South College Asheville Launches First Physician Assistant Program - TribPapers

South College Asheville Launches First Physician Assistant Program

The inaugural class of the South College Asheville Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies started on Jan. 23, 2023, with 84 students. Enrollment is open now for the next cohort, which starts in January 2024. Photo submitted.

Asheville – The South College Asheville Physician Assistant program officially launched on Jan. 23 with the first class of 84 students who are pursuing a Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

“We have eagerly anticipated welcoming the first group of students in the physician assistant program in Asheville,” South College Chancellor Steve South said. “Our team is committed to developing these students through our comprehensive student support system, course instruction, and clinical training to help communities through the addition of qualified health professionals.”

The South College Physician Assistant Program previously earned provisional accreditation status from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) for its master’s-level program in Physician Assistant Studies. This is the accreditation status initially awarded to new programs.

The Commission is the accrediting agency that protects the interests of the public and the physician assistant profession by defining standards for education and evaluating programs in the United States to ensure compliance.

2024 Cohort Now Accepting Enrollment

Enrollment is now open for the next cohort, which starts in January 2024. The program can be completed in as little as 27 months, with 15 months in didactic instruction followed by 12 months in supervised clinical practice experiences (SCPEs). 

About South College

Originally known as Knoxville Business College, founded in 1882, South College was acquired by Stephen A. South in 1989, obtained accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 2000, and changed its name to South College in 2002.

It is a private, for-profit college that currently offers more than 80 programs and concentrations in a variety of disciplines in the Schools of Business and Technology, Computer Science and Engineering, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant Studies, Legal Studies, Nursing, and Education. Health, & Therapy and Ministry programs are offered as well. Education is career-focused and offered through several channels, including on-campus, hybrid, and distance learning.

Asheville Campus

Set in the scenic mountains of western North Carolina, South College’s Asheville, NC campus, at 140 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803, has helped many students and professionals pursue success with high-demand academic programs.

Completed in 2012, the current facility combines a classic setting with modern detailing and ample parking. It houses all campus services and classes in one convenient location. The Asheville campus has state-of-the-art labs for general sciences & health professions programs, including Computer Lab, Science Lab, Physical Therapist Assistant Lab, Occupational Therapy Assistant Lab, Nursing Lab, Radiography Lab, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Lab, Surgical Technology Lab, Medical Assisting Lab, Resource Center with Private Study Rooms.
Accreditation and Financial Aid

South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the doctorate, educational specialist, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate levels, as well as certificates.

South College also has an extensive selection of financial aid options—from grants, scholarships, and loans to programs like work study, military support, and more. South College students who qualify for financial aid have access to a range of programs, as do members of the U.S. military, veterans, and their families. The institution offers both student and career services. For more information about South College Asheville, please call 828-398-2500 or visit