Westfield State Physician Assistant Program gains continued accreditation

The Westfield State University Physician Assistant Program has been granted Accreditation-Continued status by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc.  

An intensive, 24-month program, Westfield State launched the first public Physician Assistant Program in New England in 2018.  The program educates a diverse student body of highly skilled and culturally aware healthcare providers who utilize a patient-centered care approach. These students committed to serving the public in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond. 

One of the fastest growing fields, the U.S. 

Department of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of physician assistants is expected to grow an average of 38 percent through this year. 

“I am so grateful for the efforts and expertise tirelessly provided by the students, faculty and staff to grow the program to ARC-PA Continuing Accreditation. The University has provided the support needed to develop the PA program, and with Continuing Accreditation, assure an educated workforce of PAs that will care for the patients of our community for many years to come,” said Jennifer Hixon, Chair of the Health Sciences and Physician Assistant Program Director.  


Physician Assistant is consistently ranked as one of the top jobs in America, most recently by U.S. News and World Report as number one in the Best Health Care Jobs of 2021 and the top overall job in the country. 


According to the ARC-PA, accreditation is awarded to programs through a peer review process that includes documentation and periodic site visit evaluation to substantiate compliance with the Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education. The accreditation process is designed to encourage sound educational practices and innovation by programs and to stimulate continuous self-study and improvement. 

The date for the next review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2032. 

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