Governor's Health Sciences Academy at T.C. Williams High School

  • 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 ACPS and The George Washington University. Through this collaboration, students will have the ability to receive up to 18 college credits from The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Students will have the opportunity to start a career pathway that leads to an associates and/or bachelors degree and career-related industry certifications. Students who successfully complete an academy pathway and meet program requirements will be offered guaranteed admissions to the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

    If you have questions, please email Michele Coffman- Dual Enrollment and Academy Coordinator at

    Additional information about the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences can be found their website.

     * This video was recorded in 2018, prior to COVID guidelines.

    In 2017,  ACPS and The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences partnered to create a Health Academy program at T.C. Williams. This partnership aims to addresses the workforce shortage of qualified healthcare workers in Virginia and the wider U.S.

    The Academy built on existing pathways in Nursing and Surgical Technology and introduced four new pathways in Biomedical Informatics, Sports Medicine, Emergency Medical Services, and Medical Laboratory Sciences during the 2020-2021 school year.  The following chart shows the academy course sequence students follow in each pathway.

    Academy Pathway

    Year 1

    9th Grade

    Year II

    10th Grade

    Year III

    11th Grade

    Year IV

    12 Grade

    Industry Certification

    Possible Degrees


    Dual Enrollment Introduction to Health & Medical Sciences


    *Students admitted to the program as rising Sophomores complete the GW  courses the summer between grades 9-10

    Dual Enrollment

    Medical Terminology with Anatomy & Physiology


    Dual Enrollment Sterile Processing

    Dual Enrollment Surgical Technology

    (3 credits)

    Sterile Processing

    Surgical Technology, A.A.S

    Health Sciences, B.S.


    Dual Enrollment Certified Nurse I Aide (2 credits)

    Dual Enrollment Certified Nurse Aide II (2 credits)

    Certified Nurse Aide

    Nursing , A.A.S

    Health Sciences, B.S.

    Medical Laboratory Sciences

    Dual Enrollment Medical Laboratory Technology I

    Dual Enrollment Medical Laboratory Technology II


    Medical Lab Tech, A.A.S

    Medical Laboratory Sciences

    Sports Medicine

    Dual Enrollment Sports Medicine I


    Dual Enrollment Sports Medicine II

    Personal Trainer

    Physical Therapy

    Health Sciences, B.S.

    Emergency Medical Services

    Dual Enrollment Emergency Medical Technician  I & II

    (2 Credits)

    Dual Enrollment Emergency Medical Technician III EMT-Basic

    Emergency Medical Services, A.A.S

    Emergency Medical Services,  B.S.

    Biomedical Informatics

    Dual Enrollment Biotechnology Foundation in Health & Medical Sciences


     Dual Enrollment Health Informatics

    Health Informatics

    Health Information Management, A.A.S

    Medical Informatics, B.S.


    Through the pathways created by the partnership, T.C. Williams’ students can begin earning college credits in their first year of the program, which could be as early as ninth grade. For some, this will significantly reduce the amount of time and money needed to graduate from college and will create various career options upon graduation.

    Students who successfully complete the program have the option to:

    • Attain employment immediately after graduation into an entry-level medical role in the workforce,
    • Matriculate into Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to attain an associate’s degree, or
    • Transfer into the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, through a guaranteed admissions agreement, with college credits towards earning a bachelor’s degree. Under the partnership, students who opt to complete their health sciences degree at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences will also be eligible for scholarships.

    The Goals of the Academy are to:

    • 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 along with 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 the 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.
    • grow the number of industry certifications awarded to high school students

    Students will:

    • gain a deeper understanding of the skills and knowledge incorporated in their health sciences field of study.
    • benefit from specialized, project-based courses that develop critical-thinking, problem-solving and decision-making skills.
    • improve communication and collaborative skills.
    • develop workplace readiness skills.
    • gain 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.
    • reduce post-secondary education costs and time for degree completion.