North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences will soon be home to a new physician assistant studies master’s degree program, after the university’s proposal was approved by University of North Carolina System Board of Governors.
Market demand is significant: Employment for physician assistants is projected to grow by 28 percent from 2021 to 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also projects about 12,800 job openings each year over the same span.
Nationwide, African Americans are 7.4 percent of all physician assistants. In North Carolina, where Blacks make up 22 percent of the state’s population, African Americans are just 4.5 percent of all physician assistants.
“We have put significant time, effort, and resources into the development of this important medical program, and I am delighted that the work has earned full approval of the Board of Governors,” said Harold L. Martin Sr., chancellor of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. “This program represents a major opportunity for our Hairston College – already the largest of our colleges – to make a significant impact on the health care profession in the Piedmont Triad and across North Carolina.”