The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Governor’s Health Sciences Academy and Guaranteed Admissions

Governors Health Sciences Academy and Guaranteed Admissions

Moira Sirois

Staff Writer

In the 2018-2019 school year, a new program was introduced at ACHS called the Governor’s Health Sciences Academy (GHSA), a partnership between ACHS and the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GW SMHS). Its goal is to “address the workforce shortage of qualified healthcare workers in Virginia and the wider US,” according to the ACPS website.

The program allows students to earn up to 18 college credits through dual enrollment courses with GW SMHS. There are six pathways students can choose from: surgical, nursing, medical laboratory sciences, sports medicine, emergency medical services, and biomedical informatics; all of which include an industry certification related to their field and the end of their study.

One perk of the GHSA has always been the guaranteed admissions to GW SMHS as long as students met the requirements for doing so. Until recently, students were under the impression that they would have guaranteed admission to GW SMHS on campus in DC. 

Now, “guaranteed admissions” has been clarified to mean “acceptance into four online undergraduate programs as long as they meet certain academic requirements,” according to Laura Evans, who teaches DE Medical Terminology with Anatomy and Physiology. 

Senior Savannah Anderson said that while GWU was never her top school, “it was really nice to think I had a backup plan all of these years, and now I don’t have that considering how they changed the program.”

Academic requirements have always been in place to be eligible for guaranteed admissions, but they have now loosened those requirements. “[The] GW SMHS and ACPS partnership has worked together to remove several barriers for students,” Evans said.

Previously, GW SMHS required 45 college credits, and they now only require 24. They have also removed the SAT/ACT requirements for applicants. The other requirements remain unchanged: students must earn a high school diploma, earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, complete all dual enrollment courses with a grade of C or better, and complete the free online application for GW. 

By loosening the requirements to be eligible for guaranteed admissions, they have opened up the GW SMHS programs to more students. Students who meet these requirements and wish to use the guaranteed admissions option provided to them have access to 4 online programs, three of which are hybrid programs with laboratory experiences at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC), according to the “Guaranteed Admissions into GW SMHS” webpage.

The four programs are Clinical Embryology and Reproductive Technology, Emergency Health Services Management, Medical Laboratory Sciences, and Molecular Diagnostic Sciences.

Even though guaranteed admissions has now been explicitly clarified, Patrick Corr, the director of the GHSA said, “existing undergraduate programs within GW SMHS […] are and have always been primarily online.”

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Governor’s Health Sciences Academy and Guaranteed Admissions