With an aging population and a looming shortage of doctors and nurses, the United States is facing skyrocketing demand for physician assistants (PAs) to provide routine medical diagnosis and care. The College of Saint Elizabeth is answering the call for trained professionals in this highly-skilled specialty with a new degree, the Master of Science in Physician Assistant, with the first class to begin in October 2019.
One of just four programs in New Jersey, CSE’s 27-month MS PA program provides a rigorous curriculum that aims to equip graduates with strong medical knowledge, as well as the critical thinking, interpersonal and communication skills that define effective practitioners.
“The launch of the PA program is a significant achievement, especially for the size of a school such as the College of Saint Elizabeth,” said Dr. Helen J. Streubert, president of CSE. “We are proud that this new program not only continues CSE’s longstanding tradition in the area of healthcare education, but also underscores the College’s mission to provide leadership through service to others started by the Sisters of Charity nearly 120 years ago.”
Newly-renovated space in the College’s Henderson Hall houses the new program. Funded through a $5 million bequest from the estate of 1951 graduate Antoinette Anastasia, the area offers students real-life clinical experiences with state-of-the art classrooms and a 12-bed clinical assessment lab, as well as a Simulation Center with interactive mannequins and task-trainers, six standardized patient evaluation rooms, virtual dissection tables and a video-capture system to provide students with immediate feedback on their patient interaction skills.
“The students we will be enrolling are coming to the College of Saint Elizabeth with a passion to bring medical care to a patient population that is underserved,” said Dr. Medea Y. Valdez, director of the PA program at CSE. “Through this new program, we will be transforming students’ lives and they in turn will transform the lives of those in need of medical care.”
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Provisional* status to the College of Saint Elizabeth Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the College of Saint Elizabeth.
For more information about the program, visit www.cse.edu/mspa.
*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.
Mary Colleen Robinson has a communication degree with a concentration in journalism and is currently working as the PR/Social Media Specialist at the College of Saint Elizabeth