Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Ioan G. Ionas


In 2009, a local physician assistant (PA) program lost accreditation due to decreased success in licensure pass rates on the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE). In response, the program's admissions committee required additional metrics for accepting quality candidates more likely to pass the licensure examination on the first attempt. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of these metrics, specifically the relationship between demographics, prerequisite admission requirements, and PANCE success. The theoretical framework and conceptual model shaping this study was Bordage's illumination and magnify framework and Swail's geometric model of student persistence and achievement. The purpose of this nonexperimental quantiative study was to investigate the relationhip between the demographic variables, preadmission requirements, and their relationship to predict first-time PANCE success. Using archival data, total sampling (N = 107) included all students who took the PANCE from 2012 to 2016. Binary logistic regression results showed that The Graduate Record Examination quantitative reasoning score was statistically significant (p < .01), and a poor predictor of success, secondary to not having a significant effect on the odds of observing PANCE success. The overall results did not provide admission predictors of student success on the first-time attempt to pass PANCE. The study has significance for social change in the area of admissions policy development that supports a nonbiased process for the identification and selection of quality PA candidates.