Master of Physician Assistant

We are currently accepting applications through October 1, 2021.

Mission Statement

The Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant program is dedicated to academic excellence in medical education. Our mission is to develop and prepare compassionate, professional PA providers who are committed to life-long leadership, learning, and community service. Our graduates will work as part of the healthcare team to deliver exceptional healthcare to rural West Texas and under-served communities worldwide.

Our goals are to:

  1. Recruit outstanding PA students that display a commitment to community service.
  2. Prepare PA students for the practice of medicine as exemplified by:
    1. Pass rate on National Certifying exam that exceeds national average
    2. Attainment of employment after graduation
  1. Provide training opportunities for PA students in rural and underserved medical settings.

Progress Towards Goals Achievement:

GOAL #1

The following is data from the first four student cohorts on the recruitment of outstanding PA students and their commitment to community service.

Physician Assistant GPA Chart

pa community hours

*Note all students must complete a minimum of 50 hours of community service during enrollment at the HSU PA program.

GOAL #2

  1. The first two graduating cohorts have exceeded the national average on the national certifying examination, and both cohorts have a 100% pass rate.

3. Provide training opportunities for PA students in rural and under-served medical settings.

Every PA student is required to complete a minimum of one clinical rotation in a rural or medically underserved area. Twenty-nine (29) students from the class of 2019 each completed one rotation with an additional 26 rotations being completed in a rural or medically underserved area completed (90% above minimum). Thirty-one (31) students from the class of 2020 each completed one rotation with an additional 46 rotations being completed in a rural or medically underserved area (148% above minimum).

Accreditation Statement

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Hardin-Simmons University.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class. The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-hardin-simmons-university/.

HSU PA Student Attrition Table

HSU PA Attrition Table

*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.
**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

MPA Founder Seal

Contact Us

Michelle Crawford

Michelle Crawford

Administrative Assistant to the PA Program Director 325-670-1702

Degrees

  • Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

Why earn a Master's in Physician Assistant at HSU?

HSA private cadaver anatomy lab

Designated PA Labs

Our PA program his its own anatomy lab, not shared with other departments. That includes a private cadaver anatomy lab with full dissection capabilities.

HSU Physician Assistant student lets little boy hold the stethoscope

Community Service

The PA Program curriculum requires 50 hours of community service. The students may volunteer in many different ways, including an annual medical mission trip. In spring 2018, the PA Dept., collaborating with Buckner International, went to Peru. We treated 714 people in 5 days. The trip wrapped up with a visit to Machu Picchu.

HSU Physician Assistant student and professor dressed in white lab coats shaking hands

White Coat Ceremony

The White Coat Ceremony is a meaningful tradition to welcome Physician Assistant students into the profession. The students take their professional oath and invite family and friends to attend. This ceremony is typically held within the first few months of a new cohort school year.

Chad Walters- Master of Physican Assistant student smiling

Program Details

The Physician Assistant curriculum will be delivered on a full-time basis for a total of 27 months. Students will matriculate as a cohort (30 students) into a 12-month academic phase, followed by 13 months of clinical education. Final semester (2 months) is didactic.

All courses and course descriptions for the Master of Physician Assistant can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Course #   Credit
Hours
Semester
Hours
YEAR ONE: DIDACTIC
Semester: Fall
PA 6402 Human Anatomy 4
PA 6404 Medical Interview and Physical Examination 4
PA 6206 Preventive Medicine & Patient Education 2
PA 6208 Introduction to Health Professions & PA Practice 2
PA 6310 Physiology & Pathophysiology I 3
PA 6112 Medical Ethics 1
PA 6214 Clinical Medicine I 2 18
Semester:  Spring
PA 6416 Clinical Medicine II 4  

 

 

PA 6312 Physiology & Pathophysiology II 3
PA 6218 Diagnostic Methods 2
PA 6220 Patient Assessment I 2
PA 6224 Pharmacology & Medical Therapeutics I 2
PA 6228 Behavioral Medicine 2
PA 6130 Cross Cultural Health 1
PA 6232 Clinical Laboratory Science 2
PA 6234 Research & Evidence-Based Medicine 2 20
Semester:  Summer
PA 6418 Clinical Medicine III 4  

 

 

 

15

PA 6226 Pharmacology & Medical Therapeutics II 2
PA 6222 Patient Assessment II 2
PA 6236 Care for Special Populations 2
PA 6538 Clinical Skills 5
YEAR TWO: CLINICAL
Clinical Rotations include:  5 weeks (5 credit hours each) in the following:  Family Medicine / Pediatrics / Women’s Health / Mental Health / Internal Medicine / General Surgery  / Emergency Medicine / Elective 1 / Elective 2  / Professional Development
             Semester:  Fall    
Clinical Rotations 1,2, & 3 15
Semester: Spring  
Clinical Rotations 4,5, & 6 15  
Semester:  Summer  
Clinical Rotations 7,8, & 9 15 45
Semester:  Last Fall Prior to Graduation
Clinical Rotation 10 5
PA 6458 Professional Practice Preparation 4
PA 6362 Capstone 3
PA 6264 Health Policy, Billing, & Coding 2 14
     
  Year One:  Didactic Year Totals 53 112 Hours
  Year Two:  Clinical Year  Totals 50
  Year Two:  Post-Clinical Rotations 9

See “Admissions Requirements” tab below for admissions information.

Requirements for Graduation

Several indicators of performance are used to determine a student’s readiness to move forward from the didactic to the clinical phase of the curriculum and to graduate from the PA program.  These indicators include required courses completed, grade point average achieved; skills proficiencies attained; demonstration of professionalism; completion of 50 volunteer hours; results of comprehensive knowledge and skills testing, and completion of all requirements for the Capstone Research Project. Please refer to the student handbook for information regarding course progression and academic policy details.

Students who have been recommended for graduation by the HSU PA Program Grading and Promotions Committee will be awarded the Master of Physician Assistant degree provided they have met all of the following conditions and adhere to the policies outlined in the PA student handbook and the Hardin-Simmons University Graduate handbook.

Requirements for Graduation:

  1. Satisfactory completion of 21 courses during the didactic phase of the curriculum earning 53 credit hours and achieving a minimum overall 3.0-grade point average.
  2. Satisfactory completion of all 10 clinical rotations (at least one of which was in a rural/underserved area) and three additional post-clinical courses for a total of 13 courses, earning 59 credit hours and achieving a minimum overall 3.0-grade point average.
  3. Satisfactory completion of three Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) during the clinical phase of the curriculum with a minimum performance of 70% or greater
  4. Satisfactory completion of a summative assessment that includes an OSCE, written exam, and skills assessment that is administered within 4 months before graduation from the program with a grade of 70% or greater.
  5. Satisfactory completion of course requirements for the Capstone Research project evidenced by approval by the research mentor and the course instructor.
  6. Satisfactory demonstration of the ethical, professional, behavioral, and personal characteristics required to practice as a Physician Assistant as documented on the professionalism evaluation forms and final professionalism assessment by the Program Director.
  7. Satisfactory payment of all fees due to the University and meets all requirements for commencement per University policy.
  8. Documentation of competency in all required technical skills within the didactic and clinical phases of training as denoted by instructional or principal faculty.
  9. Completion of a diploma card with the Hardin-Simmons University Registrar’s office.
  10. Completion of 50 hours of community service approved by the student advisor.
  11. Completed any terms of Academic Probation and/or Remediation if applicable.

Students unable to fulfill these requirements by the day of graduation will not be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony without the permission of the PA Program Director.  Students will not be considered graduates in any capacity until they have completed all of the above requirements.

With a degree in PA Studies, your future is open to many job opportunities:

  • Emergency Room Physician Assistant
  • Surgical Physician Assistant
  • Primary Care Physician Assistant
  • Medical Specialty Physician Assistant
  • PA Educator

HSU PA students have found success in many different areas:

  • John’s Hopkins University Medical Center
  • Texas Children’s Hospital
  • Baylor Scott & White Hospital
  • Covenant Hospital
  • Hendrick Hospital
  • (and many more local and global providers)

Graduates of the Hardin-Simmons University Master of Physician Assistant program will be qualified to take the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Upon passing the PANCE, graduates may become practicing physician assistants.

