed these requirements.

Tuition Refund

Students who withdraw from the University will receive a pro-rated refund of educational fees and board fees, according to the following schedule (a week runs Mon-Sun):

DURING FIRST WEEK OF CLASSES80%
DURING SECOND WEEK OF CLASSES75%
DURING THIRD WEEK OF CLASSES60%
DURING FOURTH WEEK OF CLASSES40%
DURING FIFTH WEEK OF CLASSES20%
AFTER FIFTH WEEKnone

Students who are charged for summer term but then withdrawwill receive refunds on a pro-rated basis as follows:

DURING FIRST DAY OF CLASS80%
DURING SECOND DAY OF CLASS75%
DURING THIRD DAY OF CLASS60%
DURING FOURTH DAY OF CLASS40%
DURING FIFTH DAY OF CLASS20%
AFTER FIFTH DAY OF CLASSnone

Preceptor Handbooks

Thank you Preceptors!

Your generous contribution of time, hard work and medical expertise on the part of our students is the vital key to the success of the CUAA PA program and to the success of our students when they graduate.

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The clinical experiences the student will obtain under your supervision are critical in synthesizing the concepts and application of principles for high quality health care delivery. Eleven months of clinical rotations follow fifteen months of rigorous didactic coursework. You, the preceptor, are vital to successful learning in the clinical setting. The PA student will work closely with you, and s/he will progressively develop the skills and clinical judgement necessary to become a practicing PA. Thank you for your commitment to PA education!

Following are links to the discipline-specific handbooks that highlight rotation policies and procedures, as well as rotation learning outcomes and objectives.

Below are links to all of our preceptor handbooks:
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Elective
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgical Medicine
  • Women's Health

Is it possible to continue working while in PA school?

Students who continue to work find that they struggle to find the time to review material. Students need the evenings and weekends to review course material, complete assignments, and read new material. While the program does not forbid working in the program, it is important to note that students that do find it impacts their grades and ability to successfully complete the program.

Immunizations Required

As you consider a career in healthcare, it is important to know that due to the nature of training of Physician Assistant Students there is the potential of exposure to infectious or environmental contacts that may lead to disease or disability. The Program provides education on Universal Precautions and how to protect yourself both as a student and healthcare provider with in-class education, online modules and tests; and reminders throughout the program length about best practices.

The PA program follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for healthcare personnel recommendations. The PA program requires the following immunizations:

  1. Annual PPD
  2. Chest radiography (every three years, if the PPD is positive)
  3. Hepatitis B immunity (established by three reported dates of immunization or by documented testing of antibody titer)
  4. Tdap to those who have not received it before, then Td (every 10 years)
  5. Rubella immunity (established by two reported dates of vaccination or documented antibody titer)
  6. Varicella immunity (established antibody titer) or date of vaccination
  7. Annual Influenza vaccination
  8. The program does not mandate COVID-19 vaccination, however, the clinical rotations sites may mandate vaccination. The University does not provide vaccine exemptions.

Fair Practices

CUAA is committed to equality of opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students, or employees based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability. CUAA PA students have equal access to facilities and programs of the Concordia University Ann Arbor as any student from any of the other programs.

POLICIES ON ATTENDANCE

Attendance Policy

Attendance is MANDATORY for all lectures and labs. The program will give you advance notice for evening and weekend labs/requirements.

Excused Absences

The student must contact the Program Director or course director for the class(es) that they will miss.

The following are considered excused absences, but must be reported to the course director and Program director by email or in person in advance if at all possible.

  1. Policy on matters related to religious holidays: students must inform the Program Director 30 days prior to the anticipated missed classroom time.
  2. Military service: Students must notify the PD as soon as deployment requirement has been received.
  3. Death in the family; funeral
  4. Unforeseen illness or injury requiring student to be hospitalized or housebound. If possible, zoom attendance is possible. If not possible, then content will be recorded and student will be responsible for recorded lecture material on any assessment.
  5. The student will obtain written permission from both the course director/s and the Program Director by completing and signing the Excused Absence Request Form.
  6. If the student will be out for three days or longer, the PD must be informed and will need a release from a health care provider to return to class

Appointments

Students must schedule their medical appointments outside of class or rotation time.

Appointments may be kept without incurring an unexcused absence if that appointment was made, and the course time schedule was changed and student was unable change their medical appointment on short notice.

Unexcused Absences/Unapproved Absences

Anything other than #’s 1-5 above will be considered an unexcused absence.

If a second unexcused absence occurs, the student will appear before the Student Progress Committee. No credit or make up will be given for missed assignments, quizzes, exams, or labs. Any student excused from a class is responsible for obtaining the missed material. If the absence is expected to go beyond 3 days, the student must contact the Program Director and a note from the student’s provider will be needed to return to class. Make up class or lab assignments are provided solely at the discretion of the course director. Multiple excused absences may be brought before the Student Progress Committee.

Tardiness

Students are responsible for being in their seat in the classroom prior to the start of lecture. The tardy student will be responsible for any missed content. Repeated tardiness or absences are inconsistent with the professional expectations noted in the handbook. The AA will notify the PD when there is a tardy form turned in by faculty. Tardiness is not acceptable and is a professionalism infraction and may be referred for additional sanctions (see handbook for more detail).

SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE DIDACTIC YEAR:

PLEASE NOTE: Detail about requirements for the successful completion of the didactic year can be found in the Student Didactic Handbook section titled "Requirements for Successful Completion of the Didactic Year."

