University gains new Baylor partnership, expands pre-health pathways



Kenny Phipps

Pre-health students at St. Edward’s have gained a significant advantage in applying to nursing school due to a new partnership with the University of Baylor.

The university recently reached an agreement with Baylor’s Louis Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas to guarantee five spots each year to SEU students who apply for their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Despite there only being five guaranteed spots, all students who are interested are able to apply. The Louis Herrington school has an average 75 percent rate of job placement by the time of graduation, according to the university’s website.

“This is a really great opportunity for students who are interested in nursing, or even think they might be interested in nursing,” said Jason De La Rosa, Associate Director of Pre-Health Professions.

“A student can graduate here in four years with any major they choose” and still go on to the nursing program as long as they satisfy the 62 credit hours required by Baylor, according to De La Rosa.

The partnership offers an accelerated BSN program, which means after five years (four at St. Edward’s, one at Baylor) the students will have two Bachelor’s degrees: one in whatever field they choose and a BSN.

Despite declining enrollment and retention rates, interest in nursing and other pre-health tracks is at the highest it has been in recent years, said De La Rosa.

The partnership will “enhance” the current pre-nursing track because it will give students the opportunity to “pursue nursing in a more seamless way.”

“In the past, we’ve seen students who” expressed interest in nursing, “but we didn’t necessarily have a place for them to go,” said De La Rosa.

There is no official major for nursing or pre-health program that is currently offered by St. Edward’s. Instead, students complete undergraduate degrees of their choice (usually a BS in Biology) along with the prerequisite courses for the programs they seek to join.

The university will host an information session with officials from Baylor on Nov. 2 at 5:30 p.m. in John Brooks Williams South 268.

The partnership is the second of its nature; a similar partnership already exists with the Notre Dame of Maryland School of Pharmacy, with students receiving preferred interviews. More partnerships for pre-health programs are in the works as well, according to De La Rosa.

“We are certainly looking for other opportunities to expand and get more partnerships for our students,” said De La Rosa.

The information about the Baylor partnership is not currently available online. De La Rosa said he is working on changing the website to reflect current and hopeful partnerships with other schools in order to better inform students about pre-health tracks and opportunities. He also encourages students interested in pre-health tracks to visit his office, and his walk-in hours every Wednesday from 2:30 to 5 p.m..

Other pre-health tracks offered by the university include pre-dental and pre-medical. The office of Pre-Health professions has only existed since May 2015.