Overview Video

The USC PA Pathways Program (formerly known as the USC PA Pipeline Program) aims to provide equity, diversity, and inclusion to youth who identify as black, Latino/a, LGTBQ+, indigenous, first-generation students and those educationally and economically disadvantaged by providing services and resources to support their educational development and personal career paths. Exposing participants to an array of health careers. Students from the Primary Care PA Program at USC, support and mentor through the USC PA Pathways Program with an emphasis on equity-based health care in their own education and practice.

USC PA Pathways flyer thumbnail.
Click to download the USC PA Pathways flyer.

Our program was established in 2014 under the guidance of Maria G. Maldonado, MPH, MPAP, PAC-C, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, USC PA Pipeline Recruitment Director, and National Health Service Corps Mentor. Under her leadership,

students from the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program at the Keck School of Medicine of USC volunteer their time to lead the USC PA Pathways Program. USC PA Pathways is comprised of four branches that focus on educational sessions for students and parents. These sessions include expert panels and workshops that highlight the diversity of careers in the medical field.

Application cycle
April 1 – May 15

Acceptance emails sent
Week of June 1

Program starts
July 27, 2024

Program ends
May 17, 2025


General Participation Forms

All participating students are asked to complete registration forms in order to participate in USC PA Pathways. You can either email them to uscpapipeline@usc.edu or bring them on the day of the event.

Participants under 18 years of age must have a parent/guardian sign their forms. For participants 18 years of age and older, please sign on your behalf. Please complete the Participation Form and an Image Release form in either English or Spanish.

More Information About Branches

  • The K-16 branch strives to inspire and guide students from kindergarten to college to attain their future careers by exposing them to opportunities and resources in the healthcare field. PA students along with health professionals speak to students about their career pathway, how to connect with resources about their profession, and how they overcame barriers to achieve their career goals. Following the health professionals’ presentations, students attend workshops where they practice clinical skills and learn more about careers in an interactive manner. Workshop topics include anatomy, physiology, nutrition, first-aid, bystander CPR, dental exams and more.

    Past K-16 events have focused on careers in the following areas:

    • Physician Assistant Studies
    • Pharmacy
    • Physical Therapy
    • Mental/Behavioral Health
    • Medical Assistance
    • Emergency Medical Services
    • Nursing
    • Public Health
    • Optometry
    • Primary Care
    • Dentistry
    • Occupational Therapy
  • The programs LeAD (LEadership & Academic Development) and CReW (College REadiness Workshops) are designed to provide elementary, middle and high school students with the appropriate tools to achieve their educational and career goals. With the support from PA students, faculty, and professional tutors they will be provided with educational instruction, mentorship, resources, leadership development, and life skills to help them navigate through academic challenges, in order to thrive in any academic setting. The goal of LeAD and CReW is to prepare each student to be well-equipped for success throughout their academic and professional aspirations.


  • The Workforce Prep branch aims to introduce 12th graders and 18+ to healthcare practice, etiquette, and educational subjects that are prerequisites to most healthcare careers. Exposing them to the history of healthcare, anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, clinical skills, and pathophysiology of common medical conditions. This branch focuses on exploring technical careers and different pathways to reach graduate programs in a fiscally responsible way within the medical field.

    Participants will be prepared to enter the medical field and facilitate various programs they can enroll in to advance their potential. As part of this experience, they will be able to work alongside healthcare professionals to put into practice what they have learned.


  • The Family Engagement Program bridges the gap between parents, schools, and the community by providing resources and having conversations about families’ needs. The ultimate goal is to increase student achievement in an inclusive environment by supporting families with learning opportunities and help becoming more involved in their children’s educational success.

    Participants attend ten monthly sessions and engage with the Family Engagement team and guest speakers. Identified topics have been selected by the participants and are tailored to meet their needs.​

    El programa de participación familiar de la USC reúne padres, escuelas y la comunidad por proporcionando recursos y teniendo conversaciones sobre las necesidades de las familias. El objetivo final es aumentar el éxito de los estudiantes en un ambiente inclusivo mediante apoyando a las familias con oportunidades de aprendizaje y ayudando involucrarse más en el éxito educativo de sus hijos.

    ​Los participantes asisten diez sesiones mensuales y se conect con el Equipo de participación familiar y oradores invitados. Temas identificados han sido seleccionados por los participantes y están diseñados para cumplir sus metas.

  • Our USC PA Pathways Program has officially opened our Pre-PA Branch Applications for this school year. If you identify as first generation, economically/educationally disadvantaged, Black/African American, Latino/a, Indigenous, or LGBTQ, pursuing the PA Profession, we welcome you to apply for our Pre-PA Branch.

    Our Pre-PA Branch focuses on enhancing and maintaining the diversity of the PA applicant pool to prepare students from diverse backgrounds to practice medicine and provide service to the medically underserved. We strive to guide and support participants throughout their application process to facilitate acceptance into ANY accredited PA program. Below are some topics that will be discussed during the program.

    • Application Process
    • Scholarships and Grants
    • Resume Review
    • Mock Interviews
    • Clinical and Volunteer Opportunities