Highland View Academy’s STEM certificate program launched this year with approximately 30 students enrolled. These students benefit from an intensive but well-rounded education that especially prepares them to pursue STEM-related college majors. New STEM classes include integrated STEM, anatomy and physiology, project-based learning, robotics, iOS app development and a pilot of Maryland’s new advanced placement Computer Science Principles course.
Story by Lori Zerne
Another way HVA is expanding academic opportunities for students is through dual-credit courses. Students can earn college credit for courses taken as part of the regular curriculum from HVA teachers who are qualified with a master’s degree or higher in their subject area. Currently HVA offers dual-credit classes through partnerships with Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md., and the nearby Hagerstown Community College (HCC). Staff offers more than six courses in English, history, Bible, math and science, including a biotechnology STEM internship through HCC. HVA, HCC and Inova Health System (Va.) collaborated to develop the internship. Participating students will earn STEM internship credits as well as three college credits in biotechnology. They will also learn specialized biotechnology laboratory techniques in biotechnology and engage in research.
Dual-credit courses are especially beneficial to students because they allow them to earn high school and college credit simultaneously, they cost less than the usual college tuition and fees, and they give students a jump-start on earning their college degrees. “HVA continues to look for ways to expand its academic excellence,” says Mick Hutchinson, principal.
Featured photo: Senior Kayla Miller discusses her dual-credit options with Jairo Flores, a recruiter from Hagerstown Community College. Photo by Benjamin Lee