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Trine MPAS students exceed national pass average for certification

FORT WAYNE — Trine University’s first class of Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) graduates exceeded the national average for passing the physician assistant profession’s certification exam.

Ninety-six percent of Trine MPAS graduates who took the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) test passed on the first try. The national average for 2020 was 95% for students taking the exam for the first time and 93% overall.

“For new programs, the pass rate is usually about 3% lower than the national average,” said Paul Cervone, MD, program director for Trine’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies program. “Exceeding the national average as a new program is a testament to the quality of our curriculum and faculty, as well as the hard work put in by all our graduates.”

The PANCE is administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), the only certifying organization for physician assistants in the United States. Students must graduate from a physician assistant program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) to take the test.

Trine’s first cohort of MPAS students completed their degrees in December, after starting the program in fall 2018.

The Master of Physician Studies program at Trine University is offered through the university’s College of Health Professions, located in Fort Wayne. The College of Health Professions opened in 2014 and also includes the Doctor of Physical Therapy, RN-to-BSN and surgical technology majors, with a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology program planned to launch in partnership with Turnstone Center in fall 2022.

Photo: Trine University’s first class of Master of Physician Assistant Studies students is pictured following their welcoming ceremony in 2018. The class exceeded the national average for passing the physician assistant profession’s certification exam.