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About Our College

Academic Complex

Creating an entirely new college within a university setting is a rare occurrence. In fact, in more than 107 years since WKU was founded, only six colleges have been formed. The newest of these being the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS), bringing together all of the health and human service programs at WKU under one administrative unit. 

The WKU School of Health and Human Services was created as an initial step in a process that would lead to establishing a full-fledged college and in recognition of the growing importance of health and human service-related educational programs in the overall mission of the university. The school proved to be a good stepping-stone, and the WKU Board of Regents approved the conversion from school to college in August 2002.



In its first ten years, CHHS has grown by 165 percent, reaching more than 5,300 students with more than 150 faculty members sharing their knowledge and expertise on a daily basis. Even though CHHS is the newest college at WKU, it has the distinction of being the largest. Three of the top ten undergraduate majors and five of the top ten graduate majors hail from CHHS. What makes CHHS attractive to so many students is the breadth and depth of the diverse disciplines within the college.

The college consists of seven academic units that represent  an array of disciplines, and offers degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degree levels. The college is also one of the participating institutions for the doctoral program in Rehabilitation Services offered through the University of Kentucky.



CHHS is focused on providing the highest possible quality of education and preparing students to become leaders in careers related to health and human services. From their very first year, students can choose to enroll directly in a specific career path or to enroll in an “exploratory” program where they explore the many career options available to them in health and human services. The faculty members are highly qualified in their respective disciplines and utilize innovative teaching strategies along with state of the art instructional technology, including Interactive Video Service, web enhanced and web based instruction. Many faculty members encourage students to assist them with research projects, some of which are local while others are outside the United States.

CHHS Ambassadors are exemplary students chosen to represent the college at university-sponsored events. Their primary role is to act as a representative body for the students and faculty of CHHS through personalized informational sessions. Activities include: guiding guest scholars and professionals around campus, giving tours to prospective students and their parents, and answering students’ questions during college and university-wide events. Being ambassadors allows them to network with faculty and professionals from various CHHS disciplines, to develop and apply leadership, communication, and decision-making skills, and to have fun while interacting with other students who have similar interest and goals.

Academic Units: Applied Human SciencesCommunication Sciences & DisordersThe School of Kinesiology, Recreation & SportThe School of Nursing and Allied HealthPhysical TherapyPublic Health, and Social Work.


CHHS By The Number


  • College of Health & Human Services is established as a college of WKU in August
  • Master of Social Work (MSW) program is established
  • Communication Disorders United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Cohort in New York City begins
  • Social Work becomes an independent department
  • John Bonaguro, Ph.D., is hired to be the first dean of CHHS
  • CHHS creates the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), an advising and technology center
  • American Humanics Program is initiated
  • BSW Program is taken to Elizabethtown
  • CHHS develops the first Living and Learning Community, partnering with Greenview Regional Hospital
  • The Center for Gerontology is established
  • Physical Education Teacher Education Program offers an on-line M.S. program
  • Nursing Administration tract is implemented
  • First cohort from New York in Communication Disorders (M.S.) graduates
  • First Master of Social Work (MSW) cohort graduates
  • Clinical Education Complex opens
  • Council on Social Work Education initially accredits M.S.W. Program
  • Health Science program is established in the Allied Health Department
  • Sport Management Program is created in the Department of Physical Education and Recreation Administration
  • Council on Social Work Education accredits M.S.W. Program
  • School of Nursing is created
  • WKU Recreation Administration Programs Celebrates 40 years of Educating Students
  • CHHS Receives Award for Highest Percentage Increase in External Grants
  • Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport name approved to replace Physical Education and Recreation
  • Accelerated Nurse Practitioner Program cohort is implemented
  • Graduate Certificate in Aging created in the Center for Gerontology
  • The BS in Health Sciences grows to over 50 students in the 2 years since its inception
  • Social Work earns the coveted 1st annual CHHS Penguin Award
  • The Department of Allied Health begins offering a Dental Assisting Program
  • The Physical Therapy Program is established at WKU
  • Groundbreaking near The Medical Center for new Health Sciences Complex
  • The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program admitted the first student cohort.
  • CHHS, the largest college at WKU, enrolls over 5,000 students, the first to do so.
  • Grand opening of the new Health Sciences Complex that houses the School of Nursing’s baccalaureate and graduate programs as well as the DPT program.



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 Last Modified 3/24/21