Health Science Specialty Center (HSSC) FAQs

What types of students should apply for the Health Sciences Specialty Center?

Current 8th grade students interested in pursuing careers in health sciences or medical fields are encouraged to apply to the Health Sciences Specialty Center at Hanover High School.

Do students become full-time students at HHS, even for extracurricular activities?

Students who enroll in the Health Sciences Specialty Center become full-time Hanover High School Students. They take all of their courses at Hanover High School and participate in extracurricular activities (including clubs, band, drama, strings, and athletics) at HHS.

If I don’t live in the Hanover HS district, how will I get to HHS for classes?

Students are transported to and from Hanover High School via school bus hub stops. **Please note that parents/guardians are responsible for transporting their student to and from the hub stops. Students will not be able to ride a bus from their home to their home school and then ride another bus to Hanover HS.

Are there any prerequisite courses that students must complete before entering the program?

There are no specific prerequisite courses that must be completed before entering the Health Sciences Specialty Center; however, we recommend that students complete Algebra I before they begin their ninth grade school year. Students who have not completed Algebra I while in middle school can still apply to the program, and they may receive guidance on how to advance their math level once accepted.

How long does it take to complete the Health Sciences Specialty Center program?

We have designed the Health Sciences Specialty Center program to be completed in four years at HHS.

What types of careers will this program prepare me for?

The Health Sciences Specialty Center program provides students with the ability to earn professional certifications in the areas of nurse aide, patient care technician, emergency medical technician, pharmacy technician, and sports medicine. These programs provide a strong foundation that can be applied in additional or more advanced medical careers (including LPN, RN, BSN, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, physician, paramedic, firefighter, physical therapist, occupational therapist, medical research scientist, and pharmacist).

What do college and university programs think about programs like this?

When colleges and universities receive applications to their programs, they are looking for specific activities or programs that set students apart from everyone else who has applied.

What type of state diploma will students in the Health Sciences Specialty Center earn?

In the four year program of studies for the Health Sciences Specialty Center Program, students will complete all of the necessary course requirements to earn either a standard or advanced diploma from HHS.

Will students be able to enroll in fine arts electives in the Health Sciences program?

The Health Sciences students will have room in their schedule to take one to three electives per school year. They will be able to enroll in strings, band, chorus, drama, art, and other electives depending on course/scheduling conflicts.

Will students be able to complete world language requirements while in the Health Sciences Program?

We encourage Health Sciences students to earn at least enough world language credits to fulfill this requirement for the advanced diploma. Becoming fluent in a second language is a valuable skill for health care workers.

Will students be able enroll in AP or IB courses while in the Health Sciences program?

Students will be able to take their core courses at the AP or IB level where appropriate. Their electives can also be filled with AP or IB courses. It should be pointed out that while it is not impossible, it would be very difficult for a student to be able to concurrently complete the Health Sciences Curriculum and the IB requirements necessary to earn an IB Diploma.

How do interested students apply?

Interested students should contact their 8th grade school counselor for specific details. Typically, the timeline for applying for the HSSC program is November 1 through February 1.

When applying, students will choose an area of specialization from the following career pathways by ranking them in order of interest:

  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Nurse Aide/Patient Care Technician
  • Pharmacy Technician I and II
  • Sports Medicine I and II
Students would begin these specialized pathway courses in the 11th grade. Since each of these pathway courses has class size limitations, acceptance into the HSSC pathway program of choice is dependent on student interest numbers. If the number of eligible students applying exceeds the number of spots available, then a random lottery drawing will take place.

Please contact Ben Saunders, HSSC Coordinator, via email or phone at (804) 723-3700 with any additional questions.

Stem and Public Safety Electives FAQs

What STEM Electives does the Specialty Center offer?

We offer two years of engineering electives, three years of electronics electives, and one year of design/multimedia/web design at the Specialty Center. You will find course descriptions in the Hanover County Program of Studies and on the Specialty Center Website.

What Public Safety Electives are offered at the Specialty Center?

Students will be able to enroll in Firefighting, EMT, and Criminal Justice. Course descriptions can be found in the Hanover County Program of Studies and on the Specialty Center Website.

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