Contact: Lisa Sollie
MERIDIAN, Miss.—The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning today [June 15] approved a Mississippi State University-Meridian proposal to plan a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree program.
MSU will become the first public institution in the state to offer the new program.
Housed on MSU-Meridian’s Riley Campus in downtown Meridian, the program will prepare clinical practitioners to meet critical needs in rural healthcare.
IHL approval gives Mississippi State permission to move forward, hiring a director to create a program plan, which includes necessary steps to achieve initial accreditation.
“We are thrilled with the IHL’s decision to grant our university permission to plan a Physician Assistant program,” MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner said. “We believe this program is a great fit for our Meridian Campus, particularly with the strength of the local medical community,” she added.
Physician assistants serve under the supervision of doctors of medicine or osteopathy, making clinical decisions and providing a broad range of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventative and health maintenance services.
More than 50 colleges and universities across the U.S. are currently pursuing accreditation for PA programs according to the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
“The university will immediately begin the search for a program director and start planning the launch of the PA degree program,” said Terry Dale Cruse, administrative director and head of campus at MSU-Meridian. “The planning process is expected to take up to three years, dependent upon when ARC-PA schedules the initial accreditation visit,” he added.
MSU-Meridian serves primarily east central Mississippi and West Alabama. Learn more at meridian.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.