South College graduates sixth class

Sixty-five physician assistant students – the sixth class to graduate from South College – received their master’s degrees over the weekend at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville.

A traditional white coat ceremony also honored 72 students in the Physician Assistant Studies class of 2015 who have completed instructional coursework and will move into the clinical study phase of the program.

“As educators, this is the day that matters the most when we celebrate the success of these 137 physician assistant students – 65 graduates and 72 rising members of the next class,” Steve South, president of South College, said. “The South College administration, faculty and staff are very proud of the accomplishments of each student.”

The curriculum for the Physician Assistant Studies program is modeled on a medical school curriculum, with a combination of classroom learning and more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations. This profession has gained traction as health care leaders seek ways to make high-quality medical care more affordable, accessible and efficient.

At the commencement ceremony, graduates receive their Master of Health Science degree, qualifying them to take the national licensure exam through The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate levels.

2014-12 South College PA white coat ceremony

Matthew Sorsby, Whitney Terry Teresa Starke, Sarah Stasiewicz and Tim Vance are five of the 72 students who were honored in the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies program’s white coat ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 at the Tennessee Theatre. The ceremony was part of the program’s sixth commencement exercise. Photo submitted.