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GVSU PAS Mission, Goals and Competencies with Outcomes

Click here for Graphic Reperesentation of our Mission, Goals and Competencies


The mission of the program is to educate individuals to become competent Physician Assistants.

Goal 1: Professionalism

Instill within the PAS learners the professional values and ethical behaviors expected of physician assistants



  • Exhibit honesty and integrity in all interactions
  • Demonstrate respect, caring, and compassion
  • Provide PAS learners with the tools and experience to participate in lifelong learning
  • Promote awareness of cultural differences and their impact on healthcare


Graduates of the GVSU PAS program have successfully demonstrated professionalism and integrity. Based on clinical preceptor feedback, students in the PAS program demonstrate professionalism above a 98.5% effectiveness in patient rapport, work habits, professional relationships, and attitude.

Students are provided with cultural awareness training during all phases of the program through lectures and clinical case presentations.

Active Engagement in Community Service


  • Student participation in at least one community service activity prior to graduation


In the last 3 years, 100% of graduates will have provided at least one hour of community service learning. Additionally, 100% of the faculty have also participated in community service activities including free health clinics.

Goal 2: Medical Skills and Competence

Prepare entry level practitioners with the skills necessary to function in an evolving healthcare environment

Medical Knowledge


  • Recognize signs and symptoms that define a disease process
  • Discuss the laboratory and radiographic testing that support a working diagnosis based upon the presenting signs and symptoms of a disease process
  • Identify treatment options for a disease entity
  • Define the potential complications of treatment (both medical and surgical)
  • Understand the natural history of a disease process that goes untreated
  • Explain pathophysiological processes leading to common acute and chronic diseases

Patient Care


  • Understand the role of preventive medicine in healthcare including screening recommendations
  • Counsel and educate patients and their families while demonstrating compassion and respect
  • Develop and implement patient management plans
  • Perform medical and surgical procedural and technical skills essential to Physician Assistant practice
  • Perform appropriate history and physical examinations


GVSU PAS graduates excel at medical knowledge and patient care, based on evidence of clinical competency and performance on the PA National Certification Exam (PANCE).

Average Patient care scores during the clinical phase of the program for the last three graduating classes:

  • Medical History taking: 96%
  • Physical Exam: 95%
  • Assimilation of Clinical data: 95%
  • Assessment/Diagnosis: 93.9%
  • Diagnostic Studies: 94.4%
  • Treatment Plan: 93.8%
  • Procedural Skills: 95%

GVSU PAS Students clearly demonstrate outstanding patient care skills.

PANCE first time pass rate for GVSU PAS students over the last 6 cohorts of students is 100%.

Goal 3: Interprofessional Education

Prepare graduates to work effectively in interprofessional health care teams


  • Provide PAS learners opportunities for interprofessional education
  • Recognize the unique roles and abilities of each member of the healthcare team to improve team effectiveness for the optimization of patient care. 


At the time of graduation, 100% of PA students in the Grand Valley State University PAS program will have had at least 3 Interprofessional educational experiences (IPE) with a minimum of 3 different health professional students. These experiences range from team based management of a virtual patient or paper based case, or working in an interprofessional team on a simulated case.

The PAS program has implemented Interprofessional experiences through the PAS 572-574 Hospital Community Experience courses. In this course, PAS student get the opportunity to go to clinical sites and observe various professions in their role of patient care, including Physical Therapist, Pharmacists, surgeons, respiratory therapists, nurses, medical lab scientists, as well as medical assistants. Students gain an insight on roles and responsibilities as well as the knowledge these individuals have in the care of patients.

In the past 5 years, the GVSU PAS program has presented its Interprofessional Education experiences for PAS students at 4 different conferences and has one publication in an interprofessional journal related to the IPE experiences for PAS students.

Goal 4: Evidence Based Learning

Instill the importance of medical research as it relates to clinical practice


  • Demonstrate an understanding of the meaning, purpose, and nature of scientific inquiry by relating its significance to evidence based medicine through evaluation of the medical literature
  • Apply the principles of beneficence, justice and respect as it relates to the conduct of research involving human subjects and clinical practice.


Students of the GVSU PAS Program undergo rigorous training in evidence based learning (EBL). Students receive and demonstrate understanding of evidence based medical learning through 4 research courses and one statistics course. Each student is required to complete a evidence based research project. Students present this original research at various venues including national graduate conferences, professional PA conferences, and local institutions.