Franklin Pierce University Launches Hybrid Model for Arizona Master of Physician Assistant Studies
Jul 20, 2022
In November 2022, after a requisite two-year, intensive planning and development process, Franklin Pierce University will officially launch its hybrid Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program at the school’s Academic Center in Goodyear, Arizona with a cohort of 48 students. Provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) was granted on July 15.
Plans to expand Franklin Pierce University’s footprint in Arizona have been at the forefront of the University’s strategic planning. “The launch of the hybrid MPAS program represents a critical component of our strategic plan, Pierce@60, as we continue to focus on innovation in teaching and learning,” shares Catherine M. Paden, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The programs we offer resonate with the demands of the broader marketplace, including the evolving landscape of healthcare. Our MPAS hybrid program is one of the first online/hybrid PA programs in the country, helping to ensure Franklin Pierce is an institution that meets the needs of those who choose to enroll, no matter where they may live.”
Since April 2018, University administration and allied health sciences faculty have been exploring strategies to not only enhance enrollment, but also to meet the needs of the significant population growth anticipated in Phoenix’s West Valley, New England, and beyond. The University currently operates a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in Goodyear, Ariz. and DPT and nursing programs in Manchester, N.H. Its Lebanon, N.H. Academic Center is home to the MPAS program ranked #2 in the nation by the Rural Health Research Center. The addition of the hybrid MPAS program in Arizona responds to the increased demand for highly-skilled health professional graduates.
Priscilla Marsicovetere, JD, PA-C, dean of the College of Health and Natural Sciences, believes that Franklin Pierce’s hybrid delivery models allow the University to be on the cutting-edge of higher educations’ trajectory, especially in the health professions. “This paves the way for more innovation in the way we teach and train the next generation of healthcare workers,” shares Marsicovetere. “It broadens the University’s reach as we extend access to an increasingly instrumental cog in the American healthcare system’s wheel.”
“Today’s students want flexibility,” adds Marci Contreras, Ed.D., PA-C, physician assistant studies hybrid program director and associate professor. “And, in accommodating that kind of flexibility, we can reach students we normally wouldn’t be able to. They don’t have to move or put their life on pause to complete our MPAS program. They can remain in their community and, when they finish, hopefully they are able to serve their community.”
The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Franklin Pierce University Master of Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program sponsored by Franklin Pierce University.
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.
The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/.