Progress Towards Goals Achievement

Goal #1 Recruit outstanding PA students that display a commitment to community service.

The following is data from the first two student cohorts on the recruitment of outstanding PA students and commitment to community service.

Average Cumulative GPA Average Science GPA Written GRE Average Score Verbal GRE Average Score Quantitative GRE Average Score Average Pre-admission Community Service Hours
Class of 2019 3.6 3.5 3.87 152 152.9 277
Class of 2020 3.65 3.63 3.95 153.23 151.77 592
Class of 2021 3.71 3.65 4.03 154 153.14 434
Class of 2022 3.58 3.45 4.02 153.17 152.33 591

*Note all students must complete a minimum of 50 hours of community service during enrollment at the HSU PA program.

Goal #2 Prepare PA students for the practice of medicine as exemplified by:

1. Pass rate on National Certifying exam that exceeds national average

Full NCCPA Program Report

2. Attainment of employment after graduation

Goal #3 Provide training opportunities for PA students in rural and under-served medical settings.

One hundred percent of our PA students complete a rural clinical rotation prior to graduation and all HSU PA students are given the opportunity to work with under-served medical populations both locally and globally.

HSU PA Student Attrition Table

HSU PA Attrition Table
*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.
**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

Prerequisites must be completed prior to matriculation.

Course Hours
Anatomy 4
Biology 8
Chemistry 4
English 3
Microbiology 4
Organic Chemistry 4
Psychology 3
Physiology 4
*Sociology 3
Statistics 3
Other Requirements
Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
GPA minimum 3.0
Science GPA minimum 3.0
GRE Required
Health Care Experience Recommended
PA Shadowing Strongly Recommended
Volunteerism Recommended
Class Size 30
Program Length 27 months

*May accept additional 3 Hours of Psychology in place of Sociology.

Human A&P I and II will be accepted as long as they are taken at the same college/university consecutively.

Your application is not complete until official GRE scores are submitted to and verified by CASPA.  When requesting official GRE Scores, use School/Institution Code “7453” for the HSU PA Program.

Altus Suite – Admissions Assessment of Noncognitive Skills

All applicants to the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant program are expected to complete the online suite of assessments (Altus Suite) for the 2021-2022 Application Cycle.

Altus Suite consists of a two-part online assessment of non-cognitive skills, interpersonal characteristics, and personal values and priorities that we believe are important for successful students and graduates of our program. The tests complement other tools used for applicant screening. Currently, the test results are not used for admission decision making, instead the program is collecting data on how best to implement Altus Suite to further enhance fairness and objectivity in the selection process.

Altus Suite consists of:

  • CASPer®: a 60-90 minutes online situational judgement test (SJT)
  • Snapshot: a 10 minute one-way interview with standardized questions

About CASPer®

The CASPer® test (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) comprises 12 sections of video and written scenarios. Following each scenario, applicants will be required to answer a set of probing questions under a time contract. The test typically takes between 60-90 minutes to complete. Each response is graded by a different rater, giving a very robust and reliable view of personal and professional characteristics important to our program. No studying is required for CASPer®, although you may want to familiarize yourself with the test structure at TakeAltus.com.

CASPer® test results are only valid for one admission cycle. Applicants who have already taken the test in previous years will need to re-take it for the current admission cycle.

About Snapshot

Snapshot is a one-way interview tool that takes 15 minutes to complete. It is used to help programs get to know their applicants better by assessing verbal and non-verbal communication skills, as well as motivation for the profession. Snapshot includes 2 mandatory practice questions to allow applicants to get familiar with the format and to test their audio and video capabilities. After completing the practice portion, applicants will move on tot record responses to 3 standardized interview-style questions. Applicants have 2 minutes to record each response. Applicants will have time to read and consider each question during a 30-second reflection period before they begin recording.

How to Complete Altus Suite

Applicants will need access to a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam and audio capabilities. Additionally, applicants will need a government-issued photo ID and a valid email address. Registration can be found at TakeAltus.com where applicants will create an account. Register for the US Professional Health Sciences test (CSP-10101). There are a limited number of testing dates and time. The last available date to take the Altus Suite assessment is September 23, 2021. There will be no additional tests scheduled.

Please note Hardin-Simmons University applicants are applying for the admission start date of August 2022 and must select the 2021-2022 admission cycle.

Please direct any inquiries on the test to support@altus.as

Total Cost of the Program

The PA Program makes every effort to keep costs reasonable for students. However, because the Program runs continuously for twenty-seven months, applicants must review their financial resources carefully and anticipate expenses realistically. During the clinical education phase, all students may be assigned to clinical sites outside of the immediate Abilene / Big Country area. The student is responsible for the costs related to out-of-area travel and housing, if applicable.

The total tuition and fee cost of the Program is estimated at $73,000 – $88,500, depending on year of entry into the Program. Updated accurate tuition and fee costs are published on the university web site at www.hsutx.edu/pa. This does not include living expenses, textbook or equipment costs. The estimates for these costs vary based on student choice of housing, family size, transportation/vehicle cost, and technology related costs (laptop computer, data plan, and mobile phone required). Reliable transportation is required in the clinical year for commuting to supervised clinical practice experiences (SCPE).

Program Tuition & Fees

COHORT STARTING: 2020 Fall – Graduating 2022

Tuition: $69,902 (entire program) + $8,000 (Estimated University Fees) = $77,902

Breakdown of University Fees:
Departmental Examination Fee (per semester) $40 $280.00
Departmental Laboratory Fee (per semester) $80 $560.00
General Fee (will vary per semester) The currently fee is $1,000; estimated Fall 2022 is $1,100.00  

$7,100.00

Student Insurance Fee $20 per year (3 years) $60.00
Total University Fees: ~$8,000.00 minimum

Non-University Fees = $849.95

Breakdown of Non-University Fees:
EXXAT Fees: $332.00 – one time $332.00
Medical Terminology: $139.95 – one time $139.95
American Academy of Physician Assistants: $75 – one time $75.00
Background Checks: $72.00 + tax (for TX and NM residents) each – a minimum of 3 per student (1 each year)  

$216.00

Drug Screens $29.00 + tax (for TX and NM residents) each – a minimum of 3 per student (1 each year)  

$87.00

Total Estimated Tuition & Fees: $78,751.95

Same for Resident & Non-Resident

Notes – Semester for the PA Program means three (3) per year Spring, Summer, Fall (mini-mesters included); a total of 7 semesters for the entire program.

Cost of books, equipment, and living expenses will vary based on student choice/lifestyle. Electronic book options, purchase of used books, and/or equipment or rental of textbooks may offset costs.

Estimated Textbook Expenses $1,200.00 – $4,700.00
Estimated Equipment Expenses $900.00 – $1,200.00

*All Fees are subject to change

*Students cannot purchase courses in these programs at an hourly rate. However, the total cost of the program divided by the number of hours of classwork needed to complete the program, equals $585 per credit hour.

COHORT STARTING: 2021 Fall – Graduating 2023

Tuition: $79,700 (entire program) + $8,400 (Estimated University Fees) = $88,100

Breakdown of University Fees:
Departmental Examination Fee (per semester) $40 $280.00
Departmental Laboratory Fee (per semester) $80 $560.00
General Fee (will vary per semester) The current fee is $1,000; estimated Fall 2022 is $1,100.00 $7,400.00
Student Insurance Fee $20 per year (3 years) $60.00
Total University Fees: ~$8,400.00 minimum

Non-University Fees = $884.95

Breakdown of Non-University Fees:
EXXAT Fees: $367.00 – one time $367.00
Medical Terminology: $139.95 – one time $139.95
American Academy of Physician Assistants: $75 – one time $75.00
Background Checks: $72.00 + tax (for TX and NM residents) each – a minimum of 3 per student (1 each year)  

$216.00

Drug Screens $29.00 + tax (for TX and NM residents) each – a minimum of 3 per student (1 each year)  

$87.00

Total Estimated Tuition & Fees: $88,984.95

Same for Resident & Non-Resident

Notes – Semester for the PA Program means three (3) per year Spring, Summer, Fall (mini-mesters included); a total of 7 semesters for the entire program.

