High School » Health Careers Academy (HCA)

Health Careers Academy (HCA)

Health Careers Academy (HCA)

HCA began in 1997-98, so that HS students could learn about a variety of careers in the health field, including working in social services, veterinary medicine, mental health and physical therapy.  Students in HCA will learn CPR, medical terminology and other skills to help them get a vocational job, or prepare for a college, or university.

Health Careers Academy students study anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, CPR certification, and workplace etiquette in addition to core academic courses. This academy focuses its interdisciplinary projects on health related issues. Classes offered include:

1) Principles of the Biomedical Sciences (PBS) (A "Project Lead the Way" curriculum--Fall 2011), where students investigate various health conditions including: heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, hypercholesterolemia, and infectious diseases. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, medicine, and research processes.

2) Human Body Systems (HBS) (new Project Lead the Way curriculum that started in Fall 2012), where students study the anatomy/physiology and medical terminology of urinary, endocrine, musculoskeletal, respiratory and digestive systems.

3) Health Careers 12A: Introduction to Biotechnology where students study the anatomy/physiology and medical terminology of sensory, and nervous systems. They also learn about various disabilities through a hands-on experiential unit.


HCA Partnerships
The Health Careers Academy (HCA) partners with Red Cross (Blood Drives), Harvest of the Month, St. Vincent Medical Center, Baxter BioScience, Going for the Gold (USC), and Pennies for Patients.


The Foshay High School has approximately 700 students in grades 9-12. Every semester the Health Academy Junior class conducts a blood drive where student participation has steadily increased every year. In fact, the blood drive has become quite a tradition--something that students look forward to being old enough to participate in. For every drive over the last five years, over 200 students have signed up to donate, which is a considerable number since more than half are not old enough to donate because they are younger than sixteen.  Foshay usually collects 140-175 pints; each pint saving three lives per pint each semester.


Health Academy Community Service Hours (volunteering, job shadowing, internships)

The Health Academy has been working with several entities as business partners. As the relationships develop they may offer internships to our students. Opportunities/jobs are posted on Schoology, Student Learning Management System, as well as communicating the opportunity to each class, and then the information gets posted in the Health Academy Classrooms.  

One of the requirements of the Health Academy is to complete 150 hours of community service during the three years they are in the Health Academy, as well as write a report answering specific questions regarding their experience in their volunteer location every April. Students must also provide a proof of completed hours.

During Tenth Grade, students must complete 30 hours of community service by volunteering in the medical/health field. At the end of that year, they must complete a reflection piece as well as submitting their hours completed, using letterhead from their place of service.  The first thirty hours must be at a location where they volunteer such as a medical office, hospital, dental office, et cetera.

During Eleventh Grade, students must complete another report with forty hours of Job Shadowing.  Students reflect on their work and make connections with industry professionals, as they are exposed to the different careers in the medical/health field. 

During Twelfth Grade, they are required to do eighty internship hours. Students usually try to complete their internships at the same place as where they volunteered during tenth and eleventh grade.  One of the challenges in the Health Academy is the confidentiality concerns regarding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), since hospitals, clinics and dental offices do not feel comfortable to offer volunteering opportunities due to HIPAA, which is a federal law that protects the privacy of individual’s health information.


In order to help the students to be accepted in different worksites, the Health Careers Academy offers community college classes on-campus that cover the implications of HIPAA.  Concurrent Community College enrollment has been offered to all the Health Academy, so we can help our students understand the importance of patient medical privacy and as a result, medical offices feel more comfortable giving opportunities for students to work within the medical field. The Health Careers Academy Lead Teacher, Ms. Esparza, organizes students as well as verify the student reports about their volunteer experiences.