Governor’s Health Sciences Academy Partnership Recognized

The partnership between ACPS and The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences has been recognized by the Virginia Department of Education as an example of exemplary business partnerships in education.

The school division partnered with the higher education institution to launch The Governor’s Health Sciences Academy at T.C. Williams High School last summer. The Academy met the benchmarks to become a Governor’s Academy through the Virginia Department of Education much sooner than anticipated and is the first public-private partnership of its kind in Virginia.

The Academy, which will eventually serve up to 400 students, enables students to earn up to 18 college credits from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences before they graduate. The program is aligned with workforce needs in the health care industry in Virginia and can significantly reduce the time and money needed to graduate from college.

This week, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences was selected as the Region 4 winner of the Creating Excellence Business and Industry Partner Award that recognizes exemplary programs and partnerships that promote excellence in career and technical education.

The first cohort of 100 students is already almost through their first year of the program. Students in the program can choose from seven in-demand career pathways: biomedical informatics, emergency medical services, medical laboratory sciences, nursing, pharmacy, sports medicine and surgical technology. Following graduation, students can move into entry-level health careers; matriculate into a community college and attain an associate’s degree; transfer to the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences through a guaranteed admissions agreement with college credits toward earning a bachelor’s degree; enter a bachelor-completion program at GW in partnership with select community colleges in Virginia and Maryland; or transfer credits to other four-year universities.

The Academy puts ACPS students who may not be able to afford the full four years of college a few steps ahead, enabling them to graduate at the same credit level as college freshmen and sophomores.

The goal of the partnership is to create a robust pipeline of students on a pathway to address the health care workforce shortage in Virginia. According to the Virginia Labor Market Information projections, health care practitioners and technical occupations will increase by more than 18% by 2024, while regional workforce data shows an expected 30% growth by 2020. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an 18 percent growth in health care careers through 2026, resulting in 2.3 million new jobs in the United States. Through this program, our students will be equipped with the necessary background education and training to address these workforce needs.

It is clear that this region is a hub for innovation, problem solving, and addressing society’s most complex issues. Today, with the start of this important and first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, we are beginning the process of tackling a health care workforce challenge,” GW President Thomas LeBlanc told students at the official launch of the Academy.

Learn more about the Governor’s Health Sciences Academy at T.C. Williams High School and the partnership between ACPS and the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

ACPS, Alexandria City High School, Awards, Minnie Howard