Cost of books, equipment, and living expenses will vary based on student choice/lifestyle. Electronic book options, purchase of used books, and/or equipment or rental of textbooks may offset costs.

Estimated Textbook Expenses $1,200.00 – $4,700.00
Estimated Equipment Expenses $700.00

 *All Fees are subject to change

COHORT STARTING: 2022 Fall – Graduating 2024

Tuition: $79,700 (entire program) + $8,400 (Estimated University Fees) = $88,100

Breakdown of University Fees:
Departmental Examination Fee (per semester) $40 $280.00
Departmental Laboratory Fee (per semester) $80 $560.00
General Fee (will vary per semester) The estimate of Fall 2022 fee is $1,100  

$7,400.00

Student Insurance Fee $20 per year (3 years) $60.00
Total University Fees: ~$8,400 minimum

Non-University Fees = $884.95

Breakdown of Non-University Fees:
EXXAT Fees: $367.00 – one time $367.00
Medical Terminology: $139.95 – one time $139.95
American Academy of Physician Assistants: $75 – one time $75.00
Background Checks: $72.00 + tax (for TX and NM residents) each – a minimum of 3 per student (1 each year)  

$216.00

Drug Screens $29.00 + tax (for TX and NM residents) each – a minimum of 3 per student (1 each year)  

$87.00

Total Estimated Tuition & Fees: $88,984.95

Same for Resident & Non-Resident

Notes – Semester for the PA Program means three (3) per year Spring, Summer, Fall (mini-mesters included); a total of 7 semesters for the entire program.

Cost of books, equipment, and living expenses will vary based on student choice/lifestyle. Electronic book options, purchase of used books, and/or equipment or rental of textbooks may offset costs.

Estimated Textbook Expenses $1,200.00 – $4,700.00
Estimated Equipment Expenses $700.00

*All Fees are subject to change

The following policies, in full, can also be found in the HSU PA Student Handbook at the pages listed in the table.

Description for Website Standard Handbook Policy Page Number
Discrimination & Harassment Policy A1.02 j DISCRIMINATION / HARASSMENT POLICY

The Hardin-Simmons University PA program has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and harassment.

Any student, faculty, or staff member is obligated to report incidences witnessed or observed. Whistle blower

protection is in place to protect against retaliation. Reports will trigger automatic investigations. Unacceptable

conduct includes but is not limited to the following:

• Physical harm (e.g., hitting, slapping, kicking) or threats of physical harm

• Requests for performing personal services (e.g., shopping, babysitting)

• Making unwanted sexual advances

• Exchanging sexual favors for grades or other rewards

• Discrimination or harassment based on gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion

• Being subjected to offensive remarks / names based on gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, or

religion

• Public embarrassment/humiliation specifically based on gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, or

religion

• Denied opportunities for training or awards based on any of the above protected categories (note training

opportunities are based upon preceptor availability)

• Receipt of lower grades / evaluations based on protected categories as listed above

For more information refer to the university harassment and Title IX policies which can be found at the HSU

website https://www.hsutx.edu/title-ix/

P 32
Tuition Refunds A1.02 k Tuition, Fees and Other Expenses: The University reserves the right to change tuition and other charges at the

beginning of any semester. The tuition cost for a full-time course load does not include expenses for required

items such as textbooks, medical equipment and supplies, laboratory fees, and clinical tracking software fees.

PA students are not eligible for part-time enrollment unless a specific degree plan is approved as part of a

remediation plan after matriculation. In-state and out-of-state tuition are the same.

Deposit: There is a non-refundable $1200.00 deposit, subject to change, for those applicants accepted into the

Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program, which is applied to the tuition for the first semester

upon enrollment. If an applicant accepted into the Program encounters circumstances that prevent their

matriculation, any amount paid by the applicant to the University that is over and above the non-refundable

deposit of $1200.00 will be refunded based on the tuition refund policy set forth by the University and outlined

in the University student catalog.

P 23
Clinical Site/Preceptor Recruitment A3.03 PRECEPTOR POLICY: Students must not be required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. Hardin-Simmons University PA Director of Clinical Education and Clinical and Technology Coordinator must coordinate clinical sites and preceptors for the Program required rotations. P 42
Student Work Policy A3.04 Students may not be employed by the PA Program. While a student may be invited by a faculty member to

volunteer to share their expertise in a specific area with the class, a student may not substitute for or function as

instructional faculty and cannot be compelled to share any previous experience with the class. Also, during

supervised clinical experiences, students may not substitute for clinical or administrative staff at the clinical site

or for the preceptor.

P 32
Student Teaching Policy A3.05 a & b Students may not be employed by the PA Program. While a student may be invited by a faculty member to

volunteer to share their expertise in a specific area with the class, a student may not substitute for or function as

instructional faculty and cannot be compelled to share any previous experience with the class. Also, during

supervised clinical experiences, students may not substitute for clinical or administrative staff at the clinical site

or for the preceptor.

P 32
Clinical Student Identification A3.06 IDENTIFICATION:

All students will be provided with a University identification badge, including name and photo, clearly

identifying each student as a Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant (PA) student. Students are

required to wear these badges at all times when participating in PA professional functions such as a health fair

or when in patient care areas. In clinical practice settings, students must identify themselves as PA students to

patients and healthcare practitioners. This badge must be returned to the Program upon graduation or after

withdrawal from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. The first ID badge is free. Replacement badge

is $15.00.

P 28
Student Immunization, Health Screening, and International Travel A3.07 a & b HEALTH, IMMUNIZATIONS AND HEALTH INSURANCE:

As part of the matriculation process into the PA Program, the Department of Physician Assistant Studies

requires all students to meet the health and immunization requirements listed in Appendix B of this document.

If a student chooses not to be vaccinated or tested, they will forfeit their seat in the program.

Immunizations will not be required if the student has a specific medical contraindication to the required

vaccine(s). Students must provide documentation from their healthcare provider of any adverse reaction or

contraindication to a required vaccine(s).

Hardin-Simmons University PA Program immunization policy is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention (CDC) Immunization of Health-Care Personnel: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee

on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Prior to matriculation in the Program, all students must complete the Hardin-Simmons University PA Program

Immunization Verification Document and Health Clearance Form, have a physical examination by a healthcare

provider, and have their healthcare provider complete the attestation form of fitness to proceed in the PA

Program (located at the end of this handbook, Appendix B & C). Official documents must be completed by a

medical provider that is not related to you. Additionally, proof of personal health insurance must be provided

prior to matriculation and maintained throughout the Program.

The Hardin-Simmons PA program’s clinical sites all require the immunizations listed on the Immunization

Verification Document. Unless there is a documented medical contraindication, all students must have these

vaccines in order to complete the program. Immunizations will not be required if the student has a specific

medical contraindication to the vaccines listed. Students must provide documentation of any adverse reaction or

contraindication to a vaccine required. In addition, a licensed medical provider should certify the

contraindication. Again, the form cannot be completed or signed by a family member who is in the medical

field.

Various clinical training sites may require additional immunizations, evidence of testing, or titers prior to

rotations, to include COVID-19. Fulfillment of these requirements, and any associated costs, will be the

student’s responsibility. If students choose not to be vaccinated or tested, they will not be allowed to rotate at

clinical sites that require the additional immunization(s) and/or testing. Inability to rotate at clinical sites due to

noncompliance with required immunizations/testing is not the responsibility of the program. If the student is

voluntarily non-compliant with rotation site policies for screening/immunizations on all rotations,

graduation will be delayed, or the student may be ineligible for graduation from the PA Program.

Immunizations will not be required if the student has a specific medical contraindication to the vaccines listed.

Students must provide documentation from a healthcare provider of any adverse reaction or contraindication to

a vaccine required.

PA student health records are confidential and will not be accessible to, or reviewed by, Program, Principal

Faculty, instructional faculty, Medical Director, or staff except for immunization and tuberculosis screening

results which may be maintained and released with written permission from the student.

