Centenary signs guaranteed interview agreement with LSU School of Allied Health Professions
SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary students interested in careers as physician assistants can now benefit from a new guaranteed interview agreement for the rigorous master of physician assistant studies program (PA program) at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport’s School of Allied Health Professions (SAHP). The collaboration between the College and SAHP reflects the shared goals of the two institutions and aims to train high quality physician assistants who will serve the community in Shreveport-Bossier City and the state of Louisiana.
“I am so excited about this new agreement between Centenary and the LSU School of Allied Health Professions,” says Dr. Karen Soul, provost and dean of the College at Centenary. “Centenary is committed to offering our students new and exciting opportunities to pursue careers as Physician Assistants. Dr. Scott Chirhart, who coordinates our Pre-Allied Health program, and all of our natural science faculty ensure that Centenary students receive the best preparation for success in graduate school and beyond. This agreement is another example of Centenary and LSU Health’s commitment to working together to prepare outstanding health professionals for our community.”
The SAHP physician’s assistant program is a 27-month academic and clinical experience that prepares students to provide comprehensive health care under the supervision of a physician. PA program graduates are eligible to be licensed in the state of Louisiana as a PA by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners and are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination.
The new agreement creates a streamlined pathway for qualified students earning a B.S. or B.A. degree at Centenary to apply to the SAHP physician assistant program. To be eligible for a guaranteed interview, Centenary students must complete a set of prerequisite courses with a grade of B or higher; achieve a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5, including a 3.5 GPA in all science courses; and submit acceptable GRE scores for the program. Required coursework for the program includes human anatomy and physiology with a lab component, microbiology, chemistry, statistics, medical terminology, and a number of biology electives.
“LSU Health Shreveport, School of Allied Health Professions is excited about the opportunity to partner with Centenary College of Louisiana to guarantee interviews to those students who exceed the minimum requirement for our Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program,” says Dr. Diana Merendino, assistant dean of academic and student affairs at LSUHS SAHP. “The SAHP recognizes Centenary as a valuable resource for prospective students who are wishing to enter into this very competitive application process that currently has forty positions for each new yearly incoming class.”
Students applying to the PA program must also complete at least 100 hours of direct patient care experience in either a volunteer or paid position, including at least 20 hours of PA job shadowing. Centenary students enrolled in the PA program at SAHP will also have the option to remain in campus housing at the College, depending on availability.
Faculty and staff members at both institutions will work closely to guide Centenary students interested in the PA program, providing information sessions, personalized advising, and campus visit opportunities to help familiarize students with the program and requirements.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our students,” says Dr. Scott Chirhart, Warters Professor of biology at Centenary. “The new agreement will continue to strengthen the relationship between Centenary and our neighbors at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, and it broadens the options for Centenary students interested in allied health careers.”