CONTACT

Physician Assistant Studies Program

Health Science Building
9200 University Blvd., Charleston, SC 29406
P843-863-7427
Epaprogram@csuniv.edu

Mission Statement

The mission of the Charleston Southern University Master of Medical Science in physician assistant studies program is to educate compassionate and highly motivated individuals in a Christian environment who excel in providing patient-centered care, practicing as an interprofessional team, serving as leaders in their communities and advancing the PA profession. 

Program Goals

Outcome Measure A: Recruit diverse students to the program.

Benchmarks: The program reviews CASPA data as it is reported on the demographics of applicants to determine appropriate benchmarks for the following demographics. These benchmarks are based on data from the 2018-2019 report.

Gender: The program strives to maintain a 3 year running average of 27% males in each cohort.

Race/Ethnicity: The program strives to maintain a 3 year running average of 35% students or greater who identify as African American, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, or other Non-Caucasian.

1st Generation College Student: The program strives to maintain a 3 year running average of 25% of students who identify as a 1st generation college student.

Analysis:


Summary: The program has a 3 year running average below our set benchmarks for 27% males, 35% non-Caucasian, and 25% 1st generation college students. We will continue to monitor this benchmark as we matriculate future cohorts of students.

Outcome Measure B: Recruit highly-capable students to the program.

Benchmarks: The program reviews CASPA data as it is reported on the demographics of applicants to determine appropriate benchmarks for the following demographics. These benchmarks are based on data from the 2018-2019 report. 

Cumulative GPA: The program strives to maintain a 3 year running average of a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Science GPA: The program strives to maintain a 3 year running average on a science GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Analysis: 


Summary:
The program is currently meeting our goals related to cumulative and science GPAs. We will continue to monitor this benchmark as we matriculate future cohorts of students.

Outcome Measure: PANCE first-time pass rates.

Benchmark: The program measures effectiveness in meeting this goal using first time PANCE pass rates.  The program strives for CSU students to have a first time PANCE pass rate of greater than or equal to the five year national first time taker average as reported by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Analysis: The program had a first-time pass rate of 96% for the Class of 2019 which was equal to the five year national first time test taker average of 96% and therefore met the program-defined benchmark. The Class of 2020 had a first-time pass rate of 93% and therefore did not meet the program-defined benchmark.

Summary: The program was effective in meeting this program goal for the Class of 2019 but fell below the defined benchmark for the Class of 2020.  The program is dedicated to curricular excellence to adequately prepare students with the medical knowledge necessary to provide patient-centered medical care. We will continue to monitor this benchmark as we graduate future cohorts of students.

Outcome Measure: Student feedback from their graduate survey.

Benchmark: Students will be asked to evaluate the program’s effectiveness in attaining this goal as part of the Student Graduation Evaluation of the Program. The program strives for the average rating for these questions to be a 3 (Met Expectations) or greater on a 5-point Likert scale for both questions.

Analysis: The program is currently meeting our goal related to the evaluation of the program’s effectiveness of fostering a healthy and supportive Christian learning environment that prepares students appropriately to transition from student to clinician with an average Likert scale score of 4.2 for both of the below questions for the last three graduating classes.

Summary: The PA Program is committed to the mission of Charleston Southern University: Academic Excellence in a Christian Environment and will continue to monitor this benchmark as we graduate future cohorts of students.

Outcome Measure: The CSU PA Program fosters a culture of service, leadership and scholarly activities through the example of our faculty and support to students through mentorship.

Benchmark: The program strives for 100% of our students and principal faculty to participate in at least one service, leadership, or scholarly activity each year.  Examples include class officers for the Student Leadership Association, state or national PA organization positions, volunteer activities, university service, and publishing or presenting a research paper.

Analysis: The program is effective in meeting this goal.  All of our students participate in a service project as part of the Path to Becoming a PA course series. In addition, each cohort of students selects an organization in our community to support over the course of their time in the program. Therefore, 100% of the students in the Classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021 have participated in a service project.  Organizations our students partner with include the North Charleston Dream Center Medical Clinic, World Water Day, the Ronald McDonald House, MUSC Heart Health, Roper Rehabilitation Hospital for Brain and Spinal Cord Injury, One 80 Place and several more. Finally, some students in each cohort also exemplify leadership by serving as officers of the program’s Student Leadership Association.

100% of our principal faculty participate on a leadership committee for the university, as outlined below, in addition to supporting our students in their service efforts and in pursuing research and scholarly activities.

Gabrielle Poole – Academic Dean’s Council, Academic Council, Graduate Council
Scott Wade – Veteran’s Council
Jerica Brodhead – Faculty Senate
Skylar Stewart-Clark – Academic Integrity Committee and the Faith and Learning Institute
Zack Wulbecker – Faith and Learning Training for New Faculty Committee
Joshua Kerns – Veteran’s Council

Summary: The program is currently meeting our goals related to faculty and student engagement in service and leadership opportunities and will continue to monitor this data on an annual basis.


Student Learning Competencies

Upon completion of the program, students will have acquired the knowledge, interpersonal skills, clinical reasoning and problem solving abilities, clinical and technical skills, and professional behaviors required for entry into PA practice:

  • Demonstrate an understanding for the medical, behavioral and social knowledge necessary to evaluate and manage patients across all ages and patient populations in both primary care and specialty settings.
  • Demonstrate an ability to make informed decisions about the care of patients consistent with up-to-date scientific evidence and sound clinical judgment.
  • Demonstrate an ability to elicit an accurate medical history on patients.
  • Demonstrate the ability to deliver accurate patient education that encompasses verbal, nonverbal and written forms of information to the patient, their family and their care team that considers disease prevention and health awareness.
  • Demonstrate excellent communication skills with patients, their care teams and other members of the healthcare team that adapts to the needs of that person as necessary.
  • Demonstrate an ability to formulate a differential diagnosis relevant to the findings in the history and physical exam.
  • Demonstrate an ability to recommend appropriate diagnostic studies to assist in the evaluation and treatment of the patient.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop and implement an appropriate therapeutic management plan, either pharmacological or nonpharmacological, based on the patient’s medical history, physical exam and diagnostic study findings.
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform a detailed physical exam relevant to the medical history.
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform clinical procedures common to general medicine practice including but not limited to: surgical wound management (e.g. staple, suture, drain placement/removal, basic skin biopsy, incision and drainage), administration of topical and local anesthesia, simple laceration repair with suturing, injections and aspirations (e.g. trigger point, cyst, bursa, and joint injections), peripheral intravenous access (g. intravenous access or venipuncture),  nasopharyngeal swabs, bladder catheterization, and a Papanicolaou test.
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform clinical skills common to general medical practice including but not limited to interpretation of diagnostic tests and interpretation of diagnostic imaging.
  • Demonstrate professionalism with high ethical principles, sensitivity and responsiveness to all patients, their care teams and members of the healthcare team.

Program Student Attrition and Graduation Rate