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UPIKE, WKU collaborate on health programs

Students will have access to courses at other school

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 29, 2014) — University of Pikeville and Western Kentucky University have partnered to make three health-related masters degree programs available to students in eastern Kentucky and provide access to WKU students in UPIKE’s College of Optometry.

The partnership will guarantee five slots for WKU students to enroll in the optometry program at UPIKE.
The partnership will guarantee five slots per year for WKU students to enroll in the optometry program at UPIKE.

“This is a unique collaboration between private and public institutions, and although geography separates us by a nearly 300-mile span from east to west across the commonwealth, technology and the willingness of both our institutions to meet the needs of Kentucky’s communities wherever they may be makes this partnership possible,” WKU President Gary A. Ransdell said.

WKU will offer a Speech-Language Pathology pathway program this fall that includes all of the pre-requisite courses students need to qualify for the master’s program in Communication Disorders, which will be available in fall 2015.

Both the SLP and master’s programs are fully online. The master’s program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.

The Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) will also be available by fall 2015. This online program is designed so that current UPIKE medical school students and those completing their residency program can complete both the MHA and their medical degree simultaneously. The program is a member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration

In fall 2016, WKU will offer the Master of Social Work at UPIKE, a web-based format. WKU’s MSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

UPIKE is also offering access to WKU students seeking careers in optometry.

“The University of Pikeville is developing a pre-optometry track and will offer five guaranteed admission slots per year to WKU undergraduate students who meet the program criteria and 15 guaranteed admission slots to UPIKE students,” UPIKE President James L. Hurley said. “This will be similar to our Osteopathic Medical Scholars Program, which provides guaranteed admission to the university’s Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. Like our medical school, the mission of the Kentucky College of Optometry will be focused on access and rural healthcare. As the only college of optometry in Kentucky and the 22nd school in the nation, our first ‘off-campus’ guaranteed admission program would provide opportunities for WKU students and address the need for optometrists in the western part of the state.”