Medical academy now in session

Aug 22nd, 2014

First class to graduate in 2018

Las Cruces Public Schools (LCPS) an­nounced the opening of Arrowhead Park Medical Academy, the city’s newest early col­lege high school.

Las Cruces Medical AcademyUnder the direction of Principal Jennifer Amis and Dean of Students Marcy Oxford, the school opened its doors on July 1 to its first class of 61 ninth-grade students. Arrowhead Park Medical Academy will expand to ninth­and 10th-graders in 2015-16, and will have its first graduating class in 2018.

The vision of LCPS, as defined by the Board of Education and Superintendent Stan Rounds, states specifically that schools will exemplify a world-class educational system where all students are prepared to succeed in a diverse and increasingly complex global so­ciety and that a high-quality education is the fundamental right of every child. Just as im­portant, its mission states the district, in part­nership with students, families and the com­munity, provides a student-centered learning environment that cultivates character, fosters academic excellence and embraces diversity. This vision is the center of Arrowhead Park Medical Academy.

While there are many special aspects to the medical academy, one significant component driving all learning options and opportunities is the alignment with real world experiences in medical and health related pathways.

The targeted student population is first­generation college students that mirror the LCPS student population.

The school will incorporate high-end technology to overcome challenges for stu­dents in hazardous environments and the acquisition and use of specialized equipment. The district is working on a process to allow health care professionals to teach specialized topics, exposing students to effective patient care behaviors and offering clinical rotations and practicums.

A 16-member Executive Leadership Team was organized into various subcommittees guiding the overall design of the curriculum – Curriculum Pathway Designation, Essentials of the Curriculum Design and Partnership Plan Development. The Bridge of Southern New Mexico, a valued partner, conducted the preliminary needs assessment with five major regional health care providers to determine work force needs.

From those discussions, 17 careers that ranged from technicians and therapists to medical professions were identified. Specific “soft skills,” including ongoing career coun­seling and mentoring, were also embedded throughout the curriculum.

“The new facility for Arrowhead Park Medical Academy is incredible,” Amis said. “It is designed with state-of-the-art technol­ogy to support delivery of a first-rate educa­tional experience. Students will experience re­al- world applications with industry-standard equipment and materials, making their edu­cation relevant to their future careers in the health sciences.”