Program Directors

As a program director, you work hard to ensure that your faculty and staff have the resources they need to provide a high-quality education for your students. From faculty development opportunities, to networking, to needed products and services — PAEA is your one-stop-shop for helpful resources. All faculty and staff at member programs have access to the benefits of membership.

Developing Yourself and Your Faculty and Staff

PAEA offers professional development opportunities to ensure that you and your faculty continue to grow and thrive.

These opportunities include CME-eligible workshops throughout the year. Offerings vary slightly, but from leadership, to clinical coordination, to technology in the classroom, there’s always something for everyone — no matter their role or interests.

Learning from your colleagues and sharing your own expertise is a key part of professional development, and the annual Education Forum provides that opportunity each year. PA educators from across the country come together to network, share opportunities, and learn from each other.

The Leadership Lab is PAEA’s newest professional development offering, focused on connecting PA educators through leadership. Based on The Leadership Challenge® model and the award-winning book by the same name, this workshop was created to explore innovation in leadership at both the personal and institutional level. Dates for the next Leadership Lab will be announced soon.

PAEA also offers volunteer leadership opportunities, which give our members a chance to get involved at a national level. In addition to internal opportunities, PAEA routinely nominates members for leadership roles in AAPA, ARC-PA, and NCCPA, as well as federal positions like the National Advisory Council on the National Health Service Corps and the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The PAEA Member Community consists of the Digital Learning Hub (DLH) and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs):

  • The DLH is an extensive ecosystem of professional development and instructional resources, essential tools for the classroom, and a valuable network of PA educators across a variety of topics including e-learning, remote working, anti-racism, leadership, grant writing, and so many more.
  • PLCs are digital communities of practice — for example, Program Directors, Admissions, or Minority Faculty Leadership — where you can find your people, network, and discuss what’s on your mind.

The Core Competencies for New PA Graduates are available to help faculty identify what PA graduates should demonstrate by the end of their formal PA education. The Physician Assistant Educator Competencies were created to articulate the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes that are essential to the practice of teaching and other aspects of an academic career, respectively. These two sets of competencies can help build your program’s roadmap to excellence.

PAEA offers a fellowship and several grants annually to fund new and seasoned faculty researchers who seek to increase the body of scholarly work related to PAs and PA education and present their work at scientific conferences.

We also publish the Journal of Physician Assistant Education, which is dedicated to advancing PA education by publishing ethically produced, scholarly manuscripts germane to PA educators and by providing a forum to share ideas and innovations that will enhance the education of PA students. All members have access to JPAE via the membership portal (click on the JPAE link on the top menu under “More”).

PAEA advocates at the state and national level for issues related to PA education and the profession, such as the clinical site shortage, the national provider shortage, and student loan debt forgiveness. Our Grassroots Action Network is a comprehensive resource for advocates seeking to learn about emerging issues, contact elected officials, and take action to advance the mission of PA education.

Requirements of Membership for PDs 

Program directors are required to update their program’s faculty and staff roster in the Member Community, — or to designate someone from your program to do so. You are also responsible for ensuring that your program’s membership dues are paid each year. Additionally, program directors of Voting Member programs are encouraged to cast their program’s votes for Board of Directors candidates and motions during the annual Business Meeting or to identify a delegate to do so on your behalf.