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WSCC Launches Associate's In 1 Program
February 21, 2014

Future doctors, pharmacists, dentists and other pre-professional health majors can complete two years of college in only one year through a new program at Walters State called Associate’s in 1. Students can complete an associate’s degree, the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, in a little over two semesters.

“This is one way we can better serve high-achieving students who want to pursue a career in one of the healthcare professions,” said Linda Roberts, assistant vice president for academic affairs.   

“We chose pre-health professionals as a starting point for this new program because these students have so many years of college ahead of them.”

The program’s first class will begin this fall and will be completed shortly after spring semester 2015. Classes will meet on the Morristown campus five days a week in a small classroom setting.

Walters State has strong relationships with state and regional health professional schools and the college’s students have high acceptance rates at colleges and universities such as East Tennessee State University, Campbell, Mercer and Samford schools of pharmacy.

Dr. Ashlee Poole Lynch graduated from Walters State in 2009 and was admitted that fall to Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University. By transferring directly to pharmacy school, she was a working pharmacist two years sooner than planned.

“With the cost of pharmacy school, this new program will save money as well as time,” said Lynch, who graduated in the top ten of her pharmacy school.

“Four people in my pharmacy class had completed the pre-requisites in two years and others regretted not having that opportunity. By the time you get to pharmacy school, you’re ready to get out and work,” Poole said.

Roberts said those enrolled in the program have an even larger financial incentive. In addition to saving on tuition by completing two years of college in one, most Associate’s in 1 students will likely attend free with Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarship, the last-dollar Tennessee Achieves Scholarship and other financial aid and scholarship funds. Students may also qualify for Walters State and other private scholarships.

The program will enroll around 20 students during its first year. Students applying should have a minimum math ACT score of 26 or be willing to take pre-calculus during the summer to prepare for the required math. The curriculum follows the Tennessee Transfer Pathway for Pre-Health Professions. 

The program is designed as a cohort, with the same group of students taking all their classes together. Classes will be organized in eight-week blocks: two in the fall, two in the spring and one in the summer. Instructors and students will utilize the latest technology for course delivery. Students will also benefit from a weekly meeting with an advisor or counselor. 

Students majoring in optometry, veterinary medicine, physician’s assistant, physical therapy and other medical-related fields may also benefit from the program.

For more information, contact Roberts at (423) 318-2336 or Linda.Roberts@ws.edu. Students are encouraged to contact Roberts prior to March 7 in order to have time to apply for all financial aid.    

In the picture: Dr. Ashlee Poole Lynch, left, reviews the humanities component of
Walters State’s Associate’s in 1 program with Carla Todaro, dean of humanities. Future health care professionals will save time and money with the program, which allows them to earn an associate degree in one year.

View the Associate's in 1 program now