The Department of Physician Assistant Studies (DPAS) embraces Elon University’s guiding mission and supports fulfillment of the university’s strategic plan through implementation of the departmental “Learning. Caring. Serving. Leading.” vision.

LEARN (Learning): Commitment to prepared faculty, staff, and students

  • Goal 1: Prepare our faculty and staff to excel in utilizing innovative engaged learning strategies that effectively educate students to deliver patient-centered, evidence-based care to all patients.
    • Outcome 1.1: 100% of faculty utilize engaged learning in classrooms from case-based learning to standardized patients to anatomical body painting and ultrasound.
    • Outcome 1.2: 100% of faculty complete at least one professional development activity related to engaged learning and/or pedagogy; 50% of the faculty currently have or are seeking doctoral (advanced) degrees related to health professions education.
  • Goal 2: Prepare students to excel academically and professionally through the generation and maintenance of a curriculum that encourages self-direction, challenge, and personal growth.
    • Outcome 2.1: Ongoing revision of the onboarding process for newly admitted students for ease of access; transition of program handbooks to an interactive web-based platform
    • Outcome 2.2: Maintain NCCPA pass rate at/above national average, monitor and address attrition

THRIVE (Caring): Commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and well-being

  • Goal 3: Attract and educate academically talented, compassionate, mature students from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are committed to the mission of Elon University and the department.
    • Outcome 3.1: Ongoing monitoring of the admissions process for inclusive admissions practices. Class of 2022 Profile; Class of 2023 Profile
      • In the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, virtual interviews allowed for greater access to potential students around the country. The admissions process was revised to include questions related to diversity and inclusivity.
      • In the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, a data-driven decision was made to remove the GRE from the admissions process, resulting in record numbers of applicants (including those from underrepresented minorities (URMs)) and to continue virtual interviews.
  • Goal 4: Improve access/awareness of support resources available for graduate students
    • Outcome 4.1: Moving discussions forward re: creation of PA scholarship fund for need-based scholarships
    • Outcome 4.2: Elon University has a Director of Inclusive Excellence for Graduate and Professional Students that is available for 1:1 consultation as needed and serves as an advisor for university resources; Graduate Resource Fair held to introduce students to affinity groups on campus and other ways to connect with Elon; University student health and counseling services available 24/7 through telemed services.

Goal 5: Prepare students to provide inclusive, patient-centered care, including providing care in collaborative healthcare teams

    • Outcome 5.1: Curricular and co-curricular activities include health equity, review of program and course materials for inclusivity, interprofessional and disciplinary-specific activities to address the needs of those with disabilities, transgender care, bias in the clinical environment and more.

Goal 6: Continuous program assessment to identify areas to improve the health and well-being of DPAS students, faculty, and staff

    • Outcome 6.1: Focus groups with students at various stages of learning and faculty/staff retreats identified areas where well-being could be better addressed leading to improvements in faculty workload assignments and an early introduction to wellness and well-being at orientation (Day 1) of the program. Additionally, each cohort sets group norms that are shared with faculty/staff/guests and posted in the classroom.

CONNECT (Serving): Commitment to service, community and global engagement, and alumni programs

  • Goal 7: Establish an active alumni network as professional advocates and supporters of Elon PA
    • Outcome 7.1: An alumni database has been created.
    • Outcome 7.2: Ongoing planning to begin regular meetings with alumni (note: this effort was impacted by the pandemic and will resume ASAP)

Goal 8: Support student interest in service through structured co-curricular activities and a curriculum model that adapts to allow students the opportunity to pursue these opportunities

    • Outcome 8.1: In the 2022 cohort (academic year 2021), thousands of service hours were logged through engagement with Start Early in Medicine (a grant-supported program aimed at middle-school males of color in exploring health/medical careers), The Open Door Clinic of Alamance County, the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, the Great Cape Escape (a fundraising event for the ODC), and more.

Goal 9: Provide quality supervised clinical practice experiences (SCPEs)

    • Outcome 9.1: Ongoing site and preceptor review (Note: Despite a global pandemic, all students have graduated in the three impacted cohorts with most students rotating through at least one local hospital (Cone Health or Novant Health).) SCPEs continue to be monitored for quality with global initiatives resuming in 2022.

RISE (Leading): Commitment to leverage world-class faculty/staff, innovative alumni programs, and student leadership opportunities

  • Goal 10: Engage with the (newly) established alumni network to encourage support of DPAS students
    • Outcome 10.1: Ongoing planning to begin regular meetings with alumni (note: this effort was impacted by the pandemic and will resume ASAP)
  • Goal 11: Faculty scholarly activity in the educational scholarship space
    • Outcome 11.1: In 2021, >60% of the faculty are leaders in professional organizations/commitments at the local, state, national, and/or international level to include PA Education Association faculty development facilitators, PAEA exam writers, invited task forces, and board member positions (local, national).
    • Outcome 11.2: In 2021, >75% of the faculty published, presented, or submitted abstracts related to educational research at national and/or international levels and >50% of the faculty received grant funding (internal and/or external).

Goal 12: Support student interest in leadership through structured co-curricular activities and a curriculum model that adapts to allow students the opportunity to pursue service and leadership opportunities.

    • Outcome 12.1 In each cohort, there is an Elon PA Student Society that includes American Academy of PA (AAPA) voting representation (House of Delegates) members and NC Academy of PAs (NCAPA) leadership positions. Additionally, in 2021, at least four students applied for fellowships related to health policy, future educator tracks, and rural health. In 2021, a Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) special interest group was started. In 2022, a clinical year pilot program for POCUS allows for peer-education with 2nd year students leading in the co-curricular space.