Patient Care Technician/Assistant in board room

Case Study: High School Head Start

A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet prepares high school students for healthcare and engineering careers. A.R. Johnson’s partnership with National Healthcareer Association provides students the opportunity to earn stacked credentials, and assist with securing healthcare jobs that can put them through college, or transition into full-time careers.

A Head Start on Career Success

Students pursuing the health science educational track at A.R. Johnson Magnet school in Augusta, Ga., are in good hands. They’ve got some of the best curriculum resources in the state, and also some of the best instructors.

Health sciences department chair Lynne Clarke has over 30 years of experience as a registered nurse and emergency medical technician. She’s been heading up healthcare training and education at A.R. Johnson (ARJ) for the past three years.

“It’s a pleasure to help these bright young people learn about and train for possible careers in healthcare,” said Clarke. “They are learning skills here that they can use to put themselves through college. They’re also developing a good foundation for obtaining advanced degrees in nursing or medicine.”

“The NHA certifications work very well in our high school setting and provide an extra level of preparedness and confidence for our students. It's a great feeling to know that these students have highly marketable skills at such a young age.” — Lynne Clarke, Department Chair, A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet

Preparing for College and Beyond

ARJ is one of the highest-performing secondary schools in the State of Georgia with the simple mission of focusing on student improvement so that all students may become lifelong learners and productive citizens. Total enrollment for grades 7-12 is approximately 600 students.

The health science program at ARJ uses National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certifications and targeted exam preparation materials from NHA to validate student learning and results.

“We want to instill professionalism and competency as early as possible,” said Clarke. “The marketplace is competitive and we want them to be prepared.”

ARJ recommends that students secure NHA stacked credentials, including certifications for Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT), Certified EKG Technician (CET) and Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A).

“ARJ’s curriculum and NHA certifications give students many choices and great opportunities for full or part-time employment,” said Clarke. “We want them to do their best and pursue excellence. The NHA certifications help us measure and recognize them for excellent work.”

Gaining Real World Experience

At ARJ, students receive classroom instruction, and also gain clinical experience. The students do clinical rotations at local hospitals and doctor’s offices.

“NHA offers our students the opportunity for extra certification preparation and a nationally recognized credential, giving them an advantage,” said Clarke. “They also give us reporting and insights we can use to make our program stronger."

“The NHA certifications work very well in our high school setting and provide an extra level of preparedness for our students,” said Clarke. “It’s a great feeling to know that these students have highly marketable skills at such a young age.”

A Head Start for High School Students