College of Health and Human Services

Dr. Neale Chumbler, Dean
Academic Complex 208
(270) 745-2425


To be recognized nationally as a college that offers exemplary programs in Health and Human Services.


The College provides diverse educational opportunities leading to excellence in Health and Human Services for a global community.

Established by the Board of Regents in August 2002, the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) brings together the health and human services programs under one administration unit. One of our strengths is the breadth and depth of the diverse disciplines within the College. The College consists of eight academic units that represent an array of disciplines, and offers degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree levels.  Academic units include Allied Health; Applied Human Sciences; Communication Sciences and Disorders; Nursing; Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport; Physical Therapy; Public Health; and Social Work.  The College oversees the CHHS Academic Center for Excellence, the Institute for Rural Health, and the South Central Kentucky Area Health Education Center.  The College is also one of the participating institutions for the doctoral program in Rehabilitation Sciences offered through the University of Kentucky. The focus of CHHS is to provide the highest possible quality of education to prepare our students to become leaders in careers related to health and human services.  Faculty are highly qualified in their respective disciplines and utilize innovative teaching strategies along with state of the art instructional technology, including IVS, web-enhanced and web-based instruction.

The disciplines in the college have their roots in outreach to the community. Disciplines in CHHS prepare students for their professions by engaging them in activities within the community that apply the theories and concepts discussed in the classroom for a more comprehensive understanding of the issues, while providing a valuable service to the communities in which we reside. To fulfill degree requirements for most programs, students are required to complete clinical experiences, field work, or internships through one of the many affiliation agreements at a myriad of health and human services facilities, agencies and organizations. Two nationally recognized mobile health and wellness units provide opportunities for students to apply skills learned in the classroom in the provision of prevention services to residents in our region.

Due to the nature of these experiences, students are required to meet various departmental or school academic requirements and federal and/or state mandates. Departments and schools may require the successful completion of specific courses or maintaining a certain GPA in order to be placed in clinical or internship experiences. Some students may be required to undergo criminal background checks and drug testing and to provide proof of health insurance, liability insurance, and/or immunization records prior to participating in any required experiences at selected on or off-campus facilities/agencies. Additionally, there may be certifications, training seminars, or other requirements specified by the facility/agency or program that a student must meet in order to be eligible for field or practical experiences at a facility. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all institutional and/or facility requirements are met as a condition of participating in the on or off-campus experiences; students may be responsible in part or in full for any costs incurred to meet such requirements. Students are also responsible for transportation to and from off-campus experiences. In some CHHS programs, the students are responsible for rental fees for clinical instruments and supplies, purchasing uniforms, equipment, and possible course and program fees above the regular tuition. At the completion of the program, students may also be responsible for fees related to national, regional, and/or state licensing exams.

CHHS is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the community through education, service, collaboration, leadership, and scholarship. This is accomplished in the various centers and programs in the college that provide for a vibrant and relevant university experience.

CHHS Student Resources

Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)
Academic Complex 110
(270) 745-2338

The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) is the student success center for the College of Health and Human Service. The mission of ACE is to provide resources to students in the College of Health and Human Services that will help them attain their educational, career, and life goals.  This mission is fulfilled through a comprehensive array of programs and services to support academic success among the CHHS students. The Center provides academic advising, assistance with degree program completion and career exploration/planning for undergraduate programs. It also houses a computer lab and work study space for our students. 

Institute for Rural Health (IRH)
Academic Complex 201
(270) 745-6948

The purpose of the WKU College of Health and Human Services' Institute for Rural Health is to identify rural health and human service needs and facilitate collaborative arrangements engaging WKU students and faculty with community agencies in addressing these needs. The Institute works closely with the departments and schools within the College of Health and Human Services. Resources include the WKU College of Health and Human Services' Mobile Health and Wellness Unit and the Mobile Dental Health Unit. The Institute plays a major role in assisting CHHS in maintaining the focus of student engagement and community service, while promoting collaborative research.

The mission of the IRH is to steward a high quality of life for rural populations and underserved areas: by engaging students and faculty in service learning and research; by providing clinical services; and by serving as a global resource for improving health in rural communities. Students and faculty within the College of Health and Human Services provide the services which include oral exams, dental cleanings, dental sealants, fluoride varnishes, preventive health screenings, immunizations, and health education/promotion. The target area to provide these services is the ten-county Barren River District Development area.

South Central Kentucky Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
Academic Complex 405
(270) 745-3325

Connecting Students to Careers - Professionals to Communities - Communities to Better Health

The mission of the Kentucky AHEC is to promote healthy communities through innovative educational partnerships.  This is accomplished by providing the following:

  • educational support services to health professions, students, and health care providers;
  • community health education; and
  • programs that encourage health professions as a career choice.

The South Central AHEC is affiliated with the University of Louisville, School of Medicine in cooperation with WKU's College of Health and Human Services. AHEC programs of particular interest to WKU students include the following:

  • Opportunities to enhance their cross-cultural communication skills with two unique populations - an Old Order Mennonite community and a large Hispanic community;
  •  Interprofessional Test Prep - is a 12-week preparation program for students planning to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Dental Admission Test (DAT), Optometry Admission Test (OAT) or the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). This program is offered every spring for WKU students;
  • Mock Interviews and personal statement reviews are offered to any student applying for admission to a professional school in which an interview is required, such as, schools of medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, pharmacy, etc.;
  • Student internships are available through the South Central AHEC;
  • Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreter Training Program is a 40 hour curriculum offered several times a year and prepares students to provide medical interpreting services.
  • WKU-AHEC Student Rural Health Association (SRHA) – this student organization provides students with an opportunity to develop leadership skills, team building skills, research interests, and interdisciplinary student projects. Since rural health encompasses many areas this student organization is open to all students, both clinical and non-clinical, who have an interest in rural health.