The Governor’s Health Sciences Academy (GHSA) at T.C. Williams High School is a school within a school. The academy has been designed through a collaborative effort between Alexandria City Public Schools and The George Washington University. Through this collaboration, students have the ability to receive up to 18 college credits from The GWU School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Students have the opportunity to start a career pathway that leads to an associate and/or bachelor degree as well as earning career related industry certifications. Students who successfully complete an academy pathway, while meeting the minimum credit and GPA requirements, will be offered guaranteed admissions to the GWU School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
See the Academy web page at www.acps.k12.va.us/healthsciences.
- 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 in the Commonwealth of Virginia and will provide 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 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 student requiring remediation in college;
- Increase the number of industry certifications awarded to high school students; and
- Increase the number of graduates employed in high-wage, high-demand, high-skilled careers.
- Gain a deeper understanding of the skills and knowledge incorporated in their health sciences fields of study;
- Benefit from specialized, project-based courses which develop critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills;
- Acquire greater communication and collaborative skills;
- Develop workplace readiness skills;
- Receive 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, providing the student with an advantage when entering postsecondary education and/or the workplace; and
- Reduce post-secondary education costs and time for degree completion.
Freshman Application Process:
The application will be available on the GHSA webpage in early February 2021 and will include three short essays, a transcript, and three teacher or other recommendations. Students must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA to apply to the Academy. Applications will be due March 26, 2021. After the applications have been received, the academy team will review all applicants and make final decisions regarding admissions. Students will be notified by May 31 regarding their status. An academy orientation program will be offered in June where students will sign a commitment letter to complete the process.
Students selected for the Academy will be required to complete a 2-week Summer Bridge College Preparatory Program during the summer before they start the academy. Summer Bridge is held the first two weeks of Summer School.
Sophomore Application Process:
During the first years of the Academy students may apply to start the program during their sophomore year. A sophomore application will be available on the GHSA webpage in February 2021 and will include four short essays, a transcript, and three teacher or other recommendations. Students must have a 2.75 GPA to apply to the academy. Applications will be due March 26, 2021. After the applications have been received, the academy team will review them and identify the top candidates. These candidates will then be interviewed before a final decision is made. Students will be notified by May 31 about their status. An academy orientation program will be offered in June where students will sign a commitment letter to complete the process.
Students will be required to complete the Summer Bridge College Preparatory Program and the Dual Enrollment introductory courses during the summer between their freshman and sophomore years. These dual enrollment courses will be offered through a combination of face to face meetings and online assignments that run from June to late August.
All courses are offered for dual enrollment credit with The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
If seats are available, non-Academy junior and seniors may enroll in pathway courses for college credit if they meet the college’s pre-requisites which include completing an Introduction to Health & Medical Sciences course, a minimum GPA of 2.75 and qualifying English & math test scores. More information can be found in the Dual Enrollment section.
Upper level pathway coursework includes work-based learning experiences that prepare student for their industry certification exams. Students may be required to complete criminal background checks, drug screenings, immunization verification, tuberculosis testing, and purchase career related uniforms and equipment prior to starting off-site assignments. Specific requirements and fees will vary by pathway.