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Updated: July 19, 2023

UNE teams with Pennsylvania school to open more doors for future doctors

University of New England Cheyney University students pose with UNE President James Herbert at Tuesday's signing ceremony.

The University of New England and the Cheyney University of Pennsylvania are joining forces to foster new pathways to medical education for qualified students. 

The partnership, formalized in an agreement signed Tuesday, will allow undergraduates of Cheyney, the fist of the nation's historically Black colleges and universities, to pursue a medical education at UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford. The agreement is part of Cheyney’s efforts to meet growing demand for the school's bioscience and technology majors. 

“Our partnership with the University of New England will provide another pathway for our students to enter medical careers,” said Cheney President Aaron A. Walton. “We have taken an innovative approach to building health career awareness, and we want our students to have continued engagement in the field of medicine beyond degree completion.”

For UNE, the partnership reflects efforts to encourage more students to pursue careers as physicians and meet health care workforce needs. The school has similar agreements with other institutions including Tufts University in Boston and the University of Vermont.

“As Maine’s only medical school, we feel a special responsibility to provide our aging state and region with a steady stream of primary care physicians as well as the full range of specialized doctors who can make equally important contributions to their fields and to the people who depend on them for care,” UNE President James Herbert said.

Supported by grant funding, a group of Cheyney students are spending three days touring UNE’s campuses in Biddeford and Portland and the surrounding communities.

UNE is home to Maine's only medical and dental colleges in addition to offering a variety of other health care degree programs. The university has more than 6,500 students, including 2,300 on-campus undergraduates, 1,600 on-campus graduate students and 2,600 online students. 

UNE was ranked No. 6 among Maine’s largest colleges and universities in the 2023 Mainebiz Book of Lists, based on full-time undergraduate enrollment as of fall 2022. 

Cheyney University, located in Cheyney, Pa., was founded in 1837 as the Institute for Colored Youth. The university offers 10 majors and six minors. According to the school's website, 706 students are enrolled.

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