In addition to these academic requirements, the student must also:

  • Comply with all policies and procedures published by CUAA and those of the Physician Assistant Program.
  • Submit timely documentation of immunization and physical exam requirements.
  • Successful completion of BLS, and ACLS (provided by the PA program) prior to entering clinical rotations.
  • Comply with professionalism expectations.

The program will monitor student progress in a timely and ongoing fashion, and will provide remediation options for the student to improve performance. It is the student’s responsibility to make significant efforts at remediation to prove competency. Processes for remediation are outlined in both the Didactic and the Clinical Student Handbook.

SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE CLINICAL YEAR

In accordance with Std. A3.03, it is the responsibility of the Program to solicit and provide clinical sites and preceptors, not the student’s responsibility. Prospective and enrolled students will not be asked to solicit sites, recommend preceptors, nor be required to find their own clinical sites. Contact the Director of Clinical Education for appropriate process to follow should you have a site or preceptor that you may want the program to consider.

In addition to these academic requirements, the student must also:

  • Comply with all CUAA and PA Program policies and procedures
  • Comply with professionalism expectations
  • Successfully complete the summative evaluation as designated by program requirements

The CUAA’s PA Program reserves the right to dismiss any PA student at any time prior to graduation. Circumstances warranting such action may be of an academic, legal or professional nature. Additional information is available in the student handbooks on appeal of dismissal and withdrawal from the program.

The student handbooks (both didactic and clinical) are available as a link in the accreditation tab on this website for additional review of program policies.

Handbooks

Please click on the links below to view the:

  • 2023 Student Clinical Year Handbook
  • 2024 Student Didactic Year Handbook

REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION

Requirements for Graduation

  • Successfully completes all components of the program (didactic, clinical, and summative).
  • Successfully demonstrates competency for each of the Program Learning Outcomes.
  • Maintains an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Maintains professionalism standards.
  • Successful completion of BLS, and ACLS
  • Fulfills all financial obligations to Concordia University Ann Arbor.
  • Complies with all CUAA and Physician Assistant Program policies and procedures

DECELERATION

The CUAA PA program does not decelerate students for failing to meet the program’s academic and/or professionalism requirements.

Deceleration for a personal or family medical issue which requires a Leave of Absence (LOA) may be allowed based upon the University’s ‘Temporary Stop Out from the University’ policy. https://catalog.cuw.edu/graduate/university/academic-policies

Students may request a temporary stop-out in writing to the Program Director, and will be required to provide written evidence of the medical issue related to the request. Prior to the student’s return to the program, the Program Director will provide the student with a specific deceleration plan. This plan will be developed on a case-by-case basis after review and with input from the student’s advisor, the Student Progress Committee and the Program Director.

  • The student must provide a letter from their treating physician which releases them back to full function in the PA program before they may rejoin the program.If restrictions are required, the Program Director must be notified in order to request from the ARC (academic resource center) for necessary accommodations.
  • A student whose LOA extends past the two semesters that are allowed by the University’s temporary stop-out policy will be required to re-apply to the program.
  • During the didactic year, the deceleration plan may require the student to repeat those courses where updating of medical content is necessary.
  • During the clinical year, the student may be required to repeat one or more clinical rotations. Note that deceleration will result in delay of graduation.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the financial consequences of deceleration and repetition of courses, which may result in additional tuition and fee expenses.
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FAQs

Is Physician Associate course hard? ›

Courses teaching physician associate studies are academically challenging programmes requiring hard work, dedication, motivation, good time management skills and excellent communication skills. You will also require compassion and empathy for the patients you are going to be working for and with.

What is an acceptable GRE score for PA school? ›

Many PA schools won't set a specific minimum GRE score. The programs that do usually set the minimum score around 295—but again, some will be higher and some will be lower. The average GRE score of accepted students on the 2020 PAEA report was 306—combined verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning.

How long should PA school interview answers be? ›

a. Aim for answers no longer than 60 seconds. c. If you aren't sure if you should talk, or stop talking, STOP.

What is the easiest PA school to get into? ›

Easiest PA schools to get into
SchoolAcceptance RateWork experience
Alvernia University Physician Assistant Program70%Recommended
Barry University85%Recommended
Brenau University64.7%Required
Butler University40%Not required
25 more rows
8 Sept 2022

Can a PA become a doctor? ›

Some providers, however, are interested in advancing from their current role as a physician assistant (PA) to a Doctor of Medicine (MD). To transition from PA to MD, you'll need to apply to medical schools, attend an MD program, and complete residency training.

Is becoming a physician associate worth it? ›

Being a physician associate is a rewarding career as you're able to make a significant contribution to patients' health. Patient caseloads and a lack of public knowledge about the role can be challenging. You'll be expected to adhere to a professional, ethical code of conduct at work.

Videos

1. MCPHS's Accelerated Master of Physician Assistant Studies
(MCPHStv)
2. The Absolute BEST MAJOR for getting into PA School! (2020/ 2021)
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3. Will ALL PA Schools soon be a Doctorate Degree?
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4. Master of Physician Assistant Studies | Stephens College
(stephenscollege)
5. Master of Physician Assistant Studies Graduate Program
(Franklin Pierce)
6. MS in Physician Assistant | South University | Dr. John Burns, Department Chair and Program Director
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