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Ouachita and Arkansas Colleges of Health Education sign Affiliation Agreement


ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University recently signed an Affiliation Agreement with Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) in Fort Smith streamlining the admission process for Ouachita’s highest academic performers.


“We’re excited about the opportunity that the agreement with ACHE will provide for Ouachita students,” said Dr. Tim Knight, dean of Ouachita’s Patterson School of Natural Sciences. “This will affect a wide range of students seeking to become physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists and physician assistants. I’m confident we will send them the brightest and best prepared students in the region.”


While there is no guarantee of admission through the agreement, the admission process will be simplified for the ACHE Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Master of Science in Biomedicine programs, as well as forthcoming programs in occupational therapy and physical therapy. As additional programs are brought to the ACHE campus, they will have the opportunity to participate in the agreement as well.


“Qualified Ouachita students will enter the streamlined ACHE admission process at the interview phase,” said Dr. Ruth Plymale, Ouachita associate professor of biology and holder of the J.D. Patterson Chair of Biology. “Ouachita students and alumni are incredibly impressive in person, and we are thrilled that they will have the opportunity to showcase their abilities and interests through this accelerated application process.”


Approximately 25% of Ouachita’s 1,500 students are interested in science degree programs, and 65% are Arkansas residents.


“Both Ouachita and ACHE are committed to developing multi-dimensional future professionals, individuals who are academically skilled and passionate about serving others,” Plymale added.


ACHE President Brian Kim welcomed four Ouachita representatives to the ACHE campus for a tour, meeting of key ACHE stakeholders and the official signing of the agreement. The agreement was signed by Kim and Dr. Stan Poole, Ouachita’s vice president for academic affairs. In addition to Poole, Plymale and Knight participated in the visit, as well as Dr. Keldon Henley, Ouachita chief of staff and vice president for institutional advancement.


ACHE is a private, non-profit institution in Fort Smith, Ark. 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 a new 66,000 square foot facility that will be the home to physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant degree programs. ACHE is the first and only private institution in Arkansas that is dedicated solely to healthcare and wellness. Learn more about ACHA at www.acheedu.org.


Ouachita Baptist University, a private liberal arts university in Arkadelphia is in its 133rd year as a Christ-centered learning community. It is ranked the No. 1 “Best Value” college in Arkansas by Niche.com and the No. 2 “Regional College in the South” by U.S. News & World Report. Its seven academic schools include business, Christian studies, education, fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. For more information about Ouachita, visit obu.edu.