Recommendations may vary for pregnant women and those with health conditions or allergies. Please refer to

your healthcare provider or CDC website for updates and clarifications regarding specific immunization

requirements

Please contact your health care provider and/or refer to CDC websites below for updates and clarifications

regarding specific immunization requirements.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/hcw.html

http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/testing/healthcareworkers.html

International Mission Immunization Requirements:

In addition to the above health and immunization requirements for all HSU PA students, there will be

supplementary immunization and health requirements for students going to international missions. These

immunizations will be at the student’s expense. This will include any routine and required immunizations and

health recommendations for the country as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Travel Medicine website at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/vaccinations.htm Students traveling abroad will

also be instructed to follow safety precautions for the country of interest which are available through the US

Department of State website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html

P 29-30
Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Hazards Policy A3.08 a, b, & c INFECTIOUS DISEASE / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE:

The Hardin-Simmons University Department of Physician Assistant Studies has a commitment to protect the

health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and patients. As part of their training, students may encounter

exposure to infectious and environmental hazards. This may include , but is not limited to, being exposed to

human donors and preservative chemicals such as formalin in the anatomy lab, latex or other products such as

gloves that may contain allergens, and exposure to communicable infectious disease which may be transferred

in the classroom or clinical setting. PREVENTION: While the risk of transmission is small, the Program has a

number of policies and procedures in place to minimize risk.

It is the policy of the Hardin-Simmons University, Physician Assistant Program to follow the guidelines and

recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety

and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding standard precautions. Before beginning clinical education

experiences through the HSU Physician Assistant Program, students will receive training regarding CDC

standard precautions as well as OSHA training.

Standard Precautions

Standard Precautions combine the major features of Universal Precautions and Body Substance Isolation and

are based on the principle that all blood, body fluids, secretions, respiratory particles, excretions, non-intact

skin, and mucous membranes may contain transmissible infectious agents.

Standard Precautions include a group of infection prevention practices that apply to all patients, regardless of

suspected or confirmed infection status, in any setting in which healthcare is delivered. These practices include:

1. Hand hygiene

2. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

In addition to Standard Precautions, students will receive training in the three categories of Transmission-Based

Precautions:

1. Contact Precautions

2. Droplet Precautions

3. Airborne Precautions

Transmission-Based Precautions are used when the route(s) of transmission is (are) not completely interrupted

using Standard Precautions alone.

Students may access details of this information at any time at the following website:

http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/2007IP/2007ip_part4.html

Page 63 of 68

updated 4/13/21

Exposure to Blood Borne Pathogens:

Strict adherence to standard precautions and other infection control measures should prevent a student’s

exposure to blood borne pathogens. CARE AND TREATMENT AFTER EXPOSURE: Should a student sustain

a possible exposure (including a needlestick injury) to blood borne or other infectious respiratory or contact

pathogens during a clinical training experience, the student is responsible for immediately notifying their

supervisor, instructor/preceptor, or department manager. The student should then follow the steps outlined in

the section titled “Post-Exposure Procedure” and “Student Injuries or Exposures”. Exposure is defined as a

demonstrated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious

materials.

Follow this protocol IMMEDIATELY if you are experience a needlestick injury or are exposed to

blood/bodily fluids while on your rotations:

1. Aggressive local wound care to the site of exposure should be initiated immediately. The site should

be cleansed thoroughly with soap and water for at least 15 minutes using a surgical hand brush when

possible. It may be beneficial to use an antiseptic such as chlorhexidine gluconate (Foam Carer CHG),

an iodophor (EZ Scrub, Betadine), or Dakins solution (dilute 1:9 buffered sodium hypochlorite).

Difficult to scrub areas should be soaked in chlorhexidine gluconate (Foam Carer CHG) or other

antiseptic. Non-intact skin should be cleansed with soap and water for at least 15 minutes. It may be

beneficial to use an antiseptic as described above. Mucous membrane exposures (e.g., eye splashes)

should be irrigated thoroughly for at least 15 minutes with saline or tap water using the nearest eye

washing station (or faucet if none available).

2. The incident MUST be reported immediately to the preceptor and/or department manager.

3. Student should seek immediate medical care at the nearest Emergency Room. Do not wait until the

end of your shift. Students are responsible for all medical expenses related to a bodily fluid exposure.

4. Finally, the student must notify the Director of Clinical Education or if unavailable, the Clinical

Administrative Coordinator or Program Director. In addition, the HSU Physician Assistant Program

Incident Form must be completed and sent to the Program. (This form is located at the back of the

handbook; Appendix D).

More information can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/bbp/emergnedl.html

Student Injuries

Incidents involving an injury to a student (such as a fall, or other accidental injury) or unexpected other

pathogenic exposure during a clinical education experience will follow a similar protocol.

1. The injury/exposure should be reported to the student’s supervisor or clinical preceptor.

2. Students should report to the nearest Emergency Department for treatment

3. The Program should be notified as soon as it is possible to do so. The student must notify the Director of

Clinical Education or the Clinical Administrative Coordinator.

4. In addition, the HSU Physician Assistant Program Incident Form, must be completed and sent to the

Director of Clinical Education. Do not send copies of medical records.

If a potentially infectious exposure occurs, do not allow feelings of embarrassment, a large workload, or

misplaced peer pressures prevent you from reporting the event immediately. Needle sticks and other exposures

can be life-threatening. Responsible healthcare providers recognize that unintentional injuries and occupational

exposures may occur and must be evaluated by competent, objective, and experienced medical professionals.

Page 64 of 68

updated 4/13/21

COVID-19 exposures are reported to the university directly through the Dean of Students’ office in addition to

the above parameters.

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:

IMPORTANT:

All charges incurred by PA students for healthcare visits, diagnostic studies, and prescribed medications related

to an injury, needle stick, blood, or body fluid exposures are the student’s responsibility. Students must

maintain health insurance throughout their educational experience at the Hardin-Simmons University

Physician Assistant Program. All medical or healthcare services (emergency or otherwise) that the

student receives or requires are the student’s financial responsibility and are at the student’s expense.

P 62 – 64
Provision of Healthcare A3.09 POLICY REGARDING FACULTY HEALTHCARE:

PA Program Principal Faculty, Instructional Faculty, the Program Director, and the Medical Director will not

participate as healthcare providers for students in the Program. It is acceptable for healthcare to be provided in

an emergency situation only until licensed emergency personnel arrives.

Medical Services:

Student health services are not available at the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program nor on

the main campus of Hardin-Simmons University for any HSU students. PA Students are required to have health

insurance upon matriculation and must maintain active health insurance during their enrollment at Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program. Hendrick Medical Center is two blocks from campus and is

available should an emergency arise. Hardin-Simmons University is not responsible for medical bills and does

not supply prescription

drugs or personal nursing/medical care.

Students are required to show proof of their own private personal health insurance policy coverage prior to

matriculation and again prior to beginning clinical rotations.

P 28
Referral to Student Services A3.10 Mental Health/Counseling:

The Office of Student Life offers free counseling services to students. No referral is necessary. Information

about these services can be found at the following website:

Counseling Services

Suicide hotlines are available 24 hours a day to students and links are made through these services to local

providers on campus for interventions when needed. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline phone number is

(800) 273-TALK (8255).

 

 

P 29
HSU PA Program Competencies A3.12 g HSU PA PROGRAM COMPETENCIES:

Upon completion of the program, students are expected to demonstrate competency in the following domains:

1. Medical knowledge,

2. Clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities,

3. Clinical and technical skills,

4. Interpersonal skills, and

5. Professionalism.

The HSU PA program defined competencies upon graduation are listed below. Course learning outcomes,

instructional objectives, technical skill evaluations, and professional development throughout the curriculum are

based on these program competencies. Syllabi throughout the curriculum reflect these program competencies

and are incorporated in various components with the goal of preparing graduates for clinical practice.

