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Governor's Health Sciences Academy at Alexandria City High School

The Governor's Health Sciences Academy at Alexandria City High School is a school-within-a-school. The academy has been designed through a collaborative effort between ACPS and George Washington University. Through this collaboration, students will have the ability to receive up to 18 college credits from The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Students will have the opportunity to start a career pathway that leads to an associate's and/or bachelor's degree and career-related industry certifications. Students who successfully complete an academy pathway and meet program requirements will be offered guaranteed admissions to the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences

This video was recorded in 2018, prior to COVID guidelines.

In 2017, ACPS and The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences partnered to create a Health Academy program at Alexandria City High School. This partnership aims to addresses the workforce shortage of qualified healthcare workers in Virginia and the wider U.S.

The Academy built on existing pathways in Nursing and Surgical Technology and introduced four new pathways in Biomedical Informatics, Sports Medicine, Emergency Medical Services, and Medical Laboratory Sciences during the 2020-2021 school year. The following chart shows the academy course sequence students follow in each pathway.

Academy Pathway Year 1 – 9th Grade Year II – 10th Grade Year III – 11th Grade Year IV – 12 Grade Industry Certification Possible Degrees
Surgical Sciences

Dual Enrollment Introduction to Health & Medical Sciences


* Students admitted to the program as rising Sophomores complete the GW courses the summer between grades 9-10

Dual Enrollment

Medical Terminology with Anatomy & Physiology


Dual Enrollment Sterile Processing I Dual Enrollment Surgical Technology (3 credits) Sterile Processing
  • Surgical Technology, A.A.S
  • Health Sciences, B.S.
Nursing Dual Enrollment Certified Nurse I Aide (2 credits) Dual Enrollment Certified Nurse Aide II (2 credits) Certified Nurse Aide
  • Nursing, A.A.S
  • Health Sciences, B.S.
Medical Laboratory Sciences Dual Enrollment Medical Laboratory Technology I Dual Enrollment Medical Laboratory Technology II Phlebotomy
  • Medical Lab Tech, A.A.S
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences
Sports Medicine Dual Enrollment Sports Medicine I Dual Enrollment Sports Medicine II Personal Trainer
  • Physical Therapy
  • Health Sciences, B.S.
Emergency Medical Services Dual Enrollment Emergency Medical Technician I & II (2 Credits) Dual Enrollment Emergency Medical Technician III EMT-Basic
  • Emergency Medical Services, A.A.S
  • Emergency Medical Services, B.S.
Biomedical Informatics Dual Enrollment Biotechnology Foundation in Health & Medical Sciences Dual Enrollment Health Informatics Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management, A.A.S
  • Medical Informatics, B.S

Through the pathways created by the partnership, Alexandria City High School 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.

Students who successfully complete the program have the option to:

  • 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 George Washington 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 George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences will also be eligible for scholarships.

The Goals of the Academy are to:

  • provide expanded options for students’ health science literacy and other critical knowledge, skills, and credentials that will prepare students for high-demand, high-wage, and high-skills health sciences careers along with a comprehensive career readiness curriculum.
  • use hands-on collaborative learning and lab experiences to better prepare students for rapidly changing, technologically enhanced health science fields.
  • build on the strength of existing CTE program areas within the high school.
  • improve the academic achievement of Academy students by increasing academic rigor and relevance within selected pathways.
  • increase completion of dual enrollment courses.
  • increase high school graduation rates, and reduce dropout rates.
  • increase enrollment and retention in postsecondary education.
  • reduce the proportion of students requiring remediation in college.
  • grow the number of industry certifications awarded to high school students

Students will:

  • gain a deeper understanding of the skills and knowledge incorporated in their health sciences field of study.
  • benefit from specialized, project-based courses that develop critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
  • improve communication and collaborative skills.
  • develop workplace readiness skills.
  • gain opportunities to earn industry certifications preparing them to be more competitive in the workforce and when applying to advanced training schools or postsecondary institutions.
  • obtain meaningful hands-on experiences in their career pathway studies.
  • benefit from opportunities for internships, mentorships, clinical and cooperative experiences.
  • reduce post-secondary education costs and time for degree completion.