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Kentucky's first School of Chiropractic opens at CU

By Gerard Flanagan, CU news writer/photographer/social media

Campbellsville University has ushered in a new era of chiropractic education in Central Kentucky. The university held a ribbon cutting for its new School of Chiropractic at its Conover Education Center in Harrodsburg.

When the doors to the 45,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art educational facility in Harrodsburg open for students in January, the school will be the first in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and only the 20th nationally accredited, chiropractic doctoral program in the country. It will also be the only chiropractic school within a 300-mile radius and just the fourth affiliated with a regionally accredited liberal arts university.

Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said even though chiropractors treat an average of 35 million Americans each year, there are relatively few options for students interested in pursuing a chiropractic degree.

"With the nearest school about 300 miles away, the vision and opportunity for Campbellsville University to take a leadership role in educating the next generation of students of chiropractors became pretty clear for us," Hedgepath said.

Dr. Dennis Short, associate vice president for Chiropractic Education and dean of Chiropractic Operations, said the School of Chiropractic has been five years in the making.

"With your help, we will make this chiropractic college the best in the world," Short said. "We're not going to settle to be mediocre. What we do here today will have a ripple effect to all chiropractic students all over the nation and world to come here to Harrodsburg, Kentucky."

Short said the School of Chiropractic will innovate, not imitate, what other programs offer students.

"We will strive to have the best clinical curriculum, allowing our chiropractors to be better diagnosticians," Short said. "We have amazing technology, like chiropractic adjustment simulators, so our graduates will be superb chiropractic adjusters. And, our business curriculum is going to be the best business curriculum we can make, second to none, so our graduates can find more financial success when they leave this institution."

On top of that, Short said graduates from the School of Chiropractic will have one-third less student loan debt compared to other programs.

"This was no small feat, but we did it," he said.

Dr. H. Keith Spears, interim president for Campbellsville University, said the opening of the School of Chiropractic is a milestone for Campbellsville University.

"For more than a century, this institution has developed servant leaders...and when we put people in healthcare, that is true servant leadership," Spears said.

According to Spears, research shows graduates like to settle within 50 miles of the place from which they graduated.

"The University of Kentucky has grown Lexington by leaps and bounds," Spears said. "We anticipate graduates, they may come from out of state, but once they're introduced to this community and understand what a wonderful place Kentucky is to live and prosper, these graduates coming here will stay with us."

Spears said the School of Chiropractic will be Campbellsville University's first post-graduate doctoral program.

"This is the germination of that seed, and that seed will produce fruit, and that fruit is graduates," Spears said. "Right not, we're already thinking, 'What's our next professional school?' What else could we do? We have room to grow here. We are doing new pioneering work."

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, a Harrodsburg native, said the school was just the latest milestone for CU in her hometown, the state and the region.

"We thank Campbellsville University and Harrodsburg not just for investing in Kentucky but investing in rural Kentucky," Coleman, who also serves as a member of the Kentucky Board of Education and the state's Education and Workforce Development Council, said.

Coleman said the School of Chiropractic will give graduates a wide variety of skills to be successful in their careers.

"As a teacher, I certainly appreciate this program's commitment not just to the science of becoming a chiropractor but the other skills these graduates are going to need to be successful," she said. "Like the business classes, because most chiropractors own their own business, so being able to know how to do that in addition to their craft is going to make this an even more remarkable investment. These graduates are going to be able to hit the ground as soon as they graduate. This is the spirit of what makes Kentucky special."

Other distinguished guests from Frankfort included Robbin Taylor, State Director for U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell; Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron; State Auditor Mike Harmon; State Sen. Max Wise; State Rep. Kim King; and Rick Smith, the workforce development lead at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Harrodsburg Mayor Billy Whitenack and Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jill Cutler, as well as other local community and business leaders, also attended the event.

CU is now accepting applications for its first class of students at Students who begin classes in January will be on track to graduate in 2025.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is\

This story was posted on 2021-10-22 08:38:18
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