Q: How does the ARC-PA’s Program decision impact prospective students?
A: On June 29th, we received the unfavorable appeal decision made by our accreditor, ARC-PA, that our accreditation status has been changed from “continuing” to “probation”, and, as a condition of this action, ARC-PA has restricted our ability to matriculate new students into our program for the 2023-24 academic year. As a result, we are not able to enroll students into the PA program for the fall term at this time.
Accreditation is an ongoing process and is the result of efforts to remain on the cutting edge of PA education. Categories of accreditation include provisional, probation, and continuing. Probation accreditation is a temporary accreditation status initially of not less than two years. However, that period may be extended by the ARC-PA for up to an additional two years if the ARC-PA finds that the program is making substantial progress toward meeting all applicable standards but requires additional time to come into full compliance. Throughout the life of a program, it is not uncommon to move up and down the ladder of accreditation for various reasons.
WesternU is not taking ARC-PA’s decision lightly. Although our appeal to ARC-PA was unsuccessful, we believe that ARC-PA’s action to restrict enrollment in our program is a flagrant injustice to our students, faculty, and the community that we serve and is unwarranted based on ARC-PA’s policies and procedures. At this time, we plan on actively challenging ARC-PA’s decision, and will keep you apprised of any relevant developments. Concurrently, we are also preparing our program to be ready for a focused site visit that is scheduled on August 24 and 25th.
We remain hopeful for a positive outcome and resolution as soon as possible, but we cannot guarantee that our efforts will be successful.
Q: When will WesternU be able to seat/accept new PA students?
A: The ARC PA pause on matriculation extends through the 2023-24 academic year. Currently, no further information is available. We are unable to determine the exact date that ARC PA will remove this restriction.
Q: What is the University going to do related to ARC-PA’s decision?
A: WesternU is not taking ARC-PA’s decision lightly. We believe that ARC-PA’s action is a flagrant injustice to our students, faculty, and the community that we serve and not within the scope of their bylaws or policies and procedures. At this time, we plan on actively challenging ARC-PA’s decision, and will keep you apprised of any relevant developments. Concurrently, we are also preparing our program to be ready for a focused site visit that is scheduled on August 24 and 25th.
Q: Is WesternU’s PA program still accredited?
A: Yes, the program is accredited by the ARC-PA. It is important to understand that any classification of accreditation is in fact, accreditation. Upon completion of an accredited program, graduates are eligible for NCCPA certification and state licensure.
Q: What is WesternU’s accreditation history?
A: The WesternU PA program was accredited by CAHEA beginning in 1990. The program has been accredited by ARC-PA continuously since 1998. The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.
Q: Is WesternU’s PA program being discontinued?
A: No. WesternU remains committed to PA education and there are no plans to discontinue the program.
Contact us at PA_Accreditation@westernu.edu at any time if you have questions or would like additional information about the MSPAS accreditation.
WesternU will update this page as new information becomes available.