The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has awarded Union College's physician assistant studies program continued accreditation for the maximum term of seven years. The choice to award the maximum period is an uncommon honor. Of the 163 continuing accreditation decisions made by ARC-PA from 2004-2008, only 16 programs received the full seven-year term.
What the ARC-PA report lacked—concerns and citations—gave a further sign of confidence in the academic integrity of Union's program. Fewer than 12 percent of physician assistant programs receive a completely clean bill of health from the accrediting body.
“We are pleased and blessed that we have received the most favorable report possible from our accreditation," said Mike Huckabee, director of the physician assistant studies program. "We have outstanding faculty and staff who have all helped to achieve this success."
The master's in physician assistant studies is Union's only graduate degree, and will celebrate its tenth graduating class this May. As one of only two programs in Nebraska and 10 programs in the region of the Mid-America Union, the program at Union College began when John Kerbs, former college president, saw a need he believed Union could help fill.
"As delighted as we are at receiving this overwhelmingly positive report, seeing our graduates able to provide high-quality patient care, often in under-served areas, is the greatest reward,” Huckabee said.