Tri-C to Appeal Accreditation Decision on PA Program
May 02, 2017
John Horton, 216-987-4281 firstname.lastname@example.org
Compliance review did not reflect the success of Physician Assistant program
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) today announced it will appeal a review commission’s decision to withdraw accreditation from the College’s Physician Assistant (PA) program.
The action follows a compliance notice from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The commission’s accreditation decision is pending the College’s appeal.
The commission’s allegations primarily dealt with program staffing and the collection, retention and reporting of data for program assessment. The College has filled staff vacancies, including a new program director, and solidified its practices as they relate to documentation of program assessment.
The College has been working with ARC-PA since February to show compliance with the accreditation criteria, but the commission has maintained its decision. Tri-C must now follow the organization’s formal appeal process.
“I am disappointed the accreditation review did not reflect the quality of the program and the successful outcomes for our graduates, which the commission seems determined to ignore,” Tri-C President Alex Johnson said. “We plan to exhaust every remedy possible to safeguard the future of our students as well as the reputation of the program and our institution.”
The Tri-C program has graduated 169 students in the past five years. The average overall pass rate for Tri-C students taking the national certifying exam is 98 percent over the most recent five years of data.
The PA program at Tri-C began in 1974, when it became the first accredited program in Ohio. It is now a graduate-level program offered in partnership with Cleveland State University. Students enroll concurrently at both institutions while working toward a professional certificate and master’s degree.
As the field has changed to require graduate-level credentials, ARC-PA has indicated a preference for programs contained exclusively in graduate schools rather than joint programs such as the innovative Tri-C/CSU partnership. Tri-C is one of only two remaining community colleges in the nation with ARC-PA accredited PA programs.
Tri-C has gained commitments that students currently in the PA program will be permitted to sit for the national certifying exam regardless of the outcome of the appeal. If they pass, they would be recommended for licensure by the State of Ohio.
Sixty students are currently in the Tri-C program. Coursework extends from the classroom to simulated operating and clinic rooms to rotations at local hospitals and clinics. The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and other health care locations have committed to continue providing clinical experiences for Tri-C PA students.
Tri-C is a leader in health careers education, ranking among the nation’s top schools in the conferring of associate degrees in health professions and related sciences. The College also offers short-term certificates and awards in many health career programs.
The College offers programs in more than 30 professionally accredited health career fields.