Vol. 2, Iss. 6 | February 2021

RGV LEAD is proud to present a monthly “Best Practice” from the 2020-2021 Academy of the Year recipient, La Joya ISD Health Science Academy Professionals & STEM. The information was submitted by Guadalupe Chavez, La Joya ISD, Academies Director Educational (pictured left.)

Career Exploration Best Practice #1

Career Exploration Initiative(s):  It is the goal of the Academy of HSP & STEM to graduate high school students with confidence in their strengths, a strong sense of purpose, and a clear pathway to a meaningful career that is well matched to them. To do this, the Academy of HSP & STEM has various career exploration initiatives for all grade levels. The Pathways Aligned to Health Science (PATHS) Project provides assistance to the Academy of HSP & STEM students in understanding the healthcare programs available to students, along with the kinds of curricular and extra-curricular activities needed in order for students to succeed in those programs. These targeted learning experiences allow educators to support students interested in health care fields. Partners in the PATHS Project include Region One, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance, The Health Institute of Renaissance, Rio Grande Valley College, and Performance Therapeutics.

Another career exploration is the Project Health Education for All (HEAL2) program. This program has allowed students to learn about the various careers in health science while also discovering the different health career programs of study at local institutions of higher education. Through partnerships with South Texas College, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Texas A&M University, Project HEAL2 students have the opportunity to seamlessly transition into either an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. 

The Annual Career Day Conference is another career exploration initiative event filled with presentations, breakout room discussions, and over 30 health care professionals. These professionals range from emergency medical technicians to surgeons and from draft-ing and design specialists to computer science and manufacturing engineers. This group of people donates their time and knowledge as students do rotational rounds learning from all of these career option opportunities. Through partnerships with Region One, South Texas College, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance, students are provided with multiple career exploration opportunities through the Cybermentoring initiative. Cybermentoring allows for live streaming career exploration in every classroom where students get to see live presentations and career industry walkthroughs, using mobile cameras, being done by health care and/or STEM professionals. During cybermentoring, students have the opportunity to speak to the guest speakers and ask questions re-lated to the career that is being presented. In addition, students also get to learn from the higher education partner about specific majors in those careers, such as degree plans, entry requirements, cost of attendance, financial aid opportunities, and academic support services.” 

Stay tuned for tip #2 from the La Joya ISD HSP & STEM Academy!

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