A new partnership between WKU and the University of Pikeville will offer new opportunities for students in eastern Kentucky to earn three master’s degrees in health-related fields. The deal announced Thursday will also open up Pikeville’s College of Optometry to WKU students
WKU President Gary Ransdell and UPIKE President James Hurley announced what they’re calling the “East Meets West” partnership. Speaking at the Pikeville campus, Dr. Ransdell said he began conversations with his Pikeville counterpart about a year ago over how the two schools could work together.
WKU will begin offering to UPIKE students this fall an online Speech-Language Pathology pathway program that includes all of the pre-requisite courses students needed to qualify for a master’s in Communication Disorders.
Also available to UPIKE students will be the WKU Master of Healthcare Administration degree, starting in the fall of 2015. The online program will allow current UPIKE medical students and those completing their residency program to finish both a master’s degree and their medical degree at the same time.
In the fall of 2016, WKU will offer the online Master of Social Work to UPIKE students.
Also under the deal, UPIKE will develop a pre-optometry track with five guaranteed admission slots per year to qualified WKU undergraduate students. Dr. Hurley says the mission of the Kentucky College of Optometry is focused on access and rural healthcare.
UPIKE has the state’s only college of optometry.
“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,” Dr. Ransdell said.