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The Pitt PA Studies (MS) program prides itself on being committed to a multi-pronged approach to enhance student success throughout the program’s two-year curriculum—in both the didactic and clinical years—with resources to support all learner styles. Our faculty focuses on fostering a positive environment that supports active learning and professional competency.  

From day one, our faculty are invested in each of our students becoming certified physician assistants. Throughout the two-year program, faculty continually assess areas of improvement for passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and implement curriculum changes as needed. Student support includes peer tutoring for both didactic and clinical students and adaptations to different learning styles. Additionally, opportunities for regular points of feedback between students and faculty to ensure support is available.  Both hybrid and residential PAS programs offer didactic year "check-ins" each semester to ensure open and continuing dialogue. 

We continuously work to prepare our students for success by: 

  • Striving to understand the diverse learning styles of our students and tailoring education to meet individual needs of knowledge and skill 
  • Improving student support systems, for example: 
  • Providing peer tutoring for both didactic and clinical year students 
  • Implementing student protocols that focus on early intervention under the leadership of the Department’s Vice Chair of Student Success Carlos Gutierrez 
  • Collecting didactic and clinical year check-in surveys and engaging in discussions 
  • Assigning individual faculty advisors to both didactic and clinical year students 
    • Didactic and clinical year students routinely meet with their assigned faculty advisor throughout both years of the program.  
    • As needed, advisors can help create individualized student success plans to better support students and prepare them to pass the PANCE. 
  • Availability of support community through the University of Pittsburgh Counseling Center