CTE Governor's Health Sciences Academies

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GOV-HEALTH-ACADGovernor's Health Sciences Academies are programs designed to expand options for students’ health science literacy and other critical knowledge, skills, and credentials that will prepare them for high-demand, high-wage, and high-skills careers in Virginia. Each academy is a partnership among school divisions, postsecondary institutions and business and industry.

Each Governor’s Health Sciences Academy will incorporate academic content with career and technical instruction and implement the five career pathways:  Therapeutic Services, Diagnostic Services, Health Informatics, Support Services, and Biotechnology Research and Development.

Governor's Health Sciences Academies actively partner with employers to design and provide high-quality, dynamic programs. These programs are delivered through comprehensive courses of study that prepare students for successful transition to postsecondary education and careers. These specialty programs include partnerships of public school divisions, business and industry, health care institutions, higher education institutions, and may include local government, including local work force and economic development entities. All programs include significant work-based instruction or training beyond the classroom using cooperative education, internships, clinical experiences, job shadowing, mentorships, service learning or a combination.

 Virginia's 9 Governor's Health Sciences Academies

 Blue - HealthSciencesMap-sans-partners

Student Requirements

Graduates of the Governor's Health Sciences Academies must achieve one or more of the following benchmarks:

  • Earn one or more industry certifications or state occupational licenses, and/or; demonstrate competency on an assessment instrument recognized by postsecondary institutions such as College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) examinations, collaboratively designed or mutually approved end-of-course tests, college placement tests, or student portfolios reviewed by a team of college and high school faculty; or
  • Earn at least 9 transferable college credits as defined by the Early College Scholars program including dual enrollment and Advanced Placement and other options; or
  • Earn an associate degree.

 Academy Goals

  • Improve academic achievement of students in the academy;
  • Increase completion of dual enrollment courses;
  • Provide work-based experiences for students through strong partnerships with businesses;
  • Increase high school graduation rates;
  • Reduce dropout rates;
  • Increase enrollment and retention in postsecondary education;
  • Increase the proportion of students completing a college and career ready curriculum in high school;
  • Reduce the proportion of students 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 and high-skill health science careers. 

How to Establish a Governor's Health Sciences Academy

Developing and implementing a Governor's Health Sciences Academy involves extensive planning and discussions among the participating partners. Each proposed Academy must be reviewed by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and approved by the Virginia Board of Education. Partners should take this process into consideration when preparing a planning and implementation timeline. The links that follow will provide the outline for the process as well as technical assistance.

  • Intent to Submit a Proposal (docx) Revised October 2023 – Fax or email this form expressing your interest in establishing an academy.
  • Career Clusters - Virginia has adopted the nationally accepted structure of career clusters, pathways and occupations. 
  • Virginia's Workplace Readiness Skills, identified by employers across the Commonwealth, are those competencies considered essential for success in the world of work.

Proposal Submissions

Proposals for Governor's Health Sciences Academies to be approved by the Virginia Board of Education should be submitted at least eight months prior to the anticipated opening of an Academy.