UIW and St. Edward’s University Reach Health-Changing Agreement

September 10, 2020

San Antonio – Sept. 10, 2020 – The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) and St. Edward’s University in Austin have entered into a series of memorandums of understanding that will eventually benefit the health and safety of residents throughout Central and South Texas. Under the agreements, UIW will offer guaranteed interview spots and seats in each cohort for qualified students from St. Edward’s University in UIW’s schools of Osteopathic Medicine, Pharmacy, Optometry and Physical Therapy.

“Healthcare is a founding cornerstone of the University of the Incarnate Word,” says UIW Provost Dr. Barbara Aranda-Naranjo, “The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word were called to action during a pandemic and serving the healthcare needs of our communities has been our calling ever since. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, health care workers are needed to serve in vulnerable population communities and this agreement between St. Edward’s and UIW will ensure their will be health care providers to work with these populations.”

“This formal partnership with University of Incarnate Word will give our Class of 2020 a direct pathway to UIW’s rigorous graduate degree programs,” said Andrew Prall, Provost of St. Edward’s University. “Looking forward, we hope this is the start of a long collaboration between UIW and St. Edward’s that will equip and prepare students to meet the state’s growing healthcare demands.”

Under the agreement, the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine will guarantee up to 10 interview slots and 2 seats for qualified students from St. Edward’s University. The Feik School of Pharmacy will guarantee interview slots for qualified students. The Rosenberg School of Optometry will guarantee up to 10 interview slots for qualified students. And the School of Physical Therapy will guarantee up to ten seats for qualified students.

“This partnership will not only enhance the pathways of St. Edwards students who want to become health care professionals but meet the need of increasing the health care workforce for Texas,” says Naranjo. “St. Edward’s continually produces quality students who have a clear understanding of mission. This agreement will pave the way for many of those students to fulfill their dreams of providing unparalleled healthcare service to their communities.”

“It takes a village to holistically develop students,” said Jason De La Rosa, director of Career and Professional Development at St. Edward’s and chair of the health professions advisory committee. “When students utilize pre-health services at St. Edward’s, the health professions programs at University of the Incarnate Word are a natural place to continue that trajectory of a commitment to one’s community, rooted in a mission of social justice.”

Nationally, employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 14 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 1.9 million new jobs, according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

UIW, the largest Catholic university in Texas, is preparing to graduate it’s first class from the School of Osteopathic Medicine in May 2021. The University has five health professions schools in all, including its historical Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions.

Video: Dr. Barbara Aranda-Naranjo, UIW Provost and Dr. Andrew Prall, St. Edward’s University Provost signing agreements of memorandum