At its September 2020 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Florida State University School of Physician Assistant Practice Program sponsored by Florida State University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in September 2022.
Probation accreditation is a temporary accreditation status initially of not less than two years. However, that period may be extended by the ARC-PA for up to an additional two years if the ARC-PA finds that the program is making substantial progress toward meeting all applicable standards but requires additional time to come into full compliance. Probation accreditation status is granted, at the sole discretion of the ARC-PA, when a program holding an accreditation status of Accreditation - Provisional or Accreditation - Continued does not, in the judgment of the ARC-PA, meet the Standards or when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.
Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn.
The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website
What does this mean for the Florida State University Physician Assistant Program? The FSU PA program remains accredited and this status change does not interfere with currently enrolled and admitted students’ path to graduation, ability to take the NCCPA PANCE exam, obtain licensure, and enter practice.
While we are disappointed with the accreditation-probation decision, we remain confident in meeting ARC-PA accreditation standards. FSU’s School of Physician Assistant Practice was created consistent with those standards, and achieved provisional accreditation prior to enrolling its first students in 2017.
The inaugural class graduated in December 2019, and our alumni have been in demand, entering practice in hospitals and private practices throughout Florida, including Jacksonville, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota, Pensacola and Tallahassee, as well as those who accepted jobs in New York and California. Graduates entered practice in a variety of medical specialties, including family medicine, emergency medicine, orthopedics, psychiatry, neurosurgery, endocrinology, dermatology and hematology-oncology.
Students in the FSU School of Physician Assistant Practice learn to be part of a medical team with FSU medical students in a model of clinical education following the FSU College of Medicine’s community-based approach. The PA program includes 15 months of didactic training at the main campus in Tallahassee, followed by 12 months of clinical rotations at one of the college’s regional training sites, where relationships built over two decades with the local medical communities contributes to exceptional access to patient care.
FSU will continue to provide students with the high-quality education and training required to become a licensed, practicing physician assistant.
We are committed to demonstrating and maintaining compliance with the standards of ARC-PA, and are confident that the corrective measures being implemented as a result of this action will lead to removal of the probationary status.