Announcing the Launch of Our Physician Assistant Program

Dear Ithaca College Community,

Today we are very proud and excited to share with you that the college has received provisional accreditation and approval to launch our Master of Science in Physician Assistant (PA) Studies, which will be housed in our School of Health Sciences and Human Performance (HSHP). We are particularly enthusiastic about this program because the demand for physician assistants continues to grow rapidly nationwide, creating significant professional opportunities for our students. We look forward to welcoming the inaugural class of 30 PA students into this graduate program this fall.

We want to express our deep appreciation for the tremendous effort and investment of our staff and faculty affiliated with this program, and our sincere gratitude for the leadership, vision, and drive of HSHP Dean Linda Petrosino and Susan Salahshor, the program’s director, who joined our community in late 2019. Susan has had a great impact on IC in a very short amount of time, and this extraordinary achievement would not have been possible without her tireless energy and deep commitment to student-centered academic excellence.

This is a significant moment and milestone for the college on many levels. Our strategic plan, Ithaca Forever, activates us to educate, engage, and empower through theory, practice, and performance. The PA Program aligns tightly with this mission, doing so by identifying, actualizing, and leveraging areas of growth and potential to enable this college to evolve in a bold and student-centered direction that embraces the promise of the future. 

Ithaca College, as an institution, strives to be a private college that serves the public good. This program has been created and intentionally designed to specifically focus on rural, behavioral, and mental health, affirming this ethos of service to our communities. It will also establish an equity framework that seeks to be representative of all people, including those impacted by systemic disadvantages and marginalization. 

Additionally, the program reestablishes a downtown presence for the college in the heart of the Ithaca Commons. The decision to locate the program downtown demonstrates our strong commitment to community engagement and to serving a public good in our region. This is also a financially sustainable decision, made after exploring the costs of repurposing facilities on our South Hill campus. The promise of our downtown location is significant, with great potential to connect to several of our institutional strengths.

We encourage you to read more about this program and join us in celebrating this historic moment in Ithaca College’s evolution, as we build on our strengths to solidify our future.

All our best,

Shirley M. Collado

La Jerne Terry Cornish
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs