Program Goals

The Department of Physician Assistant Studies (DPAS) embraces Elon University’s guiding mission and supports fulfillment of The Elon Commitment through implementation of the departmental “Learning. Caring. Serving. Leading.” vision. The themes of The Elon Commitment serve as the structure for presenting our goals. Each theme is expanded upon by key strategies that will lead to attaining our overall goal of creating a nationally recognized department.

Commitment to Diversity, Local and Global Engagement

Goal 1: Attract and educate academically-talented, compassionate, mature students from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are committed to the mission of Elon University and the department.
• Goal 2: Support student interest in service and leadership through structured co-curricular activities and a curriculum model that adapts to allow students the opportunity to pursue service and leadership opportunities.
  • Outcome: Successful implementation of the Master’s Project, the PA Student Society philanthropic activities, interprofessional opportunities and student leadership/participation in the PA Student Society, NCAPA, AAPA, NHSC and the Paul Ambrose Scholar Programs.

World-Class Faculty and Staff

• Goal 3: Prepare our faculty to excel in utilizing “engaged learning” strategies that effectively educate students to deliver patient-centered, evidence-based care to all patients.
  • Outcome A: Faculty have implemented a number of unique engaged learning experiences in the classroom including body-painting, interactive pharmacology games, interprofessional learning activities with community college nursing students, community EMTs, and DPT students; as well as coordinating a successful annual symposium on underserved populations.
  • Outcome B: The clinical skills instruction in the program includes a focus on patient-centered communication skills as demonstrated with standardized patient encounters.
  • Outcome C: The program has an active standardized patient program that supplements teaching and testing throughout the curriculum. The program coordinator was recognized in 2017 by an “Emerging Leader” Award by the Association of Standardized Patient Educators.
• Goal 4: Support faculty with time and resources to continue to enhance their teaching, scholarship, and service and leadership opportunities.
  • Outcome: One hundred percent of principal faculty employed for the 2018 -2019 academic year have demonstrated success through a variety of venues that included: clinical practice, submission and publication of peer-reviewed articles and national peer-reviewed presentations, successfully competed for grant funding, and held university, professional and national service and leadership positions, enrollment in higher education programs.

Highest Levels of Academic Achievement

• Goal 5: Continue to develop innovative teaching and curriculum methods that prepare PA graduates to meet the future needs of the health care delivery system.
  • Outcome: The newly revised 24-month Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies curriculum began in January 2020 with the Class of December 2021. To learn more, visit the curriculum section of the website. Outcomes including PANCE performance and post graduate employment as a physician assistant demonstrate success.

Innovative Alumni Programs

• Goal 6: Create and implement a dynamic Alumni Program for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.
  • Outcome: In conjunction with the Elon University Department of Alumni Affairs and program faculty, members of the charter graduate class of 2015 and the Elon Physician Assistant Student Society (EPASS) have developed an engaged Alumni Organization. The Alumni Organization participates in activities on Elon University’s campus such as attending sporting events and is planning future activities at national professional meetings as the numbers of alumni grows.

Premier Academic Facilities

• Goal 7: Maintain the Gerald L. Francis Center as a premier academic facility through the use of sustainable practices.
  • Outcome: The LEED silver certified Gerald Francis Center supports engaged learning through the inclusion of a state-of-the-art human anatomy lab, a fresh (animal) tissue dissection lab, a clinical skills lab, five outpatient exam rooms, a cardiopulmonary auscultation lab and multiple small group study rooms. A digital video system that is used to enhance student interaction with standardized patients.


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