Determining the Effectiveness of a Physician Assistant Curriculum using Data Analysis

Level of Education of Students Involved


Faculty Sponsor

Tiffany Kolba




Statistics and Data Analysis

ORCID Identifier(s)


Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-27-2023


The Valparaiso University Physician Assistant Program’s purpose is to develop and maintain professional competencies for enrolled physician assistants (PA). An accredited institution provides assurance to the quality and recognition of the education earned. The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistant’s, Inc (ARC-PA) is the established agency which defines the education standards, competencies for PA programs, and ensures compliance within the United States. This project seeks to provide critical quantitative and qualitative analysis of the university’s PA program and advise administrators on how to resolve citations of noncompliance. To correct the outlined citations, we will determine the effectiveness of the didactic and clinical curriculum using standardized test score across various fields of study. Additionally, student survey evaluations of program environments, amenities, and course will be evaluated in conjunction with scoring performance to direct significant areas of attention. Finally, provide recommendations for data management structural improvement for preserve and advance performance of accreditation requirements. The results showed that individual student test scores can be modelled accurately using multiple linear regression in combination of section distributions portioned by class year to indicate improvement of program competencies. In general, student performance improved in most categories, and we were able to isolate deficiencies when significant. The survey results highlighted a diverging comparison to scoring performance such that in most cases students believed that electives and program accommodations were declining. This project emphasized the importance of collecting detailed data to provide meaning understanding of the PA program’s performance and structure procedures for maintain accreditation.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

A Senior Engineer at Cleveland Cliffs with a bachelor’s degree in Material Science and Engineering from Penn State University and completing his master’s degree in Analytics and Modelling from Valparaiso University. My career is focused on analyzing large datasets and solving quality control and processing problems. My interest in this project stems from the desire to diversify the structure of information I analyze while provide detailed explanations to clients to fit data driven solutions

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