1. Demonstrate acquisition of the medical knowledge required to integrate and apply basic medical

sciences to care for patients in clinical settings. (medical knowledge)

2. Demonstrate a broad, systems-based knowledge of clinical medicine. (medical knowledge)

3. Understand, evaluate, and apply information regarding disease etiology, risk factors, epidemiology, and

screening methods to detect conditions in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. (medical

knowledge, clinical reasoning & problem solving)

4. Demonstrate evidence-based clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills required to integrate and

apply basic medical sciences to care for patients in clinical settings. (clinical reasoning & problem

solving)

5. Formulate differential diagnoses, accurate assessments, and appropriate treatment plans and

interventions to care for patients. (clinical reasoning & problem solving)

6. Correctly interpret diagnostic and laboratory findings appropriate for primary care settings. (medical

knowledge, clinical reasoning & problem solving)

7. Apply knowledge of responsible prescribing practices for patient care and safety, including display of

comprehension of indications, contraindications, side effects, interactions, and adverse reactions related

to pharmacologic agents. (medical knowledge)

8. Effectively communicate to patients test results, treatment plans, and health-related findings in a

culturally sensitive manner while maintaining patient confidentiality. (interpersonal skills)

9. Effectively communicate patient information with other members of the healthcare team through oral

delivery and written documentation. (interpersonal skills, clinical & technical skills)

10. Perform basic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures needed for the evaluation and treatment of a

patient. (clinical & technical skills)

11. Demonstrate appropriate behavior, respect, and professionalism in the educational and clinical settings.

(professionalism)

 

 

 

 

P 11

 

In order to ensure that patients receive the best medical care possible, the faculty have identified certain skills and professional behaviors that are essential for successful progression of PA students in the Program. A student must possess skills and behaviors at a level of capability to perform a variety of duties required of a PA as a healthcare professional. Students with disabilities who can perform these skills and successfully execute professional behavior either unassisted, with dependable use of assistive devices, or by employing other reasonable accommodations are eligible to apply for enrollment in the Program.

Minimum performance standards include critical thinking, communication skills, observation skills, motor skills, and interpersonal abilities. These following descriptions define the capabilities that are necessary for an individual to successfully complete the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant curriculum.

Intellectual Capability/Critical Thinking: The PA student must possess the intellectual, ethical, physical, and emotional capabilities required to undertake the full curriculum and to achieve the levels of competence in critical thinking and problem solving required to seek entry to the profession. The ability to solve problems, a skill that is critical to the practice of medicine, requires the intellectual abilities of measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Students in the Program must be able to demonstrate these skills in working with patients, their families, and other members of the healthcare team. Intellectual abilities also encompass learning and retaining information and the ability to make decisions in a timely manner.

Communication Skills: The PA student must be able to effectively speak, to hear, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and to perceive nonverbal communications. The student must be able to communicate attentively, effectively, sensitively and efficiently in oral, written, and electronic forms with other clinicians, families, and patients in order to make appropriate and timely responses.

Observation Skills: The PA student must be able to observe a patient accurately, both at a distance and close at hand.  Students must possess sufficient visual, auditory, and tactile sensation to receive appropriate information in the classroom, laboratory, and other educational and clinical settings.  Sensation must be satisfactory to receive verbal and nonverbal communications from patients and others, and to perform inspection, auscultation and palpation techniques during the physical examination.

Motor Skills: The PA student should have sufficient strength and coordination to perform the activities required of a Physician Assistant.  The student should have sufficient motor coordination to move about patient care environments and sufficient dexterity to use common medical instruments.  Students must have sufficient stamina to sit, stand, and move within classroom, laboratory, examination rooms, treatment rooms and operating rooms for long periods of time. Students must also be able to calibrate and use large and small equipment and execute movements required for moving patients, positioning patients, and providing care to patients routinely and in emergency settings. Typical lifting requirement is a minimum of 50 lbs. unassisted.

Interpersonal Abilities: The PA student must possess the ability to establish and maintain appropriate professional relationships.  The student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities required for the diagnosis and care of patients, to be compassionate, empathetic, responsible, and tolerant toward patients, families and colleagues. This also includes the ability to prioritize competing demands and function in stressful circumstances.

What is Hardin-Simmons University’s program accreditation status?
The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Hardin-Simmons University.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

Does Hardin-Simmons University have a supplemental application?
HSU does not require a supplemental application. However, it is highly recommended to complete the optional (not required) CASPer – for more information see this link in the CASPA Application portal.

What does Rolling Admissions mean?
Rolling admissions means that interviews are being conducted and admission decisions being made while applications are still being accepted. Our process is specifically designed so that the class does not fill up prior to the application deadline or conclusion of interview cycle.

When do most applicants submit their application?
The CASPA application opens in April. Placing a higher priority on submitting an application by an early date at the expense of quality and accuracy is not recommended. Applicants are advised to ensure their application presents the best representation they can put forth. It is generally good practice to submit all required application materials at least six weeks before the application deadline in case any issues arise. We require all CASPA applications to be verified.  The verification process can take up to six weeks.  We do not review applications until verified by CASPA.  All applications must be listed as “verified” in CASPA by the deadline to be considered.

How do I know if the courses I took meet the program’s prerequisite criteria?
While faculty review transcripts in CASPA as part of the screening process, TRANSCRIPTS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED FOR COURSE EQUIVALANCY PRIOR TO AN INTERVIEW. Should you receive an interview your transcript will be reviewed with you at the time of the interview. All prerequisites must be completed prior to matriculation.

Is there a preference for residents of the state of Texas?
No. Hardin-Simmons University is a private university, and no preference is given for applicants residing in the state of Texas; however, local and HSU graduate applicants who meet academic standards and fulfill our mission may be given priority consideration.  Tuition is the same for in state and out of state students.

Do students from HSU or others receive special consideration?
Yes – Current HSU degree-seeking students or alumni receive automatic interviews if they meet the minimum criteria.  Additionally, because HSU is seeking a diverse student body, those from under-represented groups including those with economic disadvantages and from rural backgrounds also receive priority consideration. Individuals who meet the mission and goals of HSU including demonstrating previous community service are often selected for interview after holistic application review. A preference for admission is not given, only a guarantee for interview.

How can I make my application stand out from the rest?
Applications are holistically reviewed, meaning all elements are considered for eligible applications that meet our minimum overall CASPA calculated GPA requirement of at least a 3.0 and a CASPA calculated Science GPA of 3.0. In addition to previous academic performance and pre-admission clinical experience, these include: personal statement, letters of recommendation, PA shadowing experience, volunteer or community service backgrounds, leadership experiences, GRE scores, challenging course work, academic performance that exceeds others in current and previous cohorts, fit with HSU mission, etc. Competitive applicants stand out by being able to speak to each of these categories.

Does it matter what your academic major is from undergrad?
No. Applications are reviewed holistically and no specific academic major is preferred from undergraduate or graduate school experiences. Because the PA Program is a professional health science graduate program, previous coursework in the sciences is expected and grades should be competitive.

Can I send additional letters of recommendation, beyond those included in CASPA?
No, only three letters of recommendation included in the CASPA application submission are required. Additional letters of recommendation sent directly to the program will not be considered as part of your application.

What are the factors that affect your admissions decisions?
We consider the following factors in making admission decisions: academic transcript review, GPA, GRE score, clinical experience (including level of responsibility and number of hours), shadowing experience, personal statement, references, volunteer hours, fit with HSU’s mission, diversity, leadership, and your interview performance.

Who are members of the Admissions Committee and who makes the final decision?
The Admissions Committee consists of the PA program faculty and staff.  Final admission decisions are made by the PA program director and PA program core faculty.  Interviews are conducted by PA Faculty and community health care providers.

What GRE Code should be used?
All GRE scores must be submitted to CASPA for your application to be considered complete.  When requesting official GRE Scores, use School/Institution Code “7453” for the HSU PA Program.

Is the GRE waived for any applicant, even with a Master’s or advanced degree?
No. Regardless of any past academic experiences, achievements, or degrees, the GRE is not waived.

Can I use GRE scores submitted for a previous graduate program?
Yes. Official GRE scores can be submitted to CASPA as long as they are still valid. Scores are valid for five years from the test date. This would not be affected by previous graduate work or score submissions to other schools.

Can the MCAT substitute for the GRE?
No. The GRE is a required part of the application. Other graduate-level standardized tests cannot be used as substitutes, including the MCAT or GMAT.

Can I apply before I complete all the prerequisites?
Yes.  When completing your CASPA application, include courses in progress and coursework planned in the appropriate fields to alert us to your plans. If you are accepted into the Program before you complete the required coursework, your acceptance will be on provisional status until records of your coursework and/or graduation are received. No student will be allowed to matriculate into the Program if prerequisite requirements are not met. Because of the various factors considered in selecting applicants, you are encouraged to complete the majority of prerequisites before applying.

