A Double Dose of Program Data

It’s that time of the year again when PA educators across the country are getting ready to reconnect at this year’s Education Forum and learn about innovations in PA education. To help you prepare, we are releasing the latest data describing national trends in PA education.

By the Numbers: Curriculum Report 3 presents new data on PA programs’ clinical curricula for the first time since 2010. This report includes information about programs’ supervised clinical practice experience requirements, clinical phase logistics, and an entire section devoted to dissecting national trends in clinical site and preceptor payment policies and practices during the 2016–2017 academic year.

This short-but-sweet report touches on some of the hot topics affecting PA education and is a must-read. If you’ve missed the other installments of our rotating Curriculum Report (CR) series, it’s not too late to check out CR1 focusing on prerequisites and admissions and CR2 about didactic curricula.

The 33rd installment of our classic Program Report, By the Numbers: Program Report 33, provides a national overview of program finances, staffing, and student enrollment during the 2016–2017 academic year. This year, the report contains three exciting new additions, providing a richer representation of PA education:

  • First, to accompany our latest Curriculum Report on the clinical phase, we have dived deeper into clinical site payment trends (pp. 16-18).
  • Second, we calculate and report student-to-faculty ratio two ways: by full-time faculty headcount, as has been done traditionally, and by FTEs (pp. 26-27).
  • Finally, we have expanded our reporting of student demographics. New information includes the percent of all programs that report at least one student of each demographic group, and the average proportion of students belonging to each demographic group across programs. More explanation can be found on pages V, 31, 33, and 35. These new demographic statistics provide a fuller understanding of PA program and student diversity — revealing, for example, that only 60.2% of responding PA programs reported at least one Black or African American student, and 4.1% of programs reported no non-White students in their first-year cohorts (p. 50).

We hope that these reports help spur productive conversations at your programs and at the Forum, as we all prepare to build a vision of the exciting future of PA education. As always, custom reports and raw data from these surveys are available to researchers and members upon request. For questions, comments, and suggestions, please contact the Research & Data Analysis team at or 703-667-4328.