The Albemarle County Public Schools' Health and Medical Sciences Academy is being recognized for its work.
The Virginia Department of Education designated the program, based in Monticello High School, as a regional Governor's Health Services Academy. It will also receive a $10,000 state planning and implementation grant.
The curriculum is designed for students interested in health and medical sciences careers as well as biotechnology and research.
Students also get to work with health professionals in the community. Director Katina Dudley said, "Our students are very excited about the junior and senior year of the program when they're actually out in the fields and they're doing their internships and job shadowing experiences and several of our students are going to be involved in research."
Academy students choose from one of three academic pathways - qualifying for industry certifications, earning an associate degree, or pursuing bachelor, master and doctorate degrees.
"The recognition that we are trying new things with students, we're looking at the learning environment. We're looking at how we instruct students. We're trying new instructional models and I just think it shows support for what we're working on here at Monticello," Dudley said.
The academy started in August 2012 and is currently made up of 23 students. It is hoping to recruit 50 students for the upcoming class.
The deadline for applications is Friday. Click here if you are interested in applying.
Albemarle County Public Schools Press Release
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – The Virginia Department of Education (DOE) has designated Albemarle County Public Schools ' Health and Medical Sciences Academy as a regional Governor's Health Services Academy. The division will receive a $10,000 state planning and implementation grant.
The division's academy is located in Monticello High School and is open to all public school students in Albemarle County. It began operation in August 2012 and serves students interested in exploring health sciences career opportunities. The curriculum, which delivers a foundation for both post-secondary education and workforce readiness in health related professions, is technology-focused, using case studies, integrated projects and internships to enrich learning.
Students choose one of three academic pathways: They can qualify for industry certifications in such positions as surgical technologist; they can earn associate degrees to become, for example, a radiologic technologist; or students can pursue bachelor, master and doctorate degrees to become a medical doctor, nurse or bioengineer.
"This is very good news for Albemarle County students who have an interest in health and medical sciences careers," said Katina Dudley, who is the academy's director. "Our designation as a regional Governor's Health Services Academy recognizes the visionary work being done in our classrooms and laboratories and the importance of our mission to the community," Ms. Dudley added.
An industry study by Albemarle County this past year identified the health and medical device industries as being a top economic development priority based upon the potential for higher-paying employment growth.
"As our population ages and with the expansion of access to medical care, health and medical care professions not only will be a source of employment, but also for high quality medical care delivery," said Ms. Dudley.
Among the academy's unique strengths are its relationships with the University of Virginia Medical School, Martha Jefferson Hospital, local businesses that are members of the Virginia Biotechnology Association, and other academic and private sector professionals, many of whom serve on the academy's advisory board.
"The advice we receive from these leaders allows us to develop learning experiences for students that directly connect their skills to the performance requirements of these professions," Ms. Dudley concluded.