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Academy of Health Professions

Would you like to work in a career field that could have a positive influence on someone's life? Do you like working in dynamic, fast-paced environments?

The Academy of Health Professions offers students the opportunity to learn about the world of medicine, engage in clinical experiences, and interact with professionals in the medical community. Students will explore various career opportunities through hands-on training in basic medical skills, medical equipment use, and patient contact and communication. Areas of study include professional behaviors of health care workers, ethical and legal considerations of health care providers, human body structure and function, human development and basic needs. Students will learn about specialized health fields to help them choose from five specific pathways - Clinical Research in Allied Health, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Physical Rehabilitation - each with its own clinical skills training, internship experiences, and certifications.


Chemistry (grade 11) and Anatomy and Physiology (grade 12) are highly recommended. Additionally, AP Biology is beneficial as a science elective in grade 12 for students in this academy


Biology and Algebra I. Students interested in Certified Nursing Assistant must have a C average or higher in both Biology and Algebra I.


All Academy of Health Professions students will become certified in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and blood and airborne pathogens by the end of their senior year.

Additional certifications are based on coursework. See senior level coursework options.

Pathway Options

After completion of junior level academy courses students have the option of enrolling in one of three pathways:

  Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Prepares students to function as a nursing assistant in a variety of health care settings. This ​program has been approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON) and provides training in life span development, vital signs, basic patient care skills, disease processes, and communication skills. All coursework and clinical hours must be successfully completed to receive a Howard County Community College Certificate of Completion​ (Please note this is a non-credit certificate from HCC.) Upon successful completion of the theory and clinical coursework, students are eligible ​to register as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) with the Maryland Board of Nursing. The knowledge and competencies learned in this pathway are valuable in pursuing any health care career.

Clinical Experiences

  • ​Only students who have successfully completed classroom goals and objectives with at least a C average will be recommended for clinical experience.
  • Students will need to complete 40 hours of clinical experience during the school year. Clinical hours will be completed on the weekends. Transportation is not provided by HCPSS and will be the responsibility of the student.
  • Students 16 years or older may participate in clinical experiences.
  • Up-to-date immunizations (including COVID and Flu) and 24/7 health insurance are required prior to participation in clinical experiences.


Upon completion of course work with a grade of 70% or better and clinical experiences, students can receive a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification and be eligible to register with the Maryland Board of Nursing. Students seeking GNA certification are eligible to take the Sate Geriatric Examination for an additional fee at an approved testing location to become a CNA with a specialty in geriatrics (GNA).

Note: Incoming CNA students and a parent/guardian will need to attend a mandatory information session in the spring of junior year.

Clinical Research in Allied Health

This pathway offers students a clinical worksite experience in an allied health field of their interest. Students will be engaged in a real-world experience while also establishing a core understanding of the fundamentals of evidenced based research and writing. Students may also choose to pursue further education in the fields of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation or Pharmacy Technician training. Each of these specialties will include selective curriculum along with an internship experience.

In addition to program requirements, successful students:

  • Maintain a C average in all academy coursework.
  • Complete at least 6-8 hours of work-site experience per week OR daily attendance at the Applications and Research Lab.
  • Attend weekly senior seminars at the Applications and Research Lab.
  • Choose a “real world” problem to research.
  • Write and submit a research proposal, abstract, and reflection paper based on research.
  • Maintain and submit a journal and portfolio of senior work
  • Present a culminating multimedia presentation for the final grade.

College Credit

Students who successfully complete the Clinical Research in Allied Health program sequence, with a grade of B or higher in academy courses, may be eligible for credits at Howard Community College.

Emergency Medical Technician

Prepares students to have the emergency skills to assess a patient’s condition and manage respiratory, cardiac and trauma emergencies. The classes provide classroom and clinical experiences. The Emergency Medical Technician Academy is the result of a three-way partnership between Howard County Public Schools, Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, and Howard Community College (HCC). This academy serves as a prerequisite for coursework in the Emergency Medical Services Program at Howard Community College.

In addition to program requirements, successful students:

  • Complete state-mandated attendance and performance standards during the program. To meet the 165 hours of required content level classwork, students will need to participate in additional scheduled class sessions.
  • Are 16 years or older prior to participation in clinical experiences.
  • Complete a minimum of 10 qualifying ambulance responses which can take a considerable number of hours outside of class time.
  • Provide own transportation to all clinical experiences.


Students in the Emergency Medical Technician Academy earn Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Infection Control certification.

College Credit

Upon graduation and successful completion of EMT-B certification requirements, students will begin college level coursework at HCC. The Emergency Medical Services Program at HCC is a two-year, Associates of Applied Science – Paramedic curriculum.

  Physical Rehabilitation

Successful Academy Students:

  • Maintain a C average in all academy coursework.

Suggested Course Schedule

Below is a suggested high school course schedule for students interested in the Health Professions Academy
Grade Level Course 1 Course 2 Course 3 Course 4 Course 5 Course 6 Course 7
Ninth Grade English required Mathematics required Science required Social Studies required Fitness & Health required Technology Education required Elective available
Tenth Grade English required Mathematics required Science required Social Studies required Fine Arts required Elective available Elective available
Eleventh Grade English required Mathematics required Science required Social Studies required Elective available Foundations of Health Care – Honors (2)
Twelfth Grade English required Mathematics required Elective available Elective available Clinical Research in Allied Health - Honors Or Certified Nursing Assistant: Theory and Clinical Or Emergency Medical Technician: Basic and Clinical Or Physical Rehabilitation Or Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)