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Bob Staton, president of Presbyterian College, and Dr. Joseph Weber, director of PC’s Physician Assistant program, learned this week that the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Presbyterian College Physician Assistant Program.

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.

This is an exciting opportunity to help meet the medical needs of the community as well as the growing demand for physician assistants across the country,” said Weber, who is also associate professor of physician assistant studies.

Our goal is to attract physician assistant students who will train, work and stay in South Carolina.”

The approval from ARC-PA represents a significant milestone for this 24-month master’s degree program. It reflects over three years of design and preparation by the program’s faculty and staff. Weber led the effort, in collaboration with multiple medical facilities and professionals across South Carolina.

We are excited to move forward with the PA program and deeply appreciative to ARC-PA for its review and evaluation of our application,” President Staton said. “We are dedicated to building a strong program that, rooted in service and committed to our college’s mission and values, will extend that commitment in a meaningful way to prepare students for servant leadership as future physician assistants in different communities.”

This status allows students to enroll at PC and classes to begin in October. The PA program will enroll 32 students in its inaugural cohort.

The diverse applicant pool for this highly competitive program has drawn potential students from around the nation, and we are excited to begin the program,” Weber said.

Dr. Don Raber, PC provost, is equally pleased with the accreditation.

I am impressed by the energy and enthusiasm, both on campus and in the community, for our PA program as we develop a portfolio of graduate offerings in health professions,” Raber said. “Many thanks go to Dr. Weber and his team of faculty and staff for making this a reality.

We are eagerly awaiting our first group of students to arrive very soon.”