Through a rigorous curriculum, strong community partnerships, technology-infused classrooms, and a unique hands-on approach to learning, the Harlingen School of Health Professions is paving the way for future health professionals.
The campus has become the school of choice for some second, third, and in some cases, fourth generation medical practitioners in the area.
Ninth grade student Morgan Johnson comes from a long line of pharmacists. Her decision to attend HSHP was in large part influenced by her goal of becoming the fourth in her family to pursue a career in the field.
“Being a pharmacist is a family tradition. My father, grandfather, and great-grandfather have all been pharmacists,” said Johnson. “I chose to come to HSHP because I wanted the challenge of a rigorous coursework and to get a head start in the medical field.”
With a 13th year focus, HSHP aims to prepare students for post-secondary education in one of the six schools of study in the health professions – Dental Science, Patient Care, Surgical Procedures, Pharmacology/Biomedical Technology, Medical Science, and Sports Medicine/Therapeutic Services.
During the eighth and ninth grade, students are immersed in all six fields so that they may have the knowledge to decide during their sophomore year which school of study to pursue.
Brittney Garza, whose father is a nuclear pharmacist, grew up learning about how her dad would prepare radioactive materials in the lab to be used for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
This sparked the ninth grader’s interest in healthcare; however, she has chosen to go a different route in the field of medicine after hearing from a neurosurgeon at an HSHP summer camp.
“HSHP sponsored a medical camp for two days, and one of the highlights was ‘Neuro Day.’ As soon as I saw all that neurosurgeons do, I fell in love with it,” said Garza. “I’ve been exposed to many opportunities here at HSHP. I feel that by coming to school here, I have a much better chance of doing what I want in life.”
Along with summer camps, students get to hear first-hand experiences from members of the medical community during “Tutelage Thursdays” as guest speakers discuss their careers and answer questions about their field.
Each classroom is set up to promote an environment where students can communicate, collaborate, create, and develop their critical thinking skills. Eighth-grade student David Sauceda says that this arrangement prepares them for real-world scenarios as it strengthens their level of comprehension and offers different approaches to a problem.
“In our classes, we have project-based learning, so we’re learning and collaborating. The communication and the sharing of ideas make all the difference,” said Sauceda. “Before the teacher would have one idea and that’s just how it was. In this group learning, we have about five people to a group, and we can all learn from each other. One person may have one idea and another have an entirely different idea, but it still works.”
Through transformed instruction, students at HSHP have the opportunity to explore various aspects of their chosen field and are given experiences that will place them at the front of the line.
To learn more about the campus, visit www.hcisd.org/healthschool.