Three Programs Granted Provisional Accreditation

At its September 2023 meeting, ARC-PA announced that three new entry-level PA programs had been awarded provisional accreditation.

With the addition of these newly accredited programs, the number of PA programs in the United States now stands at 306. This remarkable growth demonstrates the dedication of our PA education community – because of the work you do each day, there are now more students than ever who are seeking entry into the PA profession.

Please join us in congratulating these three programs as they prepare to educate the next generation of PAs:

UC San Diego Atkinson Physician Assistant Education Program

University of California San Diego

Program Director: Elias Villarreal, Jr., DMSc, MPAS, PA-C

Villarreal said it was an honor to launch the Atkinson PA Education Program.

“We awaited our accreditation notification with great anticipation and are eager to welcome our inaugural cohort this coming June. We are thankful for the many well wishes, offers of support, and good vibes we have enjoyed over the last couple of weeks from our fellow PAEA colleagues. Our team has been prepping their hearts and minds to soon welcome our learners. Throughout all my years in PA education, this time of optimism and elation serves as a reminder of the beauty of higher education and our vital role in society as both educators and clinicians,” said Villarreal, who is also an associate dean and a professor of family medicine.

Austin College PA Program

Austin College, Texas

Program Director: Diana Taylor Noller, DHSc, MMS, MSPT, PA-C

“The achievement of Accreditation-Provisional is the result of a collaborative effort among many talented and driven people. We are proud to keep our values of excellence, accountability, engagement, and introspection at the core of all that we do on our journey to train future PAs with an emphasis on medical humanities,” said Noller, who is also an associate professor of medical science.  

Texas MPAS Hybrid Program

Franklin Pierce University – Round Rock, Texas

Program Director: Joseph A. Hlavin, PhD, PA-C

“The Texas MPAS Hybrid Program has achieved Accreditation-Provision status and is delighted to begin our first cohort in March 2024 using the innovative hybrid approach to PA education. The Franklin Pierce University is dedicated to the success of our students across a variety of student demographics, learning styles, and locations across the United States,” said Hlavin, who is also an assistant professor.