At its September 2023 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Marquette University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Marquette University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in September 2025. 

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, a program that fails to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and is subject to having its accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.

The College of Health Sciences and Marquette University fully support the Physician Assistant Studies Program and are actively addressing the concerns raised by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). We remain committed to student success and delivering a high-quality nationally ranked program.

FAQs About Accreditation

If I’m a current student in the Marquette PA Program (Class of 2024 or Class of 2025), will I graduate from an accredited program and be able to take the PANCE?

Yes. ARC-PA defines a student as graduating from an accredited program if the program was accredited at the time of matriculation.  

If I join the Marquette PA program and start in May 2024 (Class of 2026), will I graduate from an accredited program and able to take the PANCE?

Yes. ARC-PA defines a student as graduating from an accredited program if the program was accredited at the time of matriculation.  

What happens if in September 2025 Marquette PA does not come off probation? Will I still graduate and be able to take the PANCE?

Yes. Marquette PA has the full support of the University and College of Health Sciences and intends to be fully accredited without probation in September 2025. In the event this is not the case, the program will continue to teach the current students through graduation and students will still be able to take the PANCE.

Why is Marquette University PA on probation?

The ARC-PA provides an overview to ensure students are best prepared for clincial practice.  This temporary status allows us time to make program improvements, and to make sure that we are doing things in alignment with expectations of the ARC-PA.  Specific to Marquette, citations received largely concerned the structure of our clinical rotations and the manner in which student learning outcomes were documented in certain medical subdisciplines (Women’s Health, Pediatrics, and Behavioral Health). While our practice had been a common one, the program has begun working to establish additional training from board-certified providers (physicians and board-certified PAs) in these specialties that will ensure optimal experiences for students in these disciplines.  

Additionally, the accreditation commission is requiring a more robust assessment of student outcomes and effectiveness of administrative processes. This effort is also already underway, as the program has begun working with an external consultant to improve its assessment processes and its evaluation of how students meet the learning outcomes of the program and thus become ready for clinical practice.  We are also hiring an education specialist to spearhead analyses of assessment data.

Will the accreditation action affect my ability to obtain employment?

Employers look for board-certified PAs and rely heavily on recommendations and references from the program’s faculty and preceptors.  Marquette PA maintains strong relationships with its clinical partners and preceptors who provide excellent training. The curricuulm will become even stronger with the additional rotations of Pediatrics, Women’s Health, and Behavioral Health involving board-certified physicians and PAs. Marquette PA has maintained excellent job placement at 6 months of graduation based on the graduate survey data for over 10+ years. The program is committed to supporting its students in providing high-quality clinical rotations and facilitating job placement.

Will I be able to obtain a state license to practice?

Yes. PA licensure requirements vary by state requirements, but most states are congruent on graduating from an accredited program. For example, Wisconsin licensure states one must “have graduated from an accredited program,” and then pass the licensure exam, and be certified by NCCPA. The definition of “graduate from an accredited program” will apply to students who matriculate to the program when it is fully accredited.

Is Marquette University accredited overall?

Yes. Marquette University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

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