Utica Community Schools Superintendent Robert Monroe speaks to parents, businesses and community leaders at the dedication and open house of the Utica High School Health and Human Services Academy.Photo courtesy of UCS
Macomb County is now home to Utica Health and Human Services High School Academy.
Utica Community Schools (UCS) hosted a special dedication ceremony attended by school administrators, community leaders, teachers and students for the district’s new academy, which was created to prepare graduates for careers in various medical competitive advantage in the field.
“We began this effort with the goal of truly empowering our students to educate,” Utica Community Schools Superintendent Robert Monroe said in a release. “We intentionally focused on real-world partnerships. and projects so that our students see connections between what they are studying and their future careers.”
Timothy Youngblood agrees.
“We have a long history of thriving medical science and nursing programs. In fact, a review of our students’ course requirements over the years shows that interest in this field continues to grow each year.
“Additionally, we reviewed data on job openings in Michigan and Macomb County over the next ten years, and health and human services showed one of the great needs,” Youngblood said.
“Then we met with healthcare industry leaders to really understand what areas they think are needed in the workplace of the future.”
The conference led to the development of three streams that will provide future talent for these growing medical fields, including:
• Rehabilitation services – including personal training, athletic training, occupational therapists and physical therapists.
• Public safety – including emergency medical technicians and paramedics.
• Therapeutic services – such as patient care technicians, nursing staff, physician assistants and physicians.
“We will provide students in every branch with the opportunity to earn certifications that will allow them to be hired directly out of high school into these fields if they choose that route,” Youngblood said. “The difference between a regular classroom and the courses we offer is The final difference is that all our subjects will strive to incorporate a medical perspective. All of our teachers plan group projects together and try to combine all their academic knowledge with the medical topic at hand.”
As Youngblood further explained, for example, a math teacher can plan her lessons based on what the academy’s students are learning, such as statistical analysis of a specific outbreak in a course on biomedical principles. Youngblood said their social studies teachers can also coordinate their lessons to include historical outbreaks and their causes during specific time periods.
“This kind of cross-curricular planning is not possible in a comprehensive, traditional high school setting,” Youngblood added.
Guests at the dedication ceremony included Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.
“The academy gives you advantages and opportunities to see things you might like,” Hackel said at the event. “That’s why people call Macomb home. I’m proud to say that as a graduate of Macomb Public Schools, no one does it better than our Macomb County Public Schools and the Utica community The school is leading the way in this regard.”
The program will begin with about 50 students in ninth grade and will add one grade each school year.
In addition to a comprehensive curriculum, the program offers students a healthcare career expo during their sophomore year, a healthcare career-related job shadowing during their junior year, and an extended internship during their senior year.
All students are required to undertake a capstone project during their senior year that replicates a Health Occupations Student of America (HOSA) industry-level challenge or is based on a collaborative challenge with a professional collaborator.
The college approach is expected to increase the number of students earning college credit through articulation agreements with postsecondary institutions and graduates of advanced placement courses. Students can also earn certification from the American Heart Association.
Graduates of the college will fill critical needs in the health industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment in the health care industry is expected to grow 13% between 2021 and 2031. This growth rate is much faster than the average for all occupations, creating nearly 2 million new jobs over the decade. post.
UCS has worked closely with business partners in the college’s development, including Ford Next Generation Learning, national nonprofit program Lead the Way, Corewell Health (Beaumont) and Macomb Community College.
“We recognize that our work has a direct impact on the regional economic health of our community,” said UCS School Board President Mary Thomas. “The quality of our schools not only determines property values, but we also support the vitality of our region by creating a talent pipeline for businesses to strengthen our economic health.”
HHS is Utica Community Schools’ fifth high school specialty program for high school students and its second school-based academy.
“I’m here because I love the medical profession and I plan to be a future health professional,” said Bashar Adnan, a ninth-grader at Utica High School. “If you like working with your hands and interacting with people, this is the place for you.”
Utica High School and its College of Health and Human Services are located at 47255 Shelby Road, Shelby Township.
For more information, visit uticak12.org/