Delaware Valley University Launches Physician Assistant Exploration Academy for High School Students; Scholarships Available Courtesy of nccPA Health Foundation Grant

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Physician Assistant program
Students from DelVal's Physician Assistant Program

The Delaware Valley University Physician Assistant (PA) program will partner with Inspire U! to host a PA Exploration Academy for aspiring high school students. The program, slated for July 2024, has been approved for a grant to offer five qualified participants scholarships that will cover the cost of tuition.

The grant is made possible by the nccPA Health Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit and a supporting organization to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), the only national certifying body for more than 168,000 PAs in the US.

Faculty members from DelVal’s PA program have collaborated with the DelVal InspireU! teen summer programs to offer the inaugural PA Exploration Academy. During this week-long summer academy, participants will learn about allied health occupations and career pathways with a focus on the PA profession. Participants will gain exposure to clinical skills via simulators, tour a local hospital, work through patient case studies, and attend didactic presentations related to the PA profession, with a goal of encouraging these high school students to further consider pursuing the PA profession.

“We were so pleased to receive this grant from the nccPA Health Foundation that will help us to invite a diverse group of high school students to explore the PA profession at this teen program,” said Jami S. Smith, MPA, MEd, PA-C, Director of Didactic Education for Delval’s PA Program. “Our PA program faculty and currents students are excited to provide hands-on opportunities for learning more about medicine, the PA profession and having some fun this summer.”

The mission of the DelVal PA Program is to teach students to learn to meet the diverse needs of society and communities as a multi-culturally competent healthcare professional.  The authors of this grant application have recruited and enrolled a diverse population of PA students in the DelVal PA Program and believe that the development of PA students from underrepresented communities begins during the formative high school years.  This grant aligns with DelVal’s program mission and personal commitment to increasing the diversity of the PA profession.

The PA Exploration Academy will take place on DelVal’s campus the week of July 22nd-26th, 2024 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To learn more about Delaware Valley’s summer program offerings and to apply for grant and scholarship opportunities, please visit


About nccPA

The nccPA Health Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit and a supporting organization to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), the only national certifying body for more than 168,000 PAs in the US. The Health Foundation seeks to advance the role of Certified PAs to improve health through grants and other programs that address mental and behavioral health, oral health, professional practice, health disparities, DEI, and equitable care. The Health Foundation’s values are to benefit patients, promote the PA profession, foster partnerships, support equitable care, and use research and education for informed decision-making.

About Delaware Valley University

Delaware Valley University is a private, comprehensive, nonprofit university educating students with a curriculum that emphasizes and requires experiential learning. Located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, the University offers 28 undergraduate majors in business, arts and sciences, and agricultural and environmental sciences; 11 master's degrees; and a doctorate in education. Founded in 1896, DelVal has been cited by the National Society for Experiential Education as having the country's top experiential learning program, by Princeton Review as one of the best colleges in the Northeast, and by College Factual as having one of the top 20 animal science programs in the country.