Published on talkbusiness.net on February 10, 202
Written by Tina Alvey Dale

The Arkansas Colleges for Health Education (ACHE) and Ouachita Baptist University signed an affiliation agreement Monday (Feb. 10) that will help students navigate the complex world of medical school admissions.

The Affiliation Agreement will streamline the admission process for Ouachita’s highest academic achievers who are interested in pursuing a degree at ACHE. While there is no guarantee of admission, the admission process will be simplified, a media release on the agreement said. The streamlined process will help students with questions about when to apply, what they need to have completed prior to applying and on how the entire process works, said Dr. Rance McClain, dean of Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM).

“This will help us set out a clear set of metrics for students of if you have completed this at this level, then apply at this time. It helps students get in for early interviews, which is really what you want when applying for medical schools,” McClain said.

Along with the ACHE doctor of osteopathic medicine program, the agreement is recognized for the master’s in biomedicine program and the developing programs for occupational therapy and physical therapy. As additional programs are brought to the ACHE campus, they will have the opportunity to participate in the agreement, the release said.

“We welcome this relationship with Ouachita Baptist University, and look forward to this mutually beneficial relationship,” said CHE President Brian Kim. “We see this as a win for Arkansas as we continue to educate and train students in Arkansas to help fill the health care void this state is experiencing.”

ACHE will roll out similar agreements with several other universities in the region in the near future, McClain said. OBU was the first.

“We are doing everything we can to recruit the best and brightest students from our area. We know that if they are from this area, graduate from this area and receive their training and medical school in this area, almost assuredly they will practice in this area. And that is what we are trying to do, fill the need for physicians in this Arkansas/Oklahoma region,” McClain said.

Dr. Tim Knight, dean of the Patterson School of Natural Sciences at Ouachita, said the affiliation agreement would affect a wide range of students seeking to become physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists and physician assistants.

Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) is a private, non-profit institution located on 350 acres at Chaffee Crossing.  ACHE’s first college, the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) welcomed its inaugural class of 150 osteopathic medical students in August 2017.  Construction is now complete on the new 66,000 square foot facility that will be the home to Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physician Assistant degree programs.

Ouachita Baptist University is a private, non-profit undergraduate institution in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Of the university’s 1,500 total students, approximately 26% are interested in science degree programs and 65% are Arkansas residents.