Metro Health Academies
Where College Success Meets Social Change


New programs for the first two years of college at San Francisco State
University and City College of San Francisco, soon going statewide.

Metro Health Academies were started to support the development of a new generation of leadership for health and human rights in urban communities, and to overcome education inequalities. The curriculum encourages students to deeply engage real life issues such as this: Although the U.S. is the wealthiest country in the world and spends twice as much on health care as any other nation, why do we live shorter and die younger than people in 27 other countries? Students will learn to write clearly, speak powerfully, think critically, and use data to make a sound argument. The curriculum is relevant and rigorous.

Metro Health Academies (MHAs) give students personalized support for college success with an orientation to college and in-class academic support and tutoring. Students recveive intensive support for accelerated progress in challenging general education subjects such as writing and math. For two semesters, students take courses together in a learning community so that no one "goes it alone." MHA students get on a fast track for graduation with extra advising and a course sequence carefully planned to ensure that students get the classes they need and meet university graduation requirements. Those MHA students who are studying at the community college have a smooth transfer pathway, wasting no time on course work that is not transferable.

Students will have an opportunity to dialog with leaders in areas such as environmental justice, education equity and public health. Students will begin to build a solid foundation for a lifetime of meaningful work in public health, social services (from social work to mental health to the non-profit sector), the health care professions, or community organizing. Studying in the Metro Health Academies prepares students to help our communities move toward health and social justice!

MHA is a program for the first two years of college to deepen learning, boost college success, retention and transfer. Right now there are two Metro Health Academies with parallel programs, one at City College of Ssan Francisco and one at San Francisco State University. We focus on students who are low income and first generation college attendees. As we see it, these students will go on to work in health, social services (including mental health, social work and the like) or community organizing in urban communities, using a social justice lens in their work. Notice that this is different than the usual kind of health academy that is focused on nurse and medical preparation.

The special features of the program include:

For more information:
Contact Community Health Works at (415) 388-3034 or at