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Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program Receives Initial Accreditation-Provisional

Oct 26, 2021

First student cohort will start January 2022

North Central College’s recently launched Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) program has received its Initial Accreditation-Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA), the accrediting body for physician assistant education. This distinction means that the College will welcome its first cohort of MSPAS students this January in compliance with the high standards of excellence and innovation established by ARC-PA.

“Located in the heart of Naperville with access to some of the best healthcare resources in the region, North Central College is the ideal place for students to pursue a career in the growing healthcare field,” said North Central College President Troy D. Hammond. “The granting of initial accreditation-provisional for our MSPAS program along with our brand new, state-of-the-art Dr. Myron Wentz Center for Health Sciences and Engineering, make this an incredibly exciting time at North Central as we pursue our vision of educating the next generation of healthcare providers within our community and beyond.”

North Central’s MSPAS program will span 24 months, with the first year primarily devoted to content area instruction, followed by a year of clinical rotations. The program will emphasize the importance of hands-on experience, communication skills, and relationship building. After focusing on classroom, laboratory and simulation experiences in year one, students will be well-prepared to initiate their core clinical rotations in year two. Core clinical placement experiences will include six-week rotations—completed in both inpatient and outpatient settings in a variety of hospital and private practice sites—in the following areas:

  • General Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Behavioral Health
  • Pediatrics
  • Women’s Health
  • Family Practice
  • Primary Care or Surgical Elective

“North Central College’s Physician Assistant Studies program will graduate healthcare professionals who will be exceptionally well-suited to be empathic and equity-minded practitioners, ready to meet the healthcare needs of today,” said Marci J. Swede, dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences at North Central College. “The demand for highly trained healthcare professionals is on the rise and has sharply increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and this program is ready to meet that need.”

The MSPAS program is housed in North Central’s newly constructed 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Dr. Myron Wentz Center for Health Sciences and Engineering. The facility is home to multiple advanced clinical practice programs and was designed to promote inter-professional education. It includes a skills lab with three-dimensional Anatomage visualization tables; simulated hospital settings with high- and low-fidelity manikins; fully functional outpatient examination rooms; as well as classroom, study and collaboration space.

The MSPAS program is the latest in a growing suite of graduate-level health science programs offered by North Central College, including: Master of Occupational Therapy; Master of Athletic Training; and a Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which is expected to launch in January 2023 pending approval from the accrediting body.

For more information about North Central’s MSPAS program, including application requirements, visit