July 16th 2019

School Spotlight: Institute for Health Professions at Cambria Heights

IHPCH is a small Queens high school that just completed a second year of CARA’s College Bridge and College Inquiry programs. The school’s unique curriculum features both portfolio-based assessments and a career and technical focus, with students having the option to graduate certified in Emergency Medical Services or Nurse Assisting. Principal Gareth Robinson has nurtured the development of an ambitious 9 – 12 college exploratory curriculum in advisory, supported by professional development for staff to learn about the intricacies of college applications. The tight-knit team’s hard work supporting students has resulted in remarkable progress for the Class of 2019:  96% of students are graduating with a defined post-secondary plan (compared to 82% last year) and 83% completed FAFSA (compared to 69% last year).


Members of the IHPCH team describe the impact College Inquiry has had on their community.


Gareth Robinson, Principal 

“College Inquiry means providing students with the tools to research and identify post secondary opportunities that are a great fit with a student’s career and educational goals.The impact at IHPCH has been to begin the college process for students the moment they enter the school. We immediately begin using the lessons in our ninth grade advisory, which supports students in connecting the work they do in HS to their future aspirations.”


Crystal Davis, Assistant Principal

“College Inquiry goes hand in hand with self awareness and student and family communication.  College Inquiry is about exposing students to different options, active listening and guidance based on student and family needs. It has led to important advisory conversations about decision making and has helped students communicate with their families about their post-secondary education.  The impact has been great as evidenced by 100% of our students applying and getting accepted to college. As a school community, it has led to open conversations with students about different educational paths to achieve their career goals.”


Andrea Campbell, College Bridge Coach

“The College/Guidance Office can be a very busy place where there is a high inflow of students with questions and many concerns. The difficulty faced is related to finding time to help each individual student with a wide range of things necessary for successful matriculation. This is where College Inquiry plays a vital role in teaching educators at IHPCH the necessary skills to assist students by working together with those in the College Office to incorporate college-related knowledge into the school’s curriculum. Each year, we see our students become more informed, confident, and determined throughout the college process, while our teachers become more experienced in guiding students and supporting Bridge Coaches.”


Kyla Stock, School Counselor

“Our students have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and education pertaining to the college process. I feel confident that the students are leaving IHPCH knowing what their next steps are.”