Career Experiences

E-News Spring
June 21, 2019

West Potomac Academy provided several Career Experience opportunities for students including:  Internships, Clinical Observations, Job Shadows, Volunteer Work, Master Classes, Professional Workshops, and Career Night Events.  Upon graduation, students will use these experiences along with obtaining professional certifications, to pursue a career, attend college, and/or directly enter the workforce.  These workforce development opportunities are possible due to local business and community partnerships.  


PT/OT Level 2 students participated in the Depart of Education’s “Take Your Kid to Work Day” event, as HOSA presenters.  They worked with the children of the Education Departments employees on gross motor skills and learning how muscles move bones.

Levels 1 & 2 PT/OT students participated in clinical observations in local out patient PT Clinics with Mount Vernon PT and Back in Motion.  

Level 2 PT/OT students have regular monthly visits to Mr. Hall’s special needs students at Belle View Elementary.  Our students (known as the big kids) create fun, colorful, hands-on lessons to reinforce fine motor skills.  Our students prepare, instruct and support the little kids with OT techniques like hand over hand, modeling and adapting to meet their needs. 

Dental Internships / Employment, 8 (level 2) Dental Careers students completed paid internships in local dental practices.  From these internships some will receive employment offers.  Alexandria Dental Smiles, Banaji Pediatric Dental Specialists, Bright White’s, Hughes Orthodontics, NOVA Dental Alliance, First Smile Dental, and NOVA Dental Alliance, Premium Family Dental.

Pharmacy Internship Programs, 12 (Level 2) Pharmacist Tech students completed 30 hour internships at 6 participating Giant Pharmacies and 23 (Level 1) Pharmacy students completed 12 hour internships with six local Walgreens Pharmacies where they receive hands-on experience working as a pharmacy technician.  Several WPA graduates can be found working in pharmacies in the local area at Walgreens, CVS, Shoppers, and Giant Pharmacies.

Inova Mount Vernon Hospital hosted a Symposium for Health & Medical Science students to learn about Careers within a hospital.  Students toured hospital departments and met with professionals in Health Care.  Inova Mount Vernon Hospital Rehab and Pharmacy hosted students for Job Shadows.  Select students participated in Career Shadows at the hospital.

Inova Medical Group hosted a Career Fair for Medical Assistant students interested in employment with Inova.  15 of these students were selected to complete Clinical Observerships at five specialty locations for Clinical Observations.  Upon graduation and obtaining their CCMA license, students will be able to apply for employment with Inova Medical Group. 

Capital Caring Hospice & Palliative Care, Alexandria, Partnership, Medical Assistant and Exploring Health Sciences students had the opportunity to shadow a medical professional with Capital Caring.  A panel of doctor, nurses, social workers and chaplains, visited the classroom and talked to students about the medical profession and role-played medical scenarios.  This spring, 20 students participated in Career Shadows with members of the medical team. 

Capital Caring developed a Volunteer Program for WPA students where students can sign up for ongoing volunteer opportunities to support hospice patients throughout the community. 

This year we had the first West Potomac Academy, Medical Assistant student to complete the Patient Volunteer Program on her own and is an official Capital Caring Volunteer at 18 years old visiting regular hospice patients in their homes by herself. 

For the past several years the Health and Medical Science students have hosted the Head Start Health Fair- students in Early Childhood Careers work with Head Start children and they all visit the academy to learn about being heart healthy.  Head Start students learn about healthy eating habits, practice fine and gross motor skills and learn what to expect from first time visits to the doctor and dentist.

Rebel Run Sports and Entertainment is currently working with TV Production and Music and Computer Technology students.  They offered internships for students to gather local sports footage, edit, create highlights, and add original music, and be part of production crews.

Both TV Production and Music & Computer Technology students visited Henninger Media Services where they toured the video production house and shadowed specialists in their fields of interestMusic Tech students visited Cue Recording Studio for another day of career shadowing in a professional recording studio. 

Dance Students Interned as assistant dance instructors with our local dance studio business partners:  Just Dance, Above the Barre, Strictly Rhythm Dance Center and Alexandria Community Nutcracker.  Our Dance partners also teach master classes, judge student choreography and partner to co-produce the Nutcracker Performance each year. 

Fairfax County Police Department hosted Criminal Justice Students for Ride Along Internships with Franconia District Station. This has been an ongoing collaboration with Fairfax County Police Department for over 15 years along with countless guest speakers and demonstrations provided to enrich our Criminal Justice Program in all aspects of Law Enforcement.  

Thank you to our Business and Community Partners for another successful year for our students!