GHC President Dr. Mike Hobbs, left, and UWG President Dr. Brendan Kelly, right

GHC Health Science Undergrads Have New Fast-Track to UWG Master’s in Integrative Health and Wellness

(Story written by Julie Linebeck, University of West Georgia

A new agreement between the University of West Georgia and Georgia Highlands College (GHC) will give health and wellness students an accelerated pathway to a master’s degree.

“University of West Georgia’s Master of Science in Integrative Health and Wellness degree is an approved training program with the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC),” Chrissy Knoll, Assistant Department Chair, Department of Sport Management, Wellness, and Physical Education for the College of Education at the University of West Georgia, said.

She continued, “Graduates from this program can qualify to apply for the NBHWC National Board Certification Exam and have the opportunity to earn the designation, National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC). NBC-HWCs are specifically trained in behavior change theories, motivational strategies, and health education and promotion theories. Many will work on healthcare teams alongside physicians and other allied health professionals as part of an integrative approach to client care. Other NBC-HWCs work in digital health, community-based programs, or entrepreneurial capacities.”

GHC students working toward a Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS) can now take advantage of the new program to earn a Master of Science in Integrative Health and Wellness (MSIHW) at UWG’s College of Education, which graduated its first cohort earlier this month. The GHC undergraduate, during their final semester at GHC, can now take graduate-level courses at UWG in lieu of GHC.

“We are proud to partner with Georgia Highlands College to create accelerated pathways that not only increase access to education but also deliver effective solutions that meet critical healthcare needs in our region,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, UWG president. “Having recently been named Campus of the Year by the Institute for Well-Being, this innovative partnership marks another significant step toward fostering healthier communities and empowering future healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to promote holistic well-being.”

GHC students who successfully complete all qualifying criteria – BSHS completion, UWG graduate application and acceptance, and an overall GPA of 3.0 – will be awarded automatic admittance into the MSIHW program. Specifically, the two MSIHW courses taken during the final undergraduate semester will count toward BSHS completion and will also count toward the UWG master’s degree upon graduation and admittance into the master’s program.

“Georgia Highlands College and the University of West Georgia continue to find paths that bring greater access to higher education and career opportunities for students across our region,” said Dr. Mike Hobbs, GHC president. “This newest articulation creates a clear route toward a graduate-level program for our bachelor’s students at GHC in health and wellness pathways. This partnership will also help address the rising need for more healthcare professionals across our region and the state.”

To learn more about the partnering institutions, visit their websites at and