News » ACPS/GW Health Sciences Program Gets Endorsement as Governor’s Academy

ACPS/GW Health Sciences Program Gets Endorsement as Governor’s Academy

ACPS and The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences partner to create pipeline for health care workforce in VA

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The newly established Health Sciences Academy at T.C. Williams High School has been endorsed by the state as a fully-fledged Governor’s Academy for the 2018-19 school year.

The state said the program, established last August through a partnership between Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences, had met all the requirements to be named a Governor’s Health Science Academy ahead of schedule.

To be named a Governor’s Academy, the Health Sciences career and technical education program at T.C. Williams had to meet the goals of maximizing opportunities in preparing students for targeted careers, raise student aspirations, attract more students to postsecondary education in preparation for technical careers, and meet the workforce needs of existing business and industry.

“To see this program recognized as a Governor’s Academy ahead of schedule is a fantastic achievement and one we should all be proud of. This is the perfect example of how a public-private partnership can work to serve our young people in ACPS and fulfill the workforce needs of Northern Virginia,” said ACPS Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

The Virginia Labor Market Information projects health care practitioners and technical occupations will increase by 18.42 percent by 2024, while regional workforce data shows an expected 30 percent growth by 2020 with a current shortage of 2,800 workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 18 percent growth in health care careers through 2026, resulting in 2.3 million new jobs in the United States. The partnership between ACPS and GW creates a Career and Technical Education pathway for students interested in careers in medicine and health care, addresses the workforce shortage in Virginia and across the globe, and develops a qualified health care workforce for the future.

"I am excited that the Virginia Department of Education acknowledged our initiative in this way - the GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences is proud to partner with ACPS and the Northern Virginia community to build a robust student pipeline and diverse healthcare workforce to serve our region," said Reamer L. Bushardt, PharmD, PA-C, DFAAPA, Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences and Professor, Department of PA Studies at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Through the pathways created by the partnership, T.C. Williams students can begin earning college credits in their first year of the program, which could be as early as ninth grade. For some, this will significantly reduce the amount of time and money needed to graduate from college and will create various career options upon graduation. The partnership is designed to provide the necessary background education and training for students to choose from the following career paths:

  • attain employment immediately after graduation into an entry level medical role in the workforce,
  • matriculate into Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to attain an associate’s degree, or
  • transfer into The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, through a guaranteed admissions agreement, with college credits towards earning a bachelor’s degree. Under the partnership, students who opt to complete their health sciences degree at The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences will also be eligible for scholarships.

The program, which will see the establishment of five new Career and Technical Education pathways, will begin to be rolled out in the fall for students in grade 9 through 12 at T.C. Williams. It will start with the launch of a biomedical informatics pathway in fall 2018, followed by four additional pathways that will launch over the next four years: sports medicine, pharmacy, emergency medical services and medical laboratory sciences. GW faculty will work collaboratively with faculty from T.C. Williams to broaden and enrich the offerings for the students.

For more information about the ACPS/GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences Partnership, visit www.acps.k12.va.us/CTE.