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Renee Harris, Health Sciences Ed Specialist, 406.994.6986


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Health Science Education

Explore a BIG SKY PATHWAY to a future in health care!
Montana's rapidly growing Career and Technical Education offering is health science.  Health Science courses prepare students for further education and/or immediate employment in the health care field.

The purpose of Health Science Programs is to teach essential knowledge and skills needed by health care providers based on the National Health Science Standards.  Standards address Academic Skills, Communications, Healthcare Delivery Systems, Employability Skills, Legal Responsibilities, Ethics, Safety Practices, Teamwork, Health Maintenance Practices, Technical Skills and Information Technology Applications.

Why choose to train students for Health Careers?

  • Nearly 2.4 million health care jobs will be open by 2014 (Nationally)
  • 1 million registered nurses (RNs) will be needed by 2016 (Nationally)
  • Most of MT is designated as a Health Professions Shortage Area which means that in most of MT, citizens do not have access to adequate levels of primary care, dental care or mental health services
  • 43% of the US Labor force will be eligible for retirement in the next 10 years
  • Rural MT hospitals have asked for a grassroots effort to “grow our own” health care workforce

HOSA-Future Health Professionals, is the only Career and Technical Student Organization that focuses 100% on health care. High schools with health science programs are encouraged to integrate HOSA into their curriculum for workforce skill development. Montana HOSA Overview

Teacher CTE EndorsementsTeacher CTE Endorsements

There are two ways to receive an Endorsement to teach secondary Health Science courses.  If you are already a licensed health professional in Montana with at least 10,000 hours of documented experience, you will find Class 4 Career and Technical Application materials at the OPI Educator Licensure website.

Another option exists for current secondary science and health enhancement teachers that have college credits in Anatomy & Physiology (or be willing to complete an A & P course prior to training).  

In Montana, teachers seeking a health science endorsement must have 10,000 hours (about 5 years experience), and collegiate credits in Anatomy, Anatomy & Physiology, or Human Biology (or be willing to complete an A & P course prior to training).

In Montana, teachers seeking a health science endorsement must participate in an 80 week approved health science training program and participate in job shadowing in the healthcare industry.

For more information, please contact Renee Harris, Health Science Education Specialist, at

Teachers will gain:

  • A thorough understanding of the health care workforce and workforce needs
  • Business and industry perspectives of workforce skills
  • Curriculum alignment with Post-secondary Health Professions programs
  • Guest faculty from Post-secondary programs for allied health, pre-med and professional programs discuss
  • Every teacher receives a thumb drive of:
    • Supplemental Curriculum that is based on the 11 National Health Care Foundation Standards that is licensed to your school.  The Standards are explained in detail and examples of lessons are modeled
    • Inter-disciplinary/integrated lesson planning is discussed and reviewed with sample lesson plans
    • Scope and sequencing for Intro to Health Careers and Human Body systems
    • Activities and lesson plans
    • Work-based Learning and Service-Learning ideas
  • Course sequencing is reviewed- Intro to Computing(as a foundation course, but not taught by HS teacher; Intro to Health Careers; Human Body Systems(small schools can substitute A & P); then courses vary at different schools EMT, Nursing Assisting, Sports Med, Case Studies, or online collegiate coursework
  • Perkins legislation/funding is discussed and mandatory compliance areas are planned
  • State CTE funding and Participation Reports are explained
  •  HOSA as a CTSO is discussed as an integrated piece of the health science curriculum
  • Timeline for pulling together school administration to support health science, classroom speakers, classroom strategies and health science endorsement paperwork reviewed

Biomedical Science Program    


Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences offers four years of curriculum; trains your teachers in this new way of teaching; and has prepared purchasing manuals to help with getting the best prices on equipment needed for this program. For further information, contact Renee Harris, PLTW State Leader.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Sciences Program

Principles of the Biomedical Sciences
Students investigate the human body systems and various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, hypercholesterolemia and infectious diseases. They determine the factors that led to the death of a fictional person, and investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, medicine, research processes and bioinformatics. Key biological concepts including homeostasis, metabolism, inheritance of traits and defense against disease are embedded in the curriculum. Engineering principles including the design process, feedback loops and the relationship of structure to function are also incorporated. This course is designed to provide an overview of all the courses in the Biomedical Sciences Program and lay the scientific foundation for subsequent courses.

Human Body Systems
Students examine the interactions of body systems as they explore identity, communication, power, movement, protection and homeostasis. Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting real-world cases and often play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries.

Medical Interventions
Students investigate a variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as they follow the lives of a fictitious family. The course is a “how-to” manual for maintaining overall health and homeostasis in the body as students explore how to prevent and fight infection; how to screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; how to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and how to prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. These scenarios expose students to the wide range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices and diagnostics. Each family case scenario introduces multiple types of interventions and reinforces concepts learned in the previous two courses, as well as presenting new content. Interventions may range from simple diagnostic tests to treatment of complex diseases and disorders. These interventions are showcased across generations of a family and provide a look at the past, present and future of the biomedical sciences. Lifestyle choices and preventive measures are emphasized throughout the course as are the important roles scientific thinking and engineering design play in the development of interventions of the future.

Biomedical Innovation
In this capstone course, students apply their knowledge and skills to answer questions or solve problems related to the biomedical sciences. Students design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century as they work through progressively challenging open-ended problems, addressing topics such as clinical medicine, physiology, biomedical engineering and public heal

K-12 Health Care Pipeline   Healthcare pipeline
The Regional Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)
are active partners in promoting health career
exploration for students in Kindergarten through 12
grade. Here is a sampling of the program activities
available to students throughout the state!

Strengthening the Health Care Pipeline

HOSA-Future Health Professionals     HOSA