If I took a prerequisite course 5, 10, even 35 years ago, will you still accept that? 
Yes.  We do not impose an expiration date on coursework, prerequisite or otherwise; however, more recent Science academic work is encouraged.

I need to go back to school to finish a few prerequisites. Can I take courses at a community college? 
Yes. We accept prerequisites from a regionally-accredited institution of higher-learning.  Prerequisites may also be taken online at a regionally-accredited institution.

Does HSU PA Program accept prerequisite online classes and labs?
Yes. If online classes/labs are from a regionally accredited college/university.

Will PASS/FAIL prerequisites be accepted when I apply?
If your Pass/Fail class was taken during the 2020-2021 pandemic, it will still be accepted for a prerequisite, however, it will not be factored into your GPA.

Can prerequisites be waived or tested out of with CME or CEU credit? 
Prerequisites cannot be waived for the Hardin-Simmons University PA Program. No prerequisite can be waived due to previous academic, life, or field experiences. Prerequisites can be completed at any regionally-accredited institution of higher learning. College credit must be earned and displayed on transcripts for prerequisites. Prerequisites cannot be satisfied through Continuing Medical Education or Continuing Education Unit credit.

What is your policy regarding Advanced Placement?
Hardin-Simmons University PA Program does not grant advanced placement in their PA Program to any matriculating student.  No previous coursework will substitute for any PA courses and the program must be completed in totality.

Does HSU PA Program accept AP or CLEP for prerequisites
Yes. If a regionally accredited college/university has granted AP or CLEP credit for a course and it is displayed on the student transcript.

How often are students admitted during the calendar year?
The Hardin-Simmons University PA Program enrolls 30 students once per year into its full-time program in August.  There is no part-time option.

Can I work full time and still be a PA student in your program?
No. This is a full-time program with classes during regular business hours.  Employment of PA students by the Program itself is strictly prohibited.

Is a background check required?
Yes.  Accepted students are subject to a criminal background check preceding orientation. Should the background check yield any undisclosed disqualifying information, the offer of admission may be revoked.

Do you accept transfer students, or provide credit for experiential learning?
No. The PA Program does not accept transfer students from other PA Programs and all students must have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States prior to starting the PA Program. The PA Program does not allow course credit for experiential learning.

Can I apply if I have not yet completed my undergraduate degree? 
Yes. You can begin to apply in your senior year of college, provided that you successfully graduate by the time of the PA program’s start date in August. You must have obtained your Bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation into the program and completed all prerequisite coursework successfully.

How should Volunteer hours be entered if they are Patient Care Experience?
Any experience that includes direct-patient clinical hours should be entered in the Patient Care section of the CASPA. For each entry, select the appropriate option for whether the experience was paid or unpaid. Volunteer patient care experiences should not be ‘double listed’ in the Volunteer section.

Is working with or shadowing PAs required for admission?
While PA shadowing is not required, it is strongly recommended that applicants document either working with or shadowing a PA. Working with or shadowing PAs will give applicants a better understanding of the role PAs play on the health care team. It is to your advantage to have shadowing experience with PAs prior to applying to PA school . The more contact experience hours you have, the more competitive your application file. During this time of social distancing we understanding there may be increased barriers to PA shadowing. Applicants are encouraged to document all forms of PA shadowing, both in person and virtually if applicable. While shadowing other healthcare providers is certainly beneficial, it does not substitute for PA shadowing in the eyes of the HSU PA Program.

Does the PA Program offer applicant assistance in finding clinical work or shadowing experience?
No, due to a high volume of applicants, we cannot offer assistance to candidates looking for clinical experience.  Once a student is admitted into the program our Clinical Team assigns the clinical rotation schedules.

Once I submit all of my application materials, how long before I hear if I will receive an interview?
It can take several months after submitting your application to be notified of possible your interview status. You will be notified one way or the other if you are selected for an interview and until you hear from the program your application is ‘under review’ in the department.

Can I send my application materials directly to the program?
No. All application materials must be submitted directly through CASPA. Contact CASPA at CASPA@PAEAonline.org or view the website http://paeaonline.org/caspa/ for questions regarding their application process.  It is not necessary to send transcripts, GRE scores, or other documentation directly to HSU unless you are accepted into the program.

Do I have to take the CASPer test and complete the Snapshot (Altus Suite online assessments)?
Yes, applicants applying to the HSU PA Program are expected to complete the CASPer online examination as this test helps evaluate applicants for non-academic attributes and interpersonal characteristics. Additionally, Snapshot provides applicants an opportunity to answer interview-style questions by recording a vide. Both tools provide additional information on an applicant’s communication and interpersonal skills, while offering a glimpse into their personality.

What happens if I take the CASPer test but do not complete the Snapshot?
If an applicant only completes the CASPer test, but does not complete Snapshot, Altus Suite will consider the assessment incomplete and no scores will be sent to the program. Applicants are encouraged to complete all components of the Altus Suite online assessments (CASPer test and Snapshot).

Where are clinical rotation sites located?
We offer our students a wide variety of experiences in various types of clinical settings, including hospitals, small and medium size clinics, private offices and rural opportunities.  Our clinical team assigns those locations with input from each accepted student. Clinical rotation assignments are subject to availability at the time of assignment.

Does Hardin-Simmons University offer a Bachelor’s degree in Physician Assistant?
No. Our program is an entry-level Master’s program. You must have a bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation into the program; however, HSU provides many high quality undergraduate degree options to prepare students for the PA Program.

How often do classes begin?
We admit one class of students each year. Classes start in August and new students cannot enroll in the program once the class has started. Mandatory orientation will be held the week before school starts.

What is the cost of tuition?
Tuition and fees for the 27-month PA Program is is updated on our website yearly at https://www.hsutx.edu/academics/graduate-programs/physician-assistant-program/ under the Tuition and fees tab at the bottom of the page. We offer block tuition.

Does graduation from this program guarantee I will be able to work in Texas or other U.S. states?
Graduation from this accredited program allows you to apply for licensure in all 50 states along with allowing graduates to sit for the national certification examination (required passage for licensure in most states).  Each state has different licensure requirements.

Are there scholarships I can apply for?
Yes. Once you have been accepted and are officially a HSU student you may apply through Scholarship Central at https://hsutx.academicworks.com/users/sign_in using your HSU student account log in information. The PA Program also has internal scholarships and when available, information will be emailed to all accepted students in August before the school year starts.

If I took coursework or obtained my degree from a foreign University, will it be accepted?
According to 19 Texas Administrative Code § 5.7, academic work taken at foreign colleges, universities, or preparatory schools shall be excluded from the calculation of the GPA for students seeking admission to graduate or post-baccalaureate professional school. Undergraduate foreign coursework that appears as transfer credit on the transcript of a regionally accredited U.S. college will count. Prerequisites taken at a foreign college or university will need to undergo credential evaluation through WES (World Education Services).  The bachelor degree requirement must be granted from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university.  Regional accreditation is the highest available form of accreditation. There are only 7 USDE-recognized regional accreditation agencies (as listed below).

Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE)

New England Association of Schools and Colleges, 
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE)

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS)

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC)

WASC Senior College and University Commission

What are the typical statistics for recently admitted students?

Admission Data on Current Student Cohorts

Average Cumulative GPA Average Science GPA Written GRE Average Score Verbal GRE Average Score Quantitative GRE Average Score
Class of 2019 3.60 3.48 3.90 151.90 152.97
Class of 2020 3.66 3.63 3.98 153.47 151.87
Class of 2021 3.71 3.65 3.93 153.43 152.63
Class of 2022 3.58 3.45 4.02 153.17 152.33

**Admission to the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant program is very competitive. Meeting the minimum requirements or exceeding above average admission data does not guarantee admission, nor does it guarantee an interview. We utilize a holistic admissions process considering multiple variables, including but not limited to, intellectual capacity, personal maturity, communication and interpersonal skills, recommendations, service to others, and knowledge of the profession. Students exceeding averages of previous classes are more likely to have priority review, but because of the holistic process, interview is not guaranteed based on score alone.

PA Shadowing Hours

 

Hardin-Simmons University PA program values diversity and continually strives to increase the number of diverse students accepted into the program.

