Baptist Health Agrees to Partner with Two Academies in North Little Rock School District

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Academies of Central Arkansas is excited to announce the formal partnership between Baptist Health and two high schools within the North Little Rock School District. This partnership with North Little Rock High School and the North Little Rock Center of Excellence will create the Baptist Health Academy of Health & Human Services at North Little Rock High School and the Baptist Health Academy of Health Sciences at the North Little Rock Center of Excellence.

These types of partnerships are a core foundation of the Academies of Central Arkansas model of teaching and learning being implemented in public high schools throughout Pulaski County. The press announcement for this partnership is scheduled to take place on July 27.

Students in either of the Baptist Health Academies will be able to experience several opportunities for enhanced, hands-on learning throughout their four years in high school. Beginning next school year, all students will experience career exposure through classroom speakers and guest lecturers and will attend a career exposure event where Baptist Health, along with other central Arkansas businesses, will showcase career opportunities. Sophomore students will be provided industry field trips and business tours, while 11th grade scholars will be provided job shadowing opportunities, career mentoring, and opportunities to earn industry recognized credentials and concurrent credits.

Together, Baptist Health and the teams at North Little Rock High School and Center of Excellence will develop capstone projects and internship opportunities for students in their senior year.

“Baptist Health is thrilled to launch another healthcare academy that will introduce even more talented young people to health care. This innovative approach is proving that it helps get students excited about a rewarding career in serving others and making our communities healthier for generations to come,” said Baptist Health President & CEO Troy Wells.

The Academies of Central Arkansas is a joint initiative of the four public school districts across Pulaski County and the regional business community. In 2019, the Jacksonville North Pulaski, Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County Special School Districts, together with the five Pulaski County chambers of commerce and business and civic leaders, began implementing high school academies within all public high schools in the county, serving all students.

“Our goal is to provide all high school students in Pulaski County energizing, hands-on and relevant learning opportunities that leads them to achieve concurrent college credit and industry-recognized credentials before they graduate,” stated Jay Chesshir, Little Rock Regional Chamber President & CEO. “Baptist Health’s partnership with North Little Rock High School and the NLR Center for Excellence is yet another example of their commitment to better prepare graduates for college, career and lifelong learning opportunities while becoming their third named healthcare academy in our county!”

“We are so appreciative of this partnership with Baptist Health,” said Gregory J. Pilewski, Ed.D., Superintendent of the North Little Rock School District. “This collaboration is a benefit for students in that it prepares them with real-world, future-ready experiences in the healthcare field. It also provides tools for our teachers to reach students through relevant instruction.”

Implementation of the Academies of Central Arkansas will take several years to fully build out. Once completed, this educational approach will help transform high schools for all students within the four school districts. The Little Rock Regional Chamber is still actively recruiting business partners for all Academy high schools. Businesses interested in getting more information can reach out to the chamber directly or visit

About Academies of Central Arkansas

The Academies of Central Arkansas is an initiative of the Little Rock Regional Chamber and utilizes the Academies model of teaching and learning. It is being implemented wall-to-wall within all four public school districts in Pulaski County. The model transforms the public high school experience by blending core academics with career and technical education. Students see relevance and better engage with their math, science, English, and social studies when taught through the lens of an occupation or industry theme that interests them. This model connects students’ learning with real world applications, preparing them not only for college, but for career and life. For more info visit

About Baptist Health

For more than a century, Baptist Health has delivered All Our Best in health care through Christian compassion and innovative services. Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 250 points of access that include 11 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community; over 100 primary and specialty care clinics; a college with studies in nursing and allied health; a graduate residency program; and access to virtual care anytime, anywhere. It is also the largest private not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, providing care through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app.

About North Little Rock High School

North Little Rock High School is a diverse comprehensive high school and serves around 2,000 students in grades 9-12. Students at North Little Rock High School are exposed to a wealth of relevant and rigorous courses that ensure they are future ready. The school boasts of a stellar arts program, competitive athletics, and a variety of clubs and organizations that enhance every student’s experience. NLRHS offers more than 20 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, along with multiple concurrent classes to earn college credit.

About North Little Rock Center of Excellence

The North Little Rock Center of Excellence offers project-based personalized learning that opened in 2017. Students have the opportunity to choose one of the following career pathways to study: Advanced Manufacturing, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Engineering, Medical Professions, and Sports Medicine. Students that take three courses in their desired career pathway earn the title “completer,” and they wear a special cord at graduation. Housed inside of North Little Rock High School, COE students are exposed to the same electives, clubs, and organizations as NLRHS students. COE students can select among dozens of Advanced Placement (AP) courses, along with multiple concurrent classes to earn college credit.