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Grand Junction – Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster announced the Master of Physician Assistant Studies is the latest CMU program to receive accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. 

“Offering the Master of Physician Assistant Studies is a milestone for CMU and a huge benefit to the region’s health care community,” said Foster. We look forward to preparing the next generation of providers and contributing to health care excellence and innovation right here in western Colorado and beyond.” 

On December 3, 2018 the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Education Commission met and took action concurring with previous evaluation findings approving CMU’s request to offer the advanced degree. 

The program will consist of didactic and clinical academic work during the course of 27 months. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for physician assistants through the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and will be able to apply for licensure through the Board of Medical Examiners in the state in which they wish to practice medicine. 

Jeremy Hawkins, PhD, and head of the Department of Kinesiology, believes the latest accreditation milestone is part of a larger effort at CMU to create holistic learning around healthcare. The Master of Physician Assistant Studies will soon be joined by other advanced healthcare degrees, including the Master of Science in Athletic Training set to begin in the Fall of 2019 and the Doctor of Occupational Therapy slated to begin in January 2021. Hawkins anticipates additional advanced healthcare related degrees will begin in the coming years. 

“CMU has created an eco-system of health care training that matches the needs of local health care providers. From health clubs and rehabilitation centers to clinics and hospitals CMU students are the future of the local health care scene,” said Hawkins. 

CMU Vice President of Academic Affairs, Kurt Haas, PhD, believes advanced degree accreditation represents a significant opportunity to fill a significant need within the area workforce. 

“The Board of Trustees and President Foster understand CMU’s ability to respond to workforce needs is a huge part of ongoing success as an institution, said Haas. “We are proud of the hard work that Dr. Hawkins and his team have invested in these programs and are excited to see them reach milestones that benefit students at CMU.” 

Students interested in applying to the program are encouraged to visit coloradomesa.edu/kinesiology.

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