Medical Arts Academy at Bowling Green High School promotes career based learning


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Clarke.

Alexandria Anderson, News reporter

The Medical Arts Academy at Bowling Green High School is a program focused on hands-on, career and evidence-based learning with the goal to prepare students for working in healthcare.

The program offers various industry certifications, including emergency medical technicians training, Phlebotomy Technician and Certified Nursing Assistant. Some students will be able to immediately enter the workforce through these certifications.

Elizabeth Clarke, a health science instructor who works in the Medical Arts Academy program, explained the importance of this program to the students and their future career paths.

“For some of our students, they don’t have the financial ability to go straight to college. So, we work to get dual credit classes and scholarships. They can start working as, for example, a CNA, and get this experience but also go to school and get tuition paid for, because they are already working and have this certification–which we pay for,” Clarke said.

Clarke also stressed the value of getting real-world, community healthcare experience, especially during high school. The Medical Arts Academy provides this experience.

“We do community clinicals at actual facilities where they are getting that experience already. It gives them a foot in the door because they’ve already taken this step, and it shows that they have ambition and goal setting skills,” Clarke said. “Right out of school they have the opportunity to go and work in a clinical setting, and they use that experience to further their education and reach those higher goals.”

Especially in today’s world, where there is a constant need for more healthcare workers, the Medical Arts Academy is extremely valuable to these students and the Bowling Green community.

“I’ve been a nurse since 2008, and before that I worked as a student nurse. I have, in all of those years, seen that CNAs overwhelmingly become nurses. So if our students are getting their foot in the door, anyone in those entry level positions can take that next step and further their career,” Clarke said.

Kristen Lowe, another health sciences instructor with the Medical Arts Academy at BGHS,, explained how useful it is to expose students to career options so early.

“A lot of students are interested in the healthcare field. By giving them this opportunity to take this certification, we teach them employable skills and how to have a very good, secure job,” Lowe said. “And, they can work in that position while going back to school. It is just so detrimental to have a medical background.”

She also touched on the impact the Medical Arts Academy has had on student success in college, explaining that their exposure to healthcare has put them a step ahead.

“Their chances of success are superior than if they didn’t go through this program,”  Lowe said. “They’ve already committed and know how to have these work ethic skills, and they’ve got the basics down for healthcare.” 

It is vital that support is given to students interested in medicine, so the Medical Arts Academy is always trying to increase programming to continue providing these opportunities for students.

“We have about 200 students total in the program, and as our student numbers grow the opportunities are increasing as well,” Lowe said. “I’m so glad our students have this wonderful opportunity.”

News reporter Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected]