Westside High School students will now have an opportunity to jump start their careers in the health sciences arena and get a head start on their college course-load with the new Futures Academy of Heath Science Careers. This program, in partnership with the Houston Community College and the University of Texas MD Anderson School of Health Professions, will provide Westside students career training in high-demand, technical fields and the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree the summer after receiving their diploma.
“It’s an amazing opportunity! This will help me finish my medical degree a lot faster once I graduate from high school,” said Raquel Sapon, a sophomore at Westside, who aspires to be a doctor. “Plus, the fact that I can work towards an associate’s degree will save my parents a lot of money.”
Students like Sapon will receive lab, practicum and internship opportunities and be exposed to the following eight different career fields in the health arena: clinical laboratory science, cytogenetic technology, cytotechnology, diagnostic imaging, histotechnology, medical dosimetry, molecular genetic technology and radiation therapy.
“It makes sense to have this program at Westside, and we can’t thank you enough,” said Westside Principal Peggi Stewart, adding that already nearly 300 students have already expressed interest in these fields. “I have no doubt our students will make us proud.”
This program will create a direct pipeline for HISD students into the University of Texas MD Anderson School of Health Professions and careers in the Texas Medical Center.
“Education is changing, and we strive to lead,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said. “And what better way than to partner with organizations that are truly leaders not only in Houston but worldwide.”
This Futures Academy program will start accepting applications beginning in August at Westside with approximately 50 to 60 students. Classes will be held during the fall, spring, and summer, and the students will be able to complete an associate’s degree by the time they graduate high school.
“It’s unbelievable and I can’t wait to get started,” said Sapon.
The other six Futures Academy programs and schools in HISD include:
- Academy of Engineering Technology at Furr High School
- Academy of Process Technology at Kashmere High School
- Academy of Pharmacy Technology at Long Academy
- Academy of Network and Computer Administration at Scarborough High School
- Academy of Business, Logistics, and Global Supply at Sterling High School
- Academy of Manufacturing Engineering Technology at Washington High School
For more information on any of HISD’s seven Futures Academies, call 713-556-6981.