Accreditation Statement

At its September 2019 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) extended Accreditation-Probation status for the Johnson & Wales University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Johnson & Wales University until its next review in September 2021.

Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the JWU physician assistant program, with such an impressive pass rate, on probation?

Accreditation and performance of the program (including pass rates) are not related. Accrediting agencies are organizations that establish operating standards for educational institutions and programs, determine the extent to which the standards are met, and publicly announce their findings. The accreditation process involves many steps including a self-study and a site visit. The ARC-PA report cited concerns regarding data-related standards, specifically in the areas of collection, documentation, and analysis. Once notified of its change in accreditation status, Johnson & Wales University immediately initiated a rigorous plan to address the issues raised, including a change in program leadership and improving the analysis and application of data collected so that it can be reported in the required manner. JWU PA Inaugural Program Director George Bottomley, DVM, PA-C, has returned to the program leadership position to direct the program through to Accreditation-Continuing.

What does Accreditation-Probation mean?

Accreditation-Probation, a temporary status of accreditation, does not affect the overall quality of the JWU PA program. The JWU physician assistant program has a proven high measure of success since it first began in June of 2014. The students in the 2014 and 2015 cohorts completed their studies for the two-year program to graduate on time. They were well prepared to sit for the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination), all passing the exam on their first try and employed in their field.

Once enrolled, will I be graduating from an accredited program?

Johnson & Wales University remains accredited during this period as it addresses the specific issues outlined by the ARC-PA. The university is fully committed to the development and delivery of a physician assistant program that is in full compliance with ARC-Standards prior to the accrediting agency’s next site visit in fall of 2019.   

Johnson & Wales University welcomes the examination and self-assessment process as it continues its mission to educate students to become collaborative practitioners with the respect, empathy and trust inherent to patient-centered, humanistic health care.

Will I be able to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and become a licensed PA? 

Yes. When a program is accredited, it remains accredited until the program officially terminates its accreditation status or the ARC-PA terminates the program’s accreditation through a formal action. JWU current and future PA students are eligible to sit for the National Boards.