CMU physician assistant program gains accreditation

Colorado Mesa University has earned accreditation for a program offering a master of physician assistant studies degree.

The Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Education Commission concurred with previous evaluations approving the request for CMU to offer the degree.

“Offering the master of physician assistant studies is a milestone for CMU and a huge benefit to the region’s health care community,” said CMU President Tim 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.”

The program will consist of instruction and clinical work during over 27 months. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for physician assistants through the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants and apply for licensure through the board of medical examiners in the states in which they wish to practice.

Jeremy Hawkins, head of the kinesiology department at CMU, said the latest accreditation milestone is part of a larger effort at CMU to offer additional educational opportunities for health care professionals.

A master of science in athletic training degree program is set to start in the fall, while a doctor of occupational therapy degree program is scheduled to begin in January 2021. Hawkins said additional advanced health care-related degree programs will begin in the coming years.

“CMU has created an ecosystem 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,” Hawkins said.