​UIW and OLLU reach historic agreement

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Catholic News Agency

UIW and OLLU reach historic agreement

The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) and Our Lady of The Lake University (OLLU) have entered into a series of memorandums of understanding (MOU) that will allow for students at each institution to have the opportunity to further their educations by attending the other in the areas of health professions and graduate studies.

Under the memorandums of understanding and as part of the UIW Health Professions Pathway, UIW will reserve 10 interview slots for qualified students from OLLU to have an opportunity to attend the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine, the Feik School of Pharmacy and the Rosenberg School of Optometry. In addition, UIW will reserve 10 spots in the School of Physical Therapy for qualified students from OLLU.

Mutually, OLLU will reserve 10 interview spots for qualified students from UIW in graduate-level programs in the areas of Psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Counseling, School Psychology and Social Work.

“This series of agreements reflects a shared commitment to developing creative partnerships which emphasize the academic strengths and programs of each of our institutions to mutually advance higher education opportunities for traditionally underserved populations,” says Dr. Thomas M. Evans, UIW president. “In the past year, we have learned first-hand that our frontline healthcare workers have been critical in the battle against this pandemic. More people are answering the call to serve their communities as healthcare providers in this ongoing struggle now and in the years to come. We welcome OLLU students to the University of the Incarnate Word’s health professional schools and are excited to help guide them on their journeys to serve our communities as knowledgeable and compassionate doctors, optometrists, physical therapists and pharmacists. In addition, UIW students will benefit from gaining access to these nationally recognized psychology and social work master’s degree programs available at OLLU and, as a result, become better caretakers of the mental health and well-being of their patients.”

“With a combined history of more than 250 years, UIW and OLLU exemplify all the good that Catholic higher education can bring to a community on the local, state and national level. We look forward to a lasting relationship with Our Lady of the Lake University,” added Dr. Evans.

“A mental health crisis is the silent pandemic impacting our communities that will stay with us long after the COVID vaccines are distributed. Counselors, psychologists, therapists and social workers will be essential to help people deal with the depression, anxiety and other challenges brought on by the pandemic,” said OLLU President Diane E. Melby, EdD. “This partnership will provide a pathway for UIW students into OLLU’s nationally recognized mental health and social work programs and will help grow the number of vital mental health providers and social workers in our communities.

“Likewise, OLLU students will benefit from a pathway into the UIW healthcare programs thus helping to meet the demand for essential healthcare professionals. Finally, we are excited to offer UIW students the opportunity to enter OLLU’s Woolfolk School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and grow the number of professionals in the speech pathology field,” Dr. Melby added.

UIW, founded in 1881, and OLLU, founded in 1895, share a long history as Catholic institutions working to serve the community and inspire the next generation of civic-minded leaders.

UIW was founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. It is the largest Catholic university in Texas. UIW programs constitute a liberal education that fosters a well-grounded intellectual resilience, a disposition toward lifelong learning, and an acceptance of responsibility for the ethical consequences of our ideas and actions. OLLU was founded by the Congregation of Divine Providence. It is a private, Catholic university with its main residential campus in San Antonio and additional campuses in Houston and the Rio Grande Valley that are designed for working adults and online programs that serve students across the United States.