Baptist Health partners with Academies of Central Arkansas, two NLR schools

The Academies of Central Arkansas entered into a formal partnership between Baptist Health and two high schools within the North Little Rock School District. The partnership with North Little Rock High School and the North Little Rock Center of Excellence will create the Baptist Health Academy of Health & Human Services at North Little Rock High School and the Baptist Health Academy of Health Sciences at the North Little Rock Center of Excellence.

Students in either of the Baptist Health Academies will be able to experience several opportunities for enhanced, hands-on learning throughout their four years in high school. Beginning next school year, all students will experience career exposure through classroom speakers and guest lecturers and will attend a career exposure event where Baptist Health, along with other central Arkansas businesses, will showcase career opportunities.

Sophomore students will be provided industry field trips and business tours, while 11th grade scholars will be provided job shadowing opportunities, career mentoring, and opportunities to earn industry recognized credentials and concurrent credits.

Together, Baptist Health and the teams at North Little Rock High School and Center of Excellence will develop capstone projects and internship opportunities for students in their senior year.

“Baptist Health is thrilled to launch another healthcare academy that will introduce even more talented young people to health care. This innovative approach is proving that it helps get students excited about a rewarding career in serving others and making our communities healthier for generations to come,” said Baptist Health President & CEO Troy Wells.

The Academies of Central Arkansas is a joint initiative of the four public school districts across Pulaski County and the regional business community. In 2019, the Jacksonville North Pulaski, Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County Special School Districts, together with the five Pulaski County chambers of commerce and business and civic leaders, began implementing high school academies within all public high schools in the county, serving all students.

“Our goal is to provide all high school students in Pulaski County energizing, hands-on and relevant learning opportunities that leads them to achieve concurrent college credit and industry-recognized credentials before they graduate,” said Jay Chesshir, Little Rock Regional Chamber President & CEO. “Baptist Health’s partnership with North Little Rock High School and the NLR Center for Excellence is yet another example of their commitment to better prepare graduates for college, career and lifelong learning opportunities while becoming their third named healthcare academy in our county.”

Implementation of the Academies of Central Arkansas will take several years to fully build out. Once completed, this educational approach aims to transform high schools for all students within the four school districts. The Little Rock Regional Chamber is still actively recruiting business partners for all Academy high schools.

Businesses interested in getting more information can visit this website.