 

 

HPSA/MUA = Healthcare Provider Shortage Area / Medically Underserved Area

 

HSU Physician Assistant Department Clinical Affiliation Agreement

Preceptor Guide to End-of-Rotation Evaluation

HSU PA Preceptor Handbook

Sign Up to be a Preceptor

Preceptor FAQs

1. What is the length or number of hours the student would be at our facility?

Each student rotation is a 5-week rotation. The student schedule (days, hours, etc) is dependent on the provider’s schedule for the 5-week rotation. Essentially, the student schedule is the preceptor’s schedule.

2. When will the students be at the facility?

It is up to the preceptor as far as the schedule for taking students. Our Clinical Coordinator will work closely with the facility’s office staff to schedule students. If at any time the provider cannot precept, please let us know. We want to respect their time!

3. What are the required documents to precept?

We must have an affiliation agreement between the HSU PA program and the facility. If it is a group practice, the affiliation will be with that group. If it is a private practice, the affiliation will be with the practice. If the provider rounds at a hospital, we require an affiliation agreement to be in place with that hospital as well. HSU has a standard affiliation agreement or if the partnering facility has one, we can review it. In addition, a Letter of Intent is needed from the provider (HSU will provide). However, please note this does NOT obligate the provider to take students, but only lets us know of your interest.

4. Will they need access to our patient charts?

Yes, our students will need access to patient charts because they will be seeing patients during their rotations. This can be electronic and/or paper. Our students will have extensive training in HIPAA compliance prior to starting their clinical year.

5. Upon completion of the student’s rotation, what is required from the provider?

The clinical preceptor will need to submit a mid-rotation evaluation of the student (HSU provides) as well as an end-of rotation evaluation of the student. This will comprise 25% of the student’s final grade in the course.

6. Is there a title given by the HSU PA program for precepting?

Yes, we give titles and recognition based on the number of students a preceptor takes per cohort.  The titles are as follows:

Number of Students Precepted Title
1-2 Clinical Instructor
3-4 Recognized Clinical Instructor
5+ Distinguished Clinical Instructor

Faculty

Jennifer Eames MPAS, DHSc, PA-C
Physician Assistant Program Director/Associate Professor

Jennifer EamesDr. Jennifer Eames is an Associate Professor and Program Director for the Physician Assistant Program at Hardin-Simmons University. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Physician Assistant Studies and her master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska with a concentration in Infectious Disease. Dr. Eames also obtained her Doctoral Degree in Health Science from Nova Southeastern University to further her career as a PA educator. She has practiced clinically as a Physician Assistant since 2002 in gastroenterology, family medicine, and infectious disease. Dr. Eames later served as a faculty member, the Admissions Director, and Vice-Chair of the Physician Assistant Program at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston prior to moving to Abilene to found the new PA program at Hardin-Simmons University. As a published author in both educational and professional journals, she is passionate about educating the next generation of physician assistants. She is also passionate about serving her fellow man and has participated in frequent mission work globally including service- learning experiences with her PA and Medical students. Dr. Eames serves on committees and councils at both the state and national level for PAs including being the current President for the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants.  Previously, she was one of twelve educators nationally to write the prestigious Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating Assessment Tool (PACKRAT) exam – given to thousands of PA Students each year across the country. For leisure, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.

Clay Bulls MPAS, PA-C
Assistant Professor

Photo of a professor.Clay Bulls, of Abilene, is a Physician Assistant who specializes in Hospital Medicine, working for groups such as for Shumacher Hospitalist Group at Abilene Regional Medical Center and as a PA in Internal Medicine for Abilene Physician Group. He is a member of the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants and the American Academy of Physician Assistants. He holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Hospital Medicine from the NCCPA. He received his bachelor’s degree from McMurry University, and is a graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine Physician Assistant program. He completed his Master of Physician Assistant Studies Degree from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.He currently serves as a member of the Texas Physician Assistant Board after being appointed in 2015 by Governor Greg Abbott. Mr. Bulls is an Assistant Professor for the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program.

Tina Butler DMSc, MPAS, PA-C
Associate Program Director, Assistant Professor

Dr. Tina Butler is the Associate Program Director for the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program. She has been involved in PA education for over a decade and has previously served as the Academic Director and Chair of the Admissions Committee. She graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas Physician Assistant Program in 1998, and obtained her Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies with an emphasis in Cardiology from the University of Nebraska in 2007. She earned her Doctor of Medical Science in 2020 from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Dr. Butler has practiced clinically as a PA for over 20 years with the majority of her clinical experience in cardiology. She has also practiced in family practice and urgent care settings. Dr. Butler has served on multiple committees at both the state and national level. She served on the Board of Directors for the Texas Academy of PAs (TAPA) for over 10 years and served as President of TAPA from 2017-18. Dr. Butler is a published author in both educational and professional journals and has presented at CME conferences and education forums. Dr. Butler also writes for the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Rotation Exam Review Committee under the Internal/Family Medicine section. For relaxation, Dr. Butler enjoys reading and spending time with her husband, their two children, three dogs, two goats, and several chickens.

Ashley Hammonds, PA-R
Instructor

Photo of Ashley Hammonds

Ashley Hammonds began his medical career studying radiography in the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1998. He continued to expand his imaging career by cross-training into Interventional Radiography where he became a department director at David Grant Medical Center. During his time in the military, he served a remote overseas tour to South Korea providing CT/X-ray coverage for the base. Ashley was honorably discharged from the USAF in 2006 where he moved back to his hometown and went into the ministry pastoring a church and overseeing several religious organizations including medical centers, orphanages, and feeding centers worldwide while continuing his medical career consulting in Interventional Radiography. He earned his Bachelor’s in Applied Arts and Sciences with an emphasis for Pre-Med in 2013 from Lamar University. In 2016, he and his family moved to England where he undertook a Physician Associate (Assistant) Master’s degree. He received his certification as a PA through the Faculty of Physician Associates at the Royal College of Physicians and has worked in emergency and acute medicine as well as family practice. He is currently a faculty lecturer in the Physician Assistant Program teaching Medical Interview, Physical Examinations, Health Policy and Billing, as well as Cross-Cultural Medicine.  Additionally, he serves on the clinical team, recruiting preceptors, facilitating affiliation agreements, creating OSCEs, and overseeing family and pediatric medicine rotations.  He enjoys playing guitar, barbequing, and spending time with his wife and three children.

Brianna Martinez
Assistant Professor

Brianna MartinezBrianna Martinez is an Assistant Professor with the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program. She has clinical experience in Orthopedic Surgery prior to entering education, specializing in Sports Medicine, Total Joint Arthroplasty, and Orthopedic Trauma. She also served as a clinical preceptor for the University Texas Medical Branch for 4 years while living and working in Victoria, TX. She has earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biochemistry from Abilene Christian University and Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies from University Texas Medical Branch in 2015. She is an active member of multiple Physician Assistant organizations, including Physician Assistants in Orthopedic Surgery (PAOS), Texas Academy of Physician Assistants, and American Academy of Physician Assistants. She is married to an HSU alumnus of the Communications and Counseling and Human Development departments. In her spare time, she enjoys serving her local church, reading, exercising, baking and decorating cookies along with her young daughter.

Dr. Kathryn Norton
Medical Director, Assistant Professor

Photo of Kathryn NortonDr. Norton was raised in Abilene, and graduated from Cooper High School in 1990. Her father has cared for patients in the Abilene community since 1976 and it is her goal to carry on the tradition. She attended Schreiner College and graduated with a BA in Biology in 1994. She then attended the medical school at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Lubbock and graduated with her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1998. She completed her general surgery residency at Louisiana Health Science Center in Shreveport, LA in 2004. She has continued her education, obtaining an MBA from Texas Tech in 2007. Most recently she has completed Genetics training through the City of Hope. She has a private practice performing many surgeries, but her passion is the treatment and care of breast cancer patients. Dr. Norton is married with 2 wonderful children. She loves the community of Abilene and looks forward to raising her family here and taking care of the people of this community.

