PA Program Receives College’s Outstanding Assessment Award

Published 01.05.2018

Nursing & Health Sciences
Physician Assistant
Faculty & Staff

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Physician Assistant Program has been named the recipient of the college’s 2017 President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning.

Employees of the program received the honor Jan. 5 at the all-college meeting that opened the Spring 2018 semester.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning recognizes initiative and creativity in facilitating student learning and reflects the college’s commitment to ongoing assessment of student learning outcomes.

Employees of the Penn College’s physician assistant program received the college’s President’s Award for Outstanding Assessment of Student Learning. From left are Katie M. McNamee, secretary to the program; Brian M. McKeon, assistant professor; Heather S. Dorman, clinical director; Lynn Eckrote, director; Victor P. Pupo, instructor; and Dr. Kendra F. Boell, clinical director. Also integral to the effort, but not pictured, is Larissa D. Whitney, instructor of physician assistant.The physician assistant program uses a variety of assessment tools to analyze how students’ knowledge has developed and how well it can be applied in clinical settings and capstone projects. Each instructor prepares a course assessment at the end of each semester.

The goal is to ensure that student learning meets the goals of the program and the standards of commission that accredits the program.

Based on those assessments, in 2016-17, increased pharmacology content was incorporated into the curriculum to further integrate pharmacology with clinical medicine. Results of the Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool – an online test for students – showed that the additional pharmacology coursework, along with its integration into clinical medicine, led to higher student scores in five of seven areas in Summer 2017.

“Using assessment effectively in the classroom and throughout the program is inherent to our PA program’s self-assessment process and reflects continuous data collection, analysis, discussion and action plans to ‘close the loop,’” said Edward A. Henninger, former dean of health sciences, who has since become special assistant to the provost. “Never viewed as a singular act, their assessment activities are commendable and always aim to inform teaching and, ultimately, student learning.”

Prerequisite courses for the new combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in physician assistant studies began in Fall 2017. Penn College’s physician assistant program has been granted “accreditation-continued” by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.

To learn more about the physician assistant program at Penn College, call 570-327-4519.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.