ATU, Arkansas Colleges of Health Education sign pathway agreement

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 649 views 

Russellville-based Arkansas Tech University and Fort Smith-based Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) have signed an agreement that creates a “pathway” for ATU graduates to continue their studies at ACHE.

Interim ATU President Dr. Russell Jones and Kyle Parker, ACHE president and chief executive officer, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective institutions, according to a Tuesday (Nov. 21) press release from ATU.

The agreement applies to ACHE graduate programs in biomedicine, osteopathic medicine, physical therapy and occupational therapy. ATU graduates who meet grade point average and specified entrance examination minimums will be extended an interview for the ACHE program of their choice.

“Although this is not a guarantee of admission, it increases the likelihood of acceptance,” said Dr. John Jackson, dean of the ATU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. “The agreement will also provide greater cooperation between ATU and ACHE with campus visits and student networking opportunities.”

“This initiative is part of a larger ATU student pathways to medical degrees program that was funded through a grant from the Windgate Foundation,” said Jackson. “We created an advanced pre-health profession certificate in biology that will allow a student from any major to meet course entrance requirements and prepare for entrance examinations needed for advanced degrees in medical fields. We also modified the biology curriculum so that, regardless of option, the first three semesters of course work is the same. This allows greater flexibility for the students and time to decide their educational pathway, be it biomedical, biostatistics, environmental or ecology and evolution. These new opportunities will begin in fall 2024.”

ACHE was formed when Fort Smith-based Degen Foundation used part of $70 million from the sale of Sparks Health System in November 2009 to what was then Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates to build the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) at Chaffee Crossing. The $32.4 million college and its 103,000 square feet is now home to 600 medical students.

ACHE has since built a 66,000-square-foot College of Health Science building on the campus that is home to physical therapy and occupational therapy degree programs. The ACHE School of Physician Assistant Studies is under development.