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.

Commitment to Diversity, Local and Global Engagement

  • Goal 1: 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 A: Each cohort is academically well-qualified for the rigors of the program. The students are geographically and racially diverse and represent a variety of backgrounds.
    • Outcome B: Overall graduation rate for the first seven cohorts: 98.5%
  • Goal 2: Support student interest in service and leadership through structured co-curricular activities and a curriculum model that adapts to allow students the opportunity to pursue service and leadership opportunities.
    • Outcome A (Service): students provide service with Open Door Clinic of Alamance County and coordinate the Great Cape Escape annually to raise funds for the clinic which serves uninsured and underinsured persons in our community. Additionally, the Elon PA Student Society has philanthropic activities both within the university and within the community as events arise.
    • Outcome B (Leadership): the Master’s Project capstone allows for service and leadership through individual project design. Students can submit their project products to local, state, and national organizations for presentation and/or publication. Student leadership/participation is also available in the PA Student Society, NCAPA, AAPA, National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and the Paul Ambrose Scholar Programs.

World-Class Faculty and Staff

  • Goal 3: Prepare our faculty to excel in utilizing “engaged learning” strategies that effectively educate students to deliver patient-centered, evidence-based care to all patients.
    • Outcome A: Elon PA faculty are provided multiple opportunities to learn, practice, and implement innovative teaching methods through the Elon Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL). Recent faculty development offerings have included creating inclusive classrooms, implementing DEI in the curriculum, teaching health equity, fair trade learning, and teaching with technology.
    • Outcome B: Elon PA faculty have implemented a number of unique engaged learning experiences in the classroom including body-painting, the introduction of point of care ultrasound (POCUS) to aid in teaching anatomy and physiology, interactive pharmacology games, and implementing a successful annual symposium on underserved populations. Elon PA faculty have also collaborated to generate interprofessional learning activities with community college nursing students, community EMTs, and Elon PT students. As nursing is added to the School of Health Sciences, we hope to increase interprofessional collaborations.
    • Outcome C: The clinical skills instruction in the program includes a focus on patient-centered communication skills as demonstrated with standardized patient encounters.
    • Outcome D: The program has an active standardized patient program that supplements teaching and testing throughout the curriculum. The director of the client and standardized patient program was recognized in 2017 by an “Emerging Leader” Award by the Association of Standardized Patient Educators.
    • Outcome E: Our program staff have more than 20 years of combined experience with a deep understanding of the university, the community, and other communities we may serve. Additionally, our staff are involved with diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus as well as wellness initiatives for faculty, staff, and students.
  • Goal 4: Support faculty with time and resources to continue to enhance their teaching, scholarship, and service and leadership opportunities.
    • Outcome A: One hundred percent of principal faculty have demonstrated success through a variety of venues that included: clinical practice, submission and publication of peer-reviewed articles, national peer-reviewed presentations, grant funding, university, professional and national service and leadership positions, and enrollment in higher education programs.
    • Outcome B: Principal faculty have been consistently involved in PA Education Association (PAEA) initiatives to improve PA education, including facilitation of faculty skills courses for new educators, and end-of-rotation exam item writing.
    • Outcome C: Principal faculty serve as reviewers for publications (AAPA, The Prescriber’s Letter), presentations (PAEA Education Forum, Emswiller Interprofessional Symposium, etc.), and on advisory boards/committees for various state and local organizations.

Highest Levels of Academic Achievement

  • Goal 5: Continue to develop innovative teaching and curriculum methods that prepare PA graduates to meet the future needs of the health care delivery system.
    • Outcome A: The newly revised 24-month Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies curriculum began in January 2020 with the Class of December 2021. To learn more, visit the curriculum section of the website. Outcomes including PANCE performance and post graduate employment as a physician assistant demonstrate success.
    • Outcome B: With the addition of nursing to the School of Health Sciences, the program faculty have already submitted proposals for three interprofessional grants that will address racial equity and health equity. More interprofessional collaborations to drive patient-centered care are in planning stages.

Innovative Alumni Programs

  • Goal 6: Create and implement a dynamic Alumni Program for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.
    • Outcome: In conjunction with the Elon University Department of Alumni Affairs and program faculty, members of the charter graduate class of 2015 and the Elon Physician Assistant Student Society (EPASS) have developed an engaged Alumni Organization. The Alumni Organization participates in activities on Elon University’s campus such as attending sporting events and is planning future activities at national professional meetings as the numbers of alumni grows.

Premier Academic Facilities

  • Goal 7: Maintain the Gerald L. Francis Center as a premier academic facility through the use of sustainable practices.
    • Outcome A: The LEED silver certified Gerald L. Francis Center supports engaged learning through the inclusion of a state-of-the-art human anatomy lab, a fresh (animal) tissue dissection lab, five outpatient exam rooms, a cardiopulmonary auscultation lab and multiple small group study rooms.
    • Outcome B: A state-of-the-art video system is used to enhance student interaction within our new Interprofessional Simulation Center and Clinical Skills Evaluation space. The simulation center will include access to both high- and low-fidelity simulation to assist learners.  We will continue to have a strong standardized patient program for evaluation of clinical skills in a simulated outpatient clinic and (new) simulated home health space.