The Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA), West Virginia's nationally recognized program, reaches out to 9th - 12th grade under-represented students and follows them to college and towards professional school to help them prepare for health care careers. The goal is to nurture the ambitions of talented students who, for economic or other reasons, might not ordinarily achieve these career goals. HSTA is a partnership among the numerous units of Marshall University, West Virginia University, West Virginia State University, West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnership and many Appalachian communities.
The major components of HSTA are as follows:
Summer Campus-Based Program
Student Enrichment Program
The one to three-week campus-based program will provide intensive academic enrichment emphasizing science and math for each grade from 9th through 12th as well as laboratory experiences where students work with scientists, clinical practitioners, and health science professionals.
Teacher Training Workshop
Faculty from the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and cooperating University departments provide a teacher training program which includes state of the art math and science materials, techniques and projects appropriate for 9th through 12th grade students. The workshop covers multicultural sensitivity and diversity training, self-esteem building, motivation enhancement, leadership development skills, and study skills in a multi-disciplinary context with an emphasis on how to incorporate these skills in teaching math and science.
Students matriculating from the summer programs progress into community-based programs. Academic enrichment projects based on community health issues further develop the students’ cognitive skills, emphasizing observation, hypothesis formation, experimentation, analysis, and communication.
Successful HSTA students will be eligible for a tuition & fee waiver to WV public colleges and universities.
Teachers provide leadership for community-based HSTA clubs. Teachers, supported by extension, faculty, health professionals, parents, school and community leaders, facilitate integrated science learning, leadership, study skills, and self-esteem building through community health-related student projects.
Currently there are more than seven hundred HSTA students in over twenty-four West Virginia counties. Almost five hundred successful HSTA graduates are attending higher education institutions utilizing HSTA tuition and fee waivers for undergraduate, graduate, and professional training.