Office of the President

The Office of the President operates the chief administrative functions of the College.

Welcome to Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences!

When I first came to this institution in 1997, it was to serve as the Dean of Nursing for one of a small collection of programs that made up the Lancaster Institute for Health Education. In the blink of an eye, I was serving as the President of an institution that had evolved more than I ever imagined.

Throughout my 20 years as President, I’ve watched this institution grow from a collection of buildings spread throughout downtown Lancaster to a state-of-the-art centralized campus with all our programs and services under one roof. We became accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in record time, and literally helped write the book on fast-tracking the accreditation process. Our name changed three times, finally settling on Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences in 2014. We’ve transformed from a school that granted diplomas to a College that confers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. And our enrollment has grown from a few hundred students to nearly 2,000, capturing learners across a wide range of demographics.

All of this growth and change has positioned the College for excellence as we face the coming years and decades. With the best people and facility at our fingertips, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences represents the pinnacle of health care education. Whether a potential student, proud alumni, partner in education or member of our community, I hope your visit to our website is the next step in a lifelong relationship with PA College.


Mary Grace Simcox Signature
Dr. Mary Grace Simcox, EdD, RN

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Reaccreditation Process

In 2011, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences was reaccredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) for 10 years – the longest possible reaccreditation period. We are diligently preparing for our next reaccreditation. PA College voluntarily participates in accreditation as an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to educating for excellence in health care practice, leadership and the continuous acquisition of knowledge.

The reaccreditation process begins with a Self-Study prepared by the institution that deeply examines its mission and goals; ethics and integrity; design and delivery of student learning experiences; support of the student experience; educational effectiveness assessment; and planning, resources and institutional improvement. Following the self-study, individuals from similar institutions visit for several days and conduct interviews with students, employees and leaders. They also thoroughly examine records and documents in every part of the institution. Following the site visit, officials at MSCHE make a recommendation on the institution’s accreditation status.

PA College has been working on our Self-Study for more than a year, bringing together individuals from across the College Community. Our first draft to the MSCHE Vice President and our Site Visit Chair will be ready in early Fall 2020, and we will continue to make revisions based on their recommendations throughout the fall. The final Self-Study will be sent to MSCHE in early 2021, and the site visit will take place during the Spring 2021 semester. We hope to receive our reaccreditation by May 2021.

We look forward to sharing updates as we move through the process!

About Our President

President Simcox first joined PA College in 1997 as the Dean of Nursing, when the College was known as the Lancaster Institute for Health Education (LIHE), and became the President of the institution one year later. Throughout her tenure, she led the institution through enormous periods of growth and change, including transitioning LIHE into an accredited degree-granting college; overseeing two name changes; adding bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees; and building a new campus on Greenfield Road.

President Simcox’s career in health care began in 1972, when she graduated with her Associate Degree in Nursing from Gwynedd-Mercy College. She worked as a nurse for several years on first the Medical-Surgical Floor and then the Intensive Care Unit of Roxborough Memorial Hospital before accepting a teaching position with the Roxborough School of Nursing in 1979. She became Director of the School in 1985 and remained in that position until she joined PA College.

President Simcox holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Gwynedd Mercy College, a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in education from Widener University. She serves as a member of the Association of Health Sciences Education Consortium, the PA College/Lancaster EMS Consortium, the Working Group for the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Local College Presidents and the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities Presidents, and is on the Healthcare Advisory Council of the Milton S. Hershey School. She has served as the Chair of the Lancaster County Career & Technology’s Licensed Practical Nursing Advisory Board, President of the National Association of Nursing Educators (NANE) and as a member of the Academic Affairs Committee for the Board of Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.

To learn more about President Simcox’s legacy, check out the Summer 2017 issue of the PA College magazine!