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LOUISVILLE, KY. – The Sullivan University Physician Assistant Program – which was founded just four years ago – has received a major accreditation boost.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Sullivan University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Sullivan University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2028. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

“Achieving this milestone serves as an acknowledgement of the diligence and commitment of the faculty and staff of Sullivan University Physician Assistant Program to providing a high-quality education experience for our students and it is an affirmation of the Sullivan University’s sound decision to pursue a Physician Assistant program for Louisville, ” said Steve G. Gaskins, program director of Sullivan University’s Physician Assistant Program.

“The Sullivan University Physician Assistant Program has a strong commitment to Sullivan University’s ethic of an on-going, rigorous, self-assessment and continuous improvement,” Gaskins said.

Accreditation-Continued is achieved by successfully building upon the standards set forth by the Accreditation Review Commission on Physician Assistant Education and completing the three stages of Accreditation-Provisional – Initial, Monitoring and Final.

While accreditation is considered a voluntary process, graduation from an ARC-PA accredited PA program is essential for practice as a physician assistant in the United States. Graduation from an accredited program is an eligibility requirement for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistants (NCCPA) and for state licensure.

Physician assistants – commonly referred to as PAs – practice medicine as part of a team with the supervision of physicians. They are formally educated as generalists who examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. Students prepare for a professional role as clinicians with an emphasis on care in the primary care setting and preventive health care, as well as acute and chronic disease management.

PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and can write prescriptions in all states. In working closely with doctors, PAs are authorized and trained to make medical decisions and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services.

Sullivan University, continuing its tradition as an innovative leader in health care education, launched its Physician Assistant program in 2014. In doing so, Sullivan became the first university in Louisville, and only the third in Kentucky, to offer a Physician Assistant degree program. Graduates of the program receive a Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA).

Physician Assistant graduates have strong career opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 37 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

“Career prospects in the health care industry are exciting for Sullivan University Physician Assistant graduates,” Gaskins said. “Every graduate of our first two classes has passed their Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and are eligible for licensure in each of the 50 states.

“Sullivan University PA graduates are working in a large variety of medical specialties where they are increasing access to quality healthcare in the Louisville area, as well as, in several states literally all across the nation,” he said. “New York to California, Washington state to Florida, Texas to Minnesota and points between.”

Steven G. Gaskins
Program Director
Sullivan University Physician Assistant Program