Alliance Piera Barbaglia Shaheen Health Services Academy

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Work-Based Learning Program » Program Overview

Program Overview

Alliance Health Services Academy (HSA) High School's Work-Based Learning (WBL) Program is a key part of the educational experience at HSA, supporting the school’s mission of providing inner-city minority students with a health professions career program that will enable them to successfully transition into higher education and health care related majors and careers.  The WBL Program targets ethnic minority groups defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges as “underrepresented in the medical professions relative to their numbers in the general population”- primarily African-Americans and Latinos.
The WBL Program has been designed to act as an education pipeline; providing minority high school students in South Los Angeles with academic and experiential education opportunities focused on motivating and preparing them to move from secondary education into college and careers in healthcare.  
Program objectives include the following:
  • Contextualized learning within the WBL Program will measurably improve overall student achievement.
  • Students will demonstrate a wider and clearer understanding of the health care field and its required skills.
  • Students will exhibit increased proficiency in career and technical skills.
  • Students will show an increase in their motivation to pursue tertiary education and health care career opportunities.
The WBL Program follows a progressive path from Grade 9 through Grade 12.  Click here to view the program timeline.
The various components of the WBL program have been developed to provide students with hands-on opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills through exposure, practical experience, research and service related to health services.  These include:
All aspects of the WBL Program are provided in collaboration with key partners throughout the medical, health care, academic and business communities.  For information on the incredible opportunities provided by our partners, and a list of current partners, please click here.
Research has shown health care workers from underrepresented minority groups are more likely to care for minority patients and come back to serve in their surrounding communities.  Based in South Los Angeles, HSA is located in Los Angeles County’s Service Planning Area (SPA) 6.  Evidence shows that SPA 6 ranks as one of the most under-resourced communities in the nation, particularly in medical services.  HSA’s curriculum and programs will work to promote diversity in the health professions and help reduce health care disparities evident in SPA 6.
During a visit to HSA, Herb K. Shultz, Regional 9 Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shared, "Educating the healthcare workforce of tomorrow is a top priority of our department.  But we must go further.  We must challenge our children to take healthcare into their own hands."  HSA is endeavoring to do just that.
By introducing students to the health services field, HSA is already helping to shape their futures.  Alumna Jamie had always dreamed of being an OB/GYN, but didn't think it would be possible.  Now in her second year at HSA, Jamie is seeing things differently.  "Health Services Academy impacts me to further think outside my boundaries and go into the career of my dreams," she said recently.  Aldair, of the class of 2013, told his Medical Science Teacher throughout his 9th grade year that he just wanted to work with computers and had no interest in medicine.  By the end of the year, he had decided to pursue a career in bioengineering.  
"I seriously know what I want to do with my life now that I've had that special opportunity to experience first hand what doctors do. That totally set off a lightbulb in my head," said one freshman after a trip to the UCLA Simulation Center.  A sophomore who attended several field trips shared, "I enjoyed the variety of things I did.  They inspired my classmates and I to keep moving and enter college.  There's so much for us to learn.  I can't wait to begin my journey in college." 
We are excited to continue to provide these experiences for our students through the Work-Based Learning Program.