The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Shenandoah University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Shenandoah University.  Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with Standards.  The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2022.  The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

The SU PA program is applying to expand the program to a distance campus in historic Leesburg, Virginia in summer 2016.  A decision will be made by the ARC-PA in March 2016.  Students will not be admitted to this campus until accreditation approval is received.


1.  Maintain First Time Pass Rate on PANCE above the national average.
2.  Seventy-five percent of graduates will have permanent employment within four months of graduation.
3. The percentage of new graduates who practice in primary care will be above the national average.


The Shenandoah University Physician Assistant Program is proud of its students’ performance on the national certification examination (PANCE).  Our pass rate has been consistently above the national rate.  While candidates are encouraged to compare first-time taker pass rates between programs, one should recognize that there are many factors beyond the graduate’s program of study that may impact certification examination performance and pass rates.  The factors include size of the PA Program, commitment to enrolling candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds and personal factors related to the graduate at the time of testing.

The table below represents the performance of the Shenandoah University PA graduates for the past five years.  As of April 2015, the SU PA Program has graduated 347 students over twelve years and 346 have taken the national certifying examination.*  The Program’s overall pass rate for twelve years is 100% and 98% for first-time takers.

*One student was accepted into a family medicine residency program at graduation and elected not to take the PANCE.

 NCCPA Pass Report 2010-2014 (PDF)



Number of 1st
Time Takers

Program First Time
Taker Pass Rate

National First Time Taker
Pass Rate for the Class Graduation Year

2010 2010 35 100% 94%
2011 2011 37 97% 91%
2012 2012 31 100% 93%
2013 2013 35 97% 94%
2014 2014 40 100% 95%

Five Year First Time Taker Average Pass Rate for Program:  99%

Five Year National First Time Taker Average:  94%

Goals (#2 & #3)

Class Year 2012 2013
Graduates 31 35
Graduates Employed* 92%

Graduates Employed In Primary Care**

National Average



*Within 4-6 months after graduation. **Of those employed within the 4-6 months after graduation. 


Class Year






Entering Class Size 37 42 42 42 42
Attrition 8 10 5 5 4
     Leave of Absence 0 1 1 1 0
     Deceleration 4 2 1 0 4
     Withdrawals/Dismissals 4 7 3 5 2
Joining from Previous Class 2 3 3 2 1
Graduates 31 35  40    
Anticipated Graduates       38 37


Attrition:  Reduction in students.
Deceleration:  Students who do not meet the academic program requirements and are allowed to join another cohort.
Leave of Absense:  Students who take a leave of absence for medical or personal reasons with approval to join another cohort at a later date.
Withdrawals:  Students who leave the program for various, non-academic reasons.
Dismissals:  Students who are asked to leave the program for academic reasons.