Santa Fe Indian School


SFIS UNM Health Careers Program

The SFIS/UNM Health Careers Program was started with a grant from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC) and the BA/MD Combined Degree Program in 2008. The purpose of the SFIS/UNM Health Careers Program is to engage SFIS students, grades 7-12, in community based, action-oriented, contextual education experiences that encourage students to enter into the health professions that will ultimately improve the health and well-being of their communities. The goal is to graduate students from SFIS who are both interested in and capable of pursuing careers in heath science fields at the post-secondary level. Both the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC) and SFIS fund this program.

Initially, the program was run as an SFIS club. However, in 2009, SFIS hired a teacher to coordinate and instruct the program. One section was incorporated into the academic schedule so that the students could sign up for the program as a class.

In 2010, the students’ interest in the program grew and required an additional two sections be added to the academic schedule.  A total of three sections were taught during the 2010-11 school year and interest continues to soar. 

The coordinator has developed a three-part comprehensive curriculum to include:

  • hands-on, action-oriented classroom activities
  • guest speakers to include health professionals, college representatives, as well as patients afflicted with certain illnesses
  • field trips to surrounding colleges/universities, hospitals, special exhibitions and demonstrations.

There are two levels of instruction offered.  Level one is designed for underclassmen and level two is strictly for SFIS seniors and will incorporate more of an outward-bound curriculum to include concurrent college classes, volunteer work, and internships.