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USF news: New master's degree program in the works, parking and housing fees to increase



Calling all aspiring physician assistants:

A new master's degree program is in the works at the University of South Florida. The university's Board of Trustees voted Thursday to approve the implementation of a Masters of Physician Assistant Studies at the Morsani College of Medicine to launch in 2015, a 24-month clinical master's program with 90 credit hours. Although the program will be paid for by tuition, start-up costs are $1 million per year for the first four years, which USF Health officials say they will cover by using existing money and putting other projects on the back burner.

Currently, the University of Florida is the only state university offering a physician assistant program. The field is in high demand, said USF Health CEO Stephen Klasko, and many undergraduate students are interested. In the past, they were directed to train at schools like Barry or Nova Southeastern universities.

"We want to make sure that USF undergrads have a great shot at getting great, high-paying jobs," Klasko said.

Physician assistants work as a team with doctors, doing everything from diagnosing and treating illnesses to helping during surgeries to ordering tests, stitching and working with splints and casts.

Parking and campus living costs more:

The board also approved parking fee increases for the 2013-2014 academic year. Parking at the Tampa campus will increase by five percent on average. For staff earning $25,000 or less, the increase will be two percent. Park-n-Ride fees will not increase. Revenue from the increases will help pay for a new parking garage on campus. Parking rates will also increase an average of five percent at USF St. Petersburg and 7.5 to 10 percent at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

Housing fees will climb, too, an average of 3.1 percent on the Tampa campus, accounting for everything from a 16 percent increase at the Maple double suites to a two percent decrease at the Holly and Magnolia apartments. On-campus housing rates will increase by two percent at USF St. Petersburg -- for example, students living in a four-person private suite will pay $7,844 per person for two semesters in the coming school year, an increase of $154. Meanwhile, at the nearby Hilton hotel where some students stay, housing fees are dropping by $1,654.50 for two semesters.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:06pm]


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