Barbara Quillin
Director of Clinical Education, Assistant Professor

Barbara Quillin is Director of Clinical Education for the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program. She graduated from the Texas A & M University-College Station with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio’s (now UT Health-San Antonio) Physician Assistant Studies program in 2004 earning her Bachelor’s degree. In 2008, she earned her Master’s degree from University of Texas-Pan American (now UT Rio Grande Valley). Ms. Quillin has practiced clinically in family medicine, emergency medicine as well as a mobile urgent care. Previously Ms. Quillin served as a faculty member, Admissions Chair, and Program Director as well as Interim Chair for UT Health Science Center in San Antonio’s PA program. She has also been a Visiting Professor at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Ms. Quillin has an interest in rural health as well as underserved medical care. She volunteered in a mobile medical clinic for the uninsured in rural South Texas for 5 years. She has served on committees at the state and national levels. She is also passionate about educating the future generations of PA students. In her spare time, Ms. Quillin enjoys spending time with her husband and her seven pups.

Kathy Robinson DHSc, MPAS, PA-C
Assistant Professor

Dr. Kathy Robinson is an Assistant Professor with the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program. She attended Angelo State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch –Galveston with a Master of Physician Assistant Studies. She received her Doctor of Health Science from Nova Southeastern University with an emphasis in Education. Her non-healthcare work experience includes administrative and managerial positions in the financial planning, life/health insurance, and non-profit sectors. She has clinical expertise in allergy, asthma, and otolaryngology. Currently, she practices psychiatry at a rural community health center outside of Abilene. Dr. Robinson is a member of the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. She currently serves as a grant and scholarship reviewer for several local and national organizations. The Texas Academy of Physician Assistants awarded Dr. Robinson, the Outstanding PA Educator of the Year, in 2020.

Adjunct Faculty

Austin Alexander PT, DPT
Assistant Professor of Anatomy

Photo of Austin AlexanderDr. Austin Alexander is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy teaching for the Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Biology Undergraduate programs at Hardin-Simmons University. He is an alumnus of the Department of Physical Therapy at Hardin-Simmons University, earning his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2014.  He was awarded with the Dr. William R. Gould Memorial Scholarship during his time at Hardin-Simmons University. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science from University of Oklahoma in 2011. Dr. Alexander joined the faculty at Hardin-Simmons University following a position with Early Childhood Intervention at Betty Hardwick Center. He was recognized in 2018 by Betty Hardwick Center as the provider of the year. He is dedicated to patient centered care and has clinical experience in a variety of rehabilitation settings, including inpatient rehab, acute care, home health, early childhood intervention, and outpatient rehabilitation. He continues to advance his pediatric clinical experience at Hendrick Medical Center and Early Childhood Intervention. Austin is actively involved with the APTA and TPTA working towards becoming a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatrics. Austin is married to Kelsey and they have 4 children (Hank, Parker, MillieKate, and BrantleyJo).

Laura Lawrence, MPAS, PA-C
Adjunct Instructor

Laura Lawrence is a Physician Assistant practicing in Internal Medicine and Urgent Care at the Texas City Community Based Outpatient Clinic for Michael E DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She is also an adjunct faculty member for the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program as the Course Director for Internal Medicine. She graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Physician Assistant Program in 2006. Mrs. Lawrence has practiced clinically as a PA for over 12 years in gastroenterology and primary care and previously served as a faculty member and Director of Clinical Education for 5 years at UTMB’s PA Program.  She attended St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX where she obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Biology.  Mrs. Lawrence enjoys spending time with her husband of 15 years and their three children and going to church.

Dr. Camille Loftin
Adjunct Instructor

Photo of Camille LoftinCamille Termini Loftin, DHEd, MPAS, PA-C is a Medical Care Line Physician Assistant at the Texas City Community Based Outpatient Clinic for Michael E DeBakey Veteran Affairs Medical Center. She is also an adjust faculty member for the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program as the Course Instructor for Professional Development. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 1989 with a BS in Health Education. She then continued her studies at UTMB and graduated in 1992 from the Physician Assistant Program. She has completed her Doctorate in Health Education at AT Still University. Dr. Loftin worked in the Division of Gastroenterology at UTMB for 4 years, and then went in to private practice in gastroenterology for 14 years before joining the UTMB PAS Department from 2009 to 2017.  She has published several abstracts and articles in peer review journals, has numerous poster and oral presentations, and has coordinated several research study protocols. She loves spending time with her husband of 28 years, son, daughter, son-in-law and new grandson Brooks.

Dr. Holly West DHEd, PA-C, DFAAPA
Adjunct Instructor

Dr. Holly West is an Adjunct Instructor with the Hardin-Simmons Physician Assistant Program. She is graduate of Texas A&M University, received her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, and her Doctorate of Health Education degree from A.T. Still University. Dr. West served as the Director of Academic Curricula at UTMB’s PA Program and directed the Clinical Medicine and Skills Practicum courses as well as the Women’s Health rotation. In 2014, Dr. West became a Women’s Health Specialist in the Department of OB/GYN at UTMB where she was responsible for multiple large-scale clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Industry. She also played a regulatory role and worked with the NIH and Food and Drug Administration. Committed to education, she remained heavily involved in the UTMB Medical School curriculum and served as the only PA Co-Director for a School of Medicine course (Endocrine and Reproduction). In July 2019, Dr. West transitioned to the UTMB School of Medicine’s Office of Educational Development as a Senior Medical Educator. A resident of League City, Texas, she lives close to family and enjoys spending time with her husband and son, Eli.

Tenell Zahodnik
Adjunct Instructor

Tenell ZahodnikTenell Zahodnik is an Adjunct Instructor of Emergency Medicine with the Hardin-Simmons Physician Assistant Program. Tenell completed her undergraduate degree at Abilene Christian University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Business. After graduating from ACU, she worked in Marketing/Sales for 5 years before deciding she wanted to delve into medicine. She graduated PA school from University of Texas Medical Branch in 2016 and was at that time recognized as a member of the Pi Alpha Honor Society and Who’s Who Among Students In American Universities and Colleges. She currently works full time in the Emergency Department at Hendrick Medical Center where she serves as the Chief Education APP. She also serves on the Education Committee for the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants. In her spare time, she loves to read, cook, take piano lessons, and is a die-hard San Antonio Spurs fan. She is newly married to Zach, who serves in administration at a local middle school.

Staff

Kristen Anyan
Admission & Program Technology Coordinator

Photo of Kristen AnyanKristen Anyan is the Admission and Program Technology Coordinator for the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program. Kristen was born in Louisiana but has lived in Texas since 1991. She has worked in hospital laboratories and earned her Phlebotomy Technician certification from the American Society for Clinical Pathology.  Kristen is currently a junior pursing a Bachelors of Business Administration.  She has 6 years experience in higher education, with a technology emphasis.  She considers the Physician Assistant Program position as her dream job; combining her passion for healthcare, technology, and helping to prepare the next generation of healthcare providers to go into the workforce. Kristen enjoys spending time with her family, spoiling her niece and nephew, and looks forward to reading in her down time.  She enjoys fly fishing, shooting guns, and studying home defense.   Her favorite hobby is training and spending time with her service pup, Sniper.  Kristen is a member of Beltway Park Church.

Michelle CrawfordMichelle Crawford is the Admissions Coordinator and Administrative Assistant to the Program Director for the Hardin-Simmons University Physician Assistant Program. Michelle was born in Oklahoma and has lived in Abilene since 2011. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three sons.

Jennifer Eames DHSc, MPAS, PA-C
Dr. Eames is serving  her second term on the Board of Directors for the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA) and is the current President of TAPA (2021-2022).

Tina Butler, DMSc, MPAS, PA-C
Dr. Butler is the current Chair of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Exam Development Board Internal Medicine / Family Medicine Committee. She is also a Past President (2017-2018) of the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA).

Clay Bulls MPAS, PA-C
Mr. Bulls was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott in 2015 and reappointed in 2021 for a second term to serve as a member of the Texas Physician Assistant Board. He is the Chair of the Discipline and Ethics Committee for the PA Board.

Barbara Quillin MPAS, PA-C
Mrs. Quillin was awarded “Outstanding PA Educator of the Year” by the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants in 2015.

Kathy Robinson, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C
Dr. Robinson was awarded “Outstanding PA Educator of the Year” by